Tuesday, 22 May 2012



Chocoflan or Flan Imposible, is a desert which combines a custard sitting on top of a chocolate cake. The custard is poured over the cake batter, yet somehow during baking the cake ends up on top and the custard underneath. Hence the impossible.

The recipe for both the cake and the flan are simple. There is a straightforward recipe in Fanny Gerson's book, where the proportions I have listed here are from.

The Cake
3/4 Cup sugar
3/4 Cup A.P flour
1/3 Cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup of buttermilk
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Combine the dry ingredients together, then whisk the wet ingredients together, finally combine the wet team and the dry team and stir until well mixed.

The Custard
1 (12oz) can of evaporated milk
1 (14oz) can of condensed milk
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Blend all of the above in a blender.

Making the Cake
Grease and then pour some cajeta over the bottom of an 8 inch cake pan or a bunt pan (the cake will be cooked in a ban marie so a springform tin won't do).

Pour the cake batter into the pan. Gently pour the custard over the batter without disturbing it. Place the cake pan in a larger dish with hot water that comes half way up the side of the cake pan. Cover with foil and bake at 375F for about 50 minutes.

Allow the cake to cool for a couple of hours before removing from the dish and garnish with some chopped nuts.

It's really bizarre, the custard that you poured so carefully over the batter has somehow sunk to the bottom and the chocolate cake is now on top and there the a perfectly clean line separating them. It looks very unusual and it looks like it takes a lot more trouble than it actually does.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Yet more cook book recommending

I'm getting nervous that I may need to charter a plane to ship home the books I have collected over the past couple of years in Mexico, so this one was selected on the basis that it's small.

It's straightforward without being dumb and well photographed. I'm still digging through it but it has a couple of concepts that are new to me and a few ideas worth trying.

Queso in Salsa

This dish is so simple I feel silly even describing it. There are no new techniques and no new ingredients, but the dish is quick and tasty and is an unusual way to use cheese.

Queso in Salsa comprises a cheese, one of the non melting ones, panela is easiest but queso fresco can be used too. The cheese is served in a tomato sauce, and as these cheeses don't melt the end result looks like cubes (in the case of panela) or blobs (in the case of queso fresco) of tofu suspended in sauce.

The tomato sauce is made as we have seen in lots of other dishes (rajas con queso for example), simply tomatoes, blitzed to a liquid in a blender and then cooked out, with some onion, garlic, chile, oregano and seasoning. Rather than adding the onion to the blender it can be cut into strips and sautéed with the chile until translucent before adding the tomato.

Tinned tomatoes can be substituted for fresh, and personally I prefer not to blend the chile with the tomatoes and I feel it muddies the nice red colour, though I'm probably just being picky.

Once the sauce has cooked out the cubed panela is added and heated through. At some point in the future I'll go into more detail on Mexican cheeses, there quite a bit to discuss. I've actually made queso fresco once or twice using milk and vinegar or milk and lime juice. It's fun to do and in interesting experiment, though I don't think I'll be breaking out the cheese cloth on any regular basis.

The dish can be eaten with tortillas or served like a soup. Easy!