Sunday, May 9, 2010

BRILLIANCE! chocolate flan cake

Look! There's me!  With flancake!

And its close-up

So, those of you Dallasites have probably all gone to Blue Mesa for their weekend brunch.  It regularly has a 2-hour wait regardless of which location you visit, and I feel this is perfectly acceptable.  The fact they no longer let you sip on complimentary mimosas while you wait for your table is less acceptable, but that's just because I love mimosas.  It's also harder to give up free mimosas once you've had free mimosas....

One of my favorite things at this buffet is the black bean adobe pie.  I will master that eventually, but my first attempt to create a Blue Mesa dish is my second-favorite dish, their chocolate flan cake.  It's truly divine.  A rich, creamy custard atop a decadent fudgy cake.  Every time I dine there, I simply must have this with the cinnamon coffee Blue Mesa serves.  What could possibly be better?  In my kitchen, I've mastered cinnamon coffee.  I literally gibbered with glee when I saw this gorgeous recipe by the food addicts.  They made it sound so approachable and easy!  They in turn had gotten this recipe from Marcela Valladolid.

Initially, I planned to make it my own alllllll from scratch and wanted to use my paternal grandmother's red velvet cake recipe for the cake part and my maternal mother's flan recipe.  When I find both recipes, I'll create the perfect dish to represent my roots.  I'm kinda excited about that prospect--it will be a PERFECT signature dish that points to many points of my heritage!  However, today I am running short on time because I took some time to spend with a friend, and that trumps homemade cake.  So, I picked up a red velvet cake mix and ingredients for a simple flan.  

Instead of going and buying a mini-bundt pan, I used a regular cupcake tin, but make no mistake, I am coveting that pan.  I love individual-sized desserts!

I served these at a girls' game night.  The pink hue the custard got from the red velvet batter was a perfect touch.

Ingredients for cake batter: boxed cake and however much oil, water and eggs they suggest.

Ingredients for flan:
1 12-oz can of evaporated milk
1 14-oz can of sweetened condensed milk
4 oz cream cheese at room temp
3 eggs
1 T vanilla extract

dulce de leche

Preheat oven to 350F.  To make the cake batter, follow the directions on the box:-)

To make the flan, blend all the ingredients.

Grease the cupcake tins well.  Pour a small dollop (1/2 T) of dulce de leche in each cupcake compartment.  Pour cake batter halfway up the cupcake tins.  Fill to 3/4 with the flan mixture.  Create a quasi-bain marie by filling a roasting pan or pyrex baking dish with hot water and setting the cupcake tin into the pan.  Cover with foil and carefully put in the oven.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Take the cupcake pan out of the pyrex pan and let cool for at least an hour before inverting the cupcake pan over a serving platter.  Scoop any gooey lovely dulce de leche that sticks to the pan onto the tops of the mini chocoflans.  I will say that the browny lovely caramel looked rather icky on red velvet cake, though, so consider it tasty but not aesthetic and pick whatever is most important to you.

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