I recently tried chocoflan for the first time….I WAS IMMEDIATELY IN LOVE.
In my 22 years of living I’ve eaten and also made a lot of desserts, but I’ve never had something like chocoflan before. I don’t know if that’s just me being dramatic, but it’s just so different I love it.
Anyway I decided I needed to learn how to make it so here we are!
How to make chocoflan
Chocoflan is a Mexican desssert that is made up of a layer of chocolate cake, flan and then caramel.
To make it, the more traditional way is to add a layer or caramel into a bundt pan, then pour a chocolate cake batter over this, then add a flan mixture.
As this bakes, the flan will sink to the bottom of the tin, so once you flip the tin over and take the chocoflan out, the flan will now be at the top.
However, I’ve also seen people make this by adding the caramel to their pan, then the flan mixture. They bake this for for a bit, then add the cake batter on top and bake again.
I wanted to see the difference so I tried both ways. They both work but I prefer the 2nd method because it gives you much more even layers and also a lighter flan.
So for this recipe, the 2nd method is being used!
The first step in making this chocoflan is to make the caramel.
To do this, all you need to do is heat some granulated or caster sugar in a pot, until it melts. That’s it.
I wanted to talk a bit about this, in case you you’ve never melted sugar before, because there are 2 things that are important to do:
- Constantly stir
- Keep your heat on medium, DON’T increase it.
Sugar can burn easily, so you want to make sure to do these 2 things, to avoid it from burning!
Once this has been made, it will set up pretty quickly so immediately pour it into your greased bundt pan and leave this aside.
Then once you have made your flan mixture, pour it over the set caramel!
Baking the chocoflan
Like I mentioned, this is going to be baked twice. The first bake is to partially cook the flan layer, then the second bake is to cook the cake.
The first bake is for around 45 minutes. After 45 minutes the flan will be very jiggly, it’s not fully cooked at this point.
Pour your cake batter over this and then bake again.
The time of the second bake varies depending on your oven. It can take around 1 hour 20 minutes – 1 hour 30 minutes. I know this is a long time, but it’s also a lot of cake batter inside of one tin, so it needs some time.
Just keep an eye on it, it is done when a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
The most important thing to remember is to bake the chocoflan inside of a water bath, don’t skip this!
What is a water bath?
A water bath is pretty much a large roasting pan that has been filled with boiling water.
There are a lot of desserts that need to be baked in this, flan is one of them, cheesecake most of the time is also baked in a water bath.
For this chocoflan, the water bath is regulating the temperature of the flan layer. It is stopping the flan from getting too hot whiles also distributing the heat more evenly.
This will give you a much smoother, creamier flan. Without the water bath, the texture of the flan will be rubbery….we don’t want this….no one wants this.
So make sure to use a water bath!
Common questions about the chocolate cake
For the cake layer, I’m using my regular chocolate cake recipe. I always say this, but I love this recipe. It always comes out so soft and fudgy.
Side note, I’ve seen a lot of people just use Betty Crocker’s box mix when making chocoflan. You could do this too, it will be easier and it will still taste great!
Honestly, Betty Crocker’s cake mixes are very good, I have no issues with them. Betty knows how to make a good cake.
Anyway I digress, here are some questions I get asked quite a lot about my chocolate cake recipe:
Why do you not add the cocoa powder with the dry ingredients?
Most of the time when I’m using cocoa powder, I like to hydrate it first with a liquid. For this cake, I mix it with hot water.
Hydrating cocoa powder brings out the flavour of it, which will give you a more rich, chocolatey cake.
Can I use oil instead of butter?
Yes if you want too. Most cakes need some kind of fat, this can be in the form of butter or oil.
Butter gives cakes great flavour, whiles oil gives great moisture.
When making a chocolate cake, I feel like chocolate is an overpowering flavour….when something is chocolate flavoured the only thing you ever taste is chocolate.
Because of this butter doesn’t add much flavour, so I just use oil to get some extra moistness.
But butter works too, just melt 100g of it!
Any substitutes for the yoghurt?
I add some plain yoghurt for extra moistness too. The best substitute is sour cream. Buttermilk works as well!
Can I use plain/all purpose flour instead of self-raising?
No it won’t work.
Ok I lied….yes of course you can. Just use the same amount of plain/all-purpose flour and add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to it!
Leaving the chocoflan to chill
After the chocoflan has baked, you want to leave it too cool down in your fridge for at least 3 hours, overnight is better though!
There are a few reasons for this, 1) the flan needs some time to set, 2) flan tastes way better cold but also this might just be personal preference, 3) it will be easier to take out of the tin when it has cooled.
So make sure to give it some time to chill!
Here are some other cake recipes I think you might like:
- For the caramel layer:
200g granulated sugar
- For the flan layer:
120g cream cheese
380g condensed milk
360ml evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the chocolate cake layer:
50g cocoa powder
100ml hot water
100ml any flavourless oil (I used vegetable)
100g plain yoghurt
175g self-raising flour
125g granulated sugar
125g brown sugar
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 180c/350f. Also grease a 9 inch bundt pan and leave this aside.
- Making the caramel layer:
- Add the sugar into a non stick pot, or pan. Place this over medium heat.
- Keep heating this, whiles constantly stirring, until all the sugar has completely melted and is a deep amber colour.
- Pour this into your bundt pan and leave aside to set.
- Making the flan layer:
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg and cream cheese until smooth. Then whisk in the condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla and salt. Alternatively, you can just add all these ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour this mixture through a sieve to get out any lumps and then pour it into your pan, on top of the caramel layer.
- The 1st bake:
- Cover your bundt pan with some tin foil and then place it into a large roasting pan that has high sides.
- Pour some boiling water into this roasting pan until the water reaches half way up the sides of the bundt pan.
- Carefully place this into your oven and bake for 45 minutes.
- Making the cake batter:
- Whiles this is baking, make the cake batter.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water. Once this is smooth, whisk in the oil and yoghurt. Now whisk in the 3 eggs.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar.
- Pour the wet mixture into this and whisk everything together just until you get a smooth batter. Leave this aside.
- The 2nd bake:
- After the flan layer has baked for 45 minutes, take it out of the oven. At this point it will be very jiggly, it won't look cooked but this is okay.
- Slowly pour the cake batter over this then cover with tin foil and bake, whiles it is still in the water bath.
- This will take some time to bake, around 1 hour 20 minutes - 1 hour 30 minutes. After about 1 hour, take the tin foil off, then continue to bake until the cake is done. To test it, insert a toothpick into the cake, if it comes out clean it is done.
- Leaving the chocoflan to cool:
- After it is baked, remove it from the oven and take it out of the water bath. Leave it too cool down for a bit, then place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours, overnight is better.
- Once it has chilled, take it out of the bundt pan, cut into it and then enjoy!