Our guest editor this week is Pati Jinich, authority on Mexican cooking and author of Pati's Mexican Table. She'll be sharing a week's worth of recipes, choosing a Wildcard winner, answering our questions, and giving away a few copies of her book.
Today: A layer of chocolate cake batter makes the perfect complement to traditional flan.
This traditional Mexican cake earned its infamous name from the magic trick that happens in the oven while it’s baking, but it is far from impossible. When you layer the flan and cake batters into the molds, you pour the cake batter in first, with the flan on top. It looks like a total mess, but in the oven they switch places and the chocolate cake batter ends up on top. It's magic! And it tastes magical, too: rich chocolate cake layered with creamy flan and liquid cajeta creates a confectionary masterpiece. Though it can also be made in a large round or bundt pan, I find it much more festive and easy to make personal-sized Chocoflans. They are perfect for an elegant dinner party or for an afternoon snack, and they are small enough that you couldn’ t possibly be expected to share.
Makes 12 individual, 4-ounce chocoflans
Unsalted butter, at room temperature for buttering the molds
1 cup cajeta, or dulce de leche
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt
3/4 cups buttermilk
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, lightly toasted, to garnish
Photo by Penny De Los Santos