by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Tuesday, November 17, 2009
C. H. O. C. O. F. L. A. N. ...it speaks for itself...
(aka Flan Imposible, Pastel Imposible, Impossible Cake)
Serves 12 generously
Recipe from Season 6 of Mexico--One Plate at a Time
For the mold:
A little softened butter and some flour
1 cup store-bought or homemade cajeta (goat milk caramel)
For the cake:
5 oz. (10 Tbs.) butter, slightly softened
1 c. sugar
2 Tbs. espresso powder dissolved in 1 1/2 Tbs. hot water (or 3 Tbs. espresso)
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. cake flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp.baking soda
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs. cocoa powder
9 oz. buttermilk
For the flan:
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract, preferably Mexican Vanilla
Prepare the mold: Turn on the oven to 350 degrees and position the rack in the middle. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch round cake pan (you need one that's 3 inches deep), sprinkle with flour, tip the pan, tapping on the side of the counter several times, to evenly distribute the flour over the bottom and sides, then shake out the excess (if you don't have a 3" cake pan...invest in one...so worth it! I ordered mine from my local pastry shop). Microwave the cajeta (Cajeta is a goat's milk caramel...the flavor is amazing!! Use it if you can find it for sure!) for 30 seconds to soften it, then pour over the bottom of the pan, tilting the pan to coat the bottom evenly. Set a kettle of water over medium-low heat. Set out a deep pan that's larger than your cake pan (a roasting pan works well) that can serve as a water bath during baking. Dissolve your espresso powder in the water Make the cake: With an electric mixer (use the flat beater, if yours has a choice), beat the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light in color and texture. Scrape the bowl. Beat in the egg and espresso. Sift together the all-purpose and cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa. Beat in about 1/2 of the flour mixture, at medium-low speed, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat. Scrape the bowl, then raise the speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute.Layer and bake: Scrape the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and spread level. Make the flan: In a blender, combine the two milks, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend until smooth.Who else loves the bonus sweetened condensed milk crystals/candies that stick to the bottom of the can sometimes? BONUS!! I just eat 'em out with a spoon. Slowly, pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. (I find it easiest to pour the mixture into a small ladle, letting it run over onto the batter.) Pull out the oven rack, set the cake into the large pan, then set both pans on the rack. Pour hot water around the cake to a depth of 1 inch. Carefully slide the pans into the oven, and bake about 45 to 50 minutes, until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, except for the very center . Remove from the water bath and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Carefully run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake/flan to free the edges. Invert a rimmed serving platter over the cake pan, grasp the two tightly together, then flip the two over. Gently jiggle the pan back and forth several times to insure that the cake/flan has dropped, then remove the pan. Scrape any remaining cajeta from the mold onto the cake.Remove a slice and prepare to say Wow!! ...and in unrelated fun....look at my new tattoo!!! I took the pictures myself, so you can't see if fully...but once it's completely healed I'll show it off some more :) It's tree...which to me represents life in all of it's glorious (and inglorious) stages. Its roots form a peace sign (which I just realized you can't really see in these pics). Rooted in the ground and reaching for the sky. Changing of the seasons represent ever changing life. The winds of change blowing in the background can be unexpected and stir things up...but I must stay grounded. And be at peace with myself (while keeping my arms outstretched towards a higher power). Basically. It's done around 2 tattoos that were already there...incorporating my past into my present...I could go on...
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.