Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy 3rd Blogiversary To Me! Happy 3rd Blogiversary To Me!

Happy 3rd Blogiversary To Me…Okay, you get the idea.

For this momentous occasion, I wanted to make something special, really special. I decided to try a recipe from the Food Network. Despite my (occasional) railings (okay, frequent…whatever) against them, I did want to commemorate in some way what this very blog is called.

Ever since I heard the name Chocoflan, I was fascinated. It looked like a party in a bundt pan to me.

It also seemed like it would take a marvelous mix of alchemy and earnest prayer to make the Chocoflan unmold with a perfectly-formed flan on top and a deep chocolate cake on the bottom.

The wild thing is that it goes into the oven THE OTHER WAY AROUND - the cake on the bottom, the flan on the top. And they actually change places in the oven. It has to be magic…or physics, which is really the same thing.

I was a bit apprehensive, I admit, about this recipe. I guess if you’ve been eating Chocoflan since childhood, it’s not a biggie. But I saw it for the first time in a quick bit on Mexican Made Easy and I couldn't figure out how it would unmold so perfectly. It looked a little TOO easy, actually.

Anyway, I figured a third blogiversary was the perfect time to challenge myself. I’ll tell you about the cajeta (caramel made from milk - often goat's milk) another time. But here’s how I proceeded with the Chocoflan, using this recipe.

First, I made a standard cake. Cream butter and sugar, beat in an egg.

Sift dry ingredients.

Add dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately to butter, sugar and egg base.

Make cajeta. That deserves its own post.

Spoon cajeta in bottom of greased bundt pan.

Spoon chocolate cake batter into prepared pan.

Make flan mixture and pour it over the cake. That's right I said POUR IT OVER THE CAKE. IT'S SO MUCH FUN!!!

Put bundt pan in roasting pan. Pour in hot water to make a bain marie. Cover with foil. (This worried me, because many comments on the recipe said the cake took much longer to cook than specified. And covering it with foil, I would think, would not help the situation.) BUT, I did it anyway.

AND I shouldn't have. THIS is what it looked like after baking one hour at 350°F. I may not have a lot of Chocoflan experience, but there is no way that THAT would unmold, without turning into a soppy mess - which happened to several commenters.

So I put it back for ANOTHER THIRTY SEVEN minutes and then took it out. There was STILL a bit of moisture on the crumbs that I tested, but, really, it HAD to be done by then.

I cooled it for an hour and then loosened it (gently, very gently). I was scared about unmolding it. I turned it over, gave it a little jiggle. THIS is what the recipe says: Invert a large, rimmed serving platter over the Bundt pan, grasp tightly together, GIGGLE a little and FLIP OVER. I can always laugh, but since I was holding the platter AND bundt pan, I really couldn't do a flip. But I did manage to unmold the thing.

Pretty good, but not perfect. I think those long gullies in the flan must come from overcooking. But the cake needed to be done.

I refrigerated it for 2 or so hours and it did cut beautifully. The flan was a little sweet, but sooo creamy. The cake was okay. I wonder if a regular Devil's Food Cake would work or if the batter has to be a bit thicker than that.

Would I attempt it again? Heck yes! It's a celebration waiting to happen. It would be fantastic at anything from a barbecue to a holiday party. And it feeds A LOT of people.

To all my readers and commenters and blogging buddies over these 3 years, believe me, that if I could have served each and every one of you a piece of Chocoflan, I would have. Here’s to you!

I’ll try to choke down a few extra pieces in honor of all of you. Thanks so much for your friendship, support and always interesting observations. Blogs (and chocoflan) rule!


Emily said...

Happy blogiversary! I can't believe it's been three years. That's a long time! Keep up the great work. You have such a good blog.

This chocoflan is magical! I want to make it. I do not get how the cake and flan switch places.

I'd love to know how to make cajeta. Is that the same as dulce de leche?

Java Joggers said...

Happy Blogiversary! You rock!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Happy Blogiversary. Here's to many more years of giggles, guffaws, and beverages bursting forth from my nose and onto the computer screen from your hilarious posts.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Sue!

Three years of well-done content is a feat. Thanks for all your hard work and providing inspiration to the rest of us scribblers!


ps I used to travel to Mexico a lot for work and would always buy cajeta to bring home with me. I tried using the evaporated canned goat's milk to make my own, but the imports always tasted better.

Phyllis said...

Happy 3rd Blogiversary! That flan looks unbelievably creamy!

Anonymous said...

Happy Blogiversary! The chocoflan looks amazing!

DebCarol said...

Congrats on your third blogiversary!! You have done a fantabulous job these last three years ~ We all know where to come to find the best Chef, good friend, funniest and most FUN blog on the web. Onward to the next 3 years!!

Michelle said...

Congratulations on three years, Sue! What a terrific achievement and a fantastic milestone!

*bows to your greatness*

Let's do dinner soon!!

marty said...

Happy Blogiversary! And, Lordy, that Chocoflan looks decadent!

Sue said...

Thank you all SO MUCH! I thought of each of you as I ate another (and another) piece of Chocoflan.

Sheila said...

Happy Blogiversary! I'm so glad I found you!

Cynthia said...

Dang I missed the party! Happy Blogiversary honey.