My dad had a minor heart attack when I told him I was going to an “F” party.
Let me give you the same explanation I gave to him.
One of my colleagues, Jen, suggested a brilliant new dinner party series for the CBC/Rad-Can colleagues: letter parties. The premise is simple – each week a letter of the alphabet is chosen. Your goal as a dinner party attendee is to bring a dish that has that begins with that letter. The more words that have the letter, the better. Want to know how crazy it can get? Our first letter party featured the letter “S.” I have never seen so many strawberry spinach salads with sesame and sunflower seeds in my life.
This week, it was F’s turn. Are you feeling like we’re in an episode of Sesame Street yet?
F is a decidedly simple letter to tailor dinner and dessert around. Fruit, filet of fish, foie gras, finger foods, fennel, food for goddsake. I, however, needed an excuse to make flan. But not just any flan – a fudge flan! Double F’s for the win. Flan has a few different food meanings, but for the purpose of this blog post, please know that it is a cooked egg custard that is like an extra jiggly, not-too-sweet, half cheesecake. Read: it is awesome.
When I first saw the recipe on Tastespotting, my jaw dropped and my mouth drooled.
Making this chocolate fudge flan was a flurry of fun (see what I did there? Whether I mean to or not, the week’s chosen letter always shoves its way into my everyday conversation. I really do think my brain subconsciously looks for a way to create as many alliterations as possible).
The baking process is actually quite exciting. The cake and flan layer do a little flippity flip in the oven, with the lighter cake floating to the top and the condensed mixture sinking to the bottom.
This flan is very dense and takes its sweet time sitting in its water bath baking. I advise you to eat leftover cake batter and take sugar-induced self portraits at this time. (OKAY I’ll stop pretending it’s 2007 and I’m on Myspace)
After much breath-holding and bongo-playing on the bottom of the bundt pan, the cake came out in one piece. And that, my friends, is just Fantastic.
(but really, this was UNREAL)
Recipe: Fudge flan
Adapted from Scarletta Bakes
For the cake:
– 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 large egg, room temperature
– 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
– 3/4 tsp baking powder
– 3/4 tsp baking soda
– 1/3 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
– 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
– Softened butter to coat pan
– 1/3 cup caramel sauce to coat pan (on top of butter)
For the flan:
– 1- 12 ounce can evaporated milk
– 1- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
– 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
– 3 large eggs
– 1 tbsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup chopped pecans
Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Coat a Bundt pan with a little butter, then coat the bottom with 1/4 cup caramel sauce and put it in a large roasting pan. (The roasting pan will serve as a water bath during baking. I used a 9×13 metal cake pan with high edges)
For the cake: Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and using an electric hand mixer or just your hand, beat until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa in a medium bowl. Beat 1/3 of the flour mixture, and 1/2 of the buttermilk into the egg mixture. Repeat, ending with the flour mixture. Blend until well incorporated.
For the flan: Using a blender or an immersion mixer, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla. Blend on high for 30 seconds.
Scoop the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and spreading evenly. Slowly pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. Cover with foil and add about 1-inch of hot water to the roasting pan.
Carefully slide the pan into the oven, and bake for an hour and a half, until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean (note: you’ll be wanting to check the cake for doneness frequently after the first hour). When cake is done, remove from the water bath and cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour.
Invert a large, rimmed serving platter over the Bundt pan, grasp tightly together, wiggle a little and flip over. Remove the pan and, garnish with chopped pecans. Refrigerate until cool (anywhere from two to 24 hours) and serve!
14 thoughts on “The letter F: Fudge flan (introducing letter dinners!)”
Love this post, Hilary! Your Fotos & and the idea of an F party are Fantastic!!!
Ah, “Fotos” – I like that, haha! Thanks again for the inspiration! The letter parties are wonderful. Can’t wait to read your future posts!
I love this idea! So fun! Annnnd that looks like a fabulously fudgey flan… yum :)
Why thank you, Katie! It was delicious…I so wish I had leftovers right now! Next time I make this it will be just for me and not my colleagues :)
Heavenly!! I m counting cals now so, for now this is dream project reserved for later. For my 25th bday perhaps! I must say I’ll never be too sure when its ready. I’ll be nervous wreck. What if I wiggle it too much and kill the baby!! Perhaps should get a glass bundt pan!!
Yes, certainly keep it bookmarked for those binge days :) It’s worth breaking a few rules for, trust me. It would also make a terrific, unique birthday cake, though (and you know what they say – calories don’t count on your birthday!). I used a steak knife to test if it was finished. If it came out with batter on it, then it wasn’t done yet. If it was clean, then you’re good to go! You can also tell by whether the top of the cake bounces back with your touch and if it isn’t liquidy anymore. A glass bundt pan would be beautiful, but it still wouldn’t show you if the inside was cooked… too bad!
Re: the custard powder. I’m not too sure about that one. It has to be something that is heavier than the cake itself so it sinks to the bottom…All I can recommend here is to look at the cooking instructions/times for whatever substitute you use and plan from there. Sorry I can’t be of more help!
I thought so too. Custard wouldnt switch places with cake batter. And the flavours wouldn’t work well either. Condensed milk is way more divinely sinful (oxymoronish!) !!
Btw, do you think the flan layer could be made with just custard powder or instant cream caramel? Too much of condensed milk seems heavy, and cream cheese together- my guilt will kill the fudge flan!
I cannot believe you had the patience to refrigerate that before you ate it. That looks like heaven on a plate.
Haha, me neither! But trust me, it’s totally worth the wait – it’s delicious cold! Thanks for your comment, Amalia. :)
Wow, the two most womanly sides of me are at war. The side that tries to exercise and the side that seeks fudge. INCREDIBLE.
The fudge side should ALWAYS win!! Thanks for the comment :)
It’s so pretttyyyy!! and ffffffffa fa fa faaantastic
Thank you! It was very pretty, but not pretty enough to prevent it from being eaten at a menacingly fast pace :)