"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Choco-Flan Cake with Caramel Sauce

"Divine!" was how one of my co-workers described this cake as she was recommending it for our other co-workers to try. I brought it to work when I was on duty on Easter Day.

Our unit secretary asked for the recipe.

It does not only look beautiful and tempting, it is one exquisitely delectable dessert that looks hard to prepare. However, I used a cake mix for the chocolate cake. So it wasn't really that hard, especially if you plan ahead. The nice thing about it is, you can prepare this 2-3 days prior to serving.

Everyone who has tasted it loved it. The only exception is my husband, because he does not like deviating much from his traditional favorites. He'd rather have the (boxed) chocolate cake with the traditional chocolate frosting.

I did not have any trouble embracing this "deviation" since the procedure is so much like that of the (Filipino) custard cake.

I gave a big slice (good for 2-3 people) to my good friend Anna, and within minutes, she had finished the whole thing.

I got inspired to create my own version of choco flan cake when I saw a photo of it posted by my fb friend Dixie. I thought it was soooo pretty, and got intrigued as to the taste -- how flan would go with chocolate cake.

For the flan part, my procedure is same as for leche flan, but I made a slight change in the recipe as a result of collaboration with an fb friend Celia.

The result was heavenly!

- For caramel sauce #1 (in the cake) -
1/4 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

- For caramel sauce #2 (to pour on cake) -
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy or whipping cream

- For the flan -
1 can condensed milk
1 can evap milk
3 eggs
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla

- For chocolate cake -
1 package Devil's Food cake mix (I used Pillsbury)
1 & 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar


~ For the caramel sauce #1 ~Melt butter on medium low heat. Add brown sugar and stir continuously until gooey. Add the whipping/heavy cream and continue stirring until you achieve a syrupy consistency. You may even want to reach the boiling point, and that is fine.

Spray your bundt pan with oil (I use the butter-flavored Pam spray.). Pour some caramel sauce into the bundt pan to about 1/4 inch thickness (just approximate). If your bundt pan is not big enough for the whole mixture (like mine), have 2-3 ramekins ready as well. You will have three layers in this cake - thin caramel sauce layer, thick flan layer and thick chocolate cake layer.

Make the caramel sauce #2 in the same manner. This sauce will be thinner than #1. Combine this with the leftover caramel sauce #1. Transfer while warm into a ceramic or other non-metallic container that will be okay for microwaving later.

Pour tap-cold water into a 9x13 deep lasagna pan enough so it will come up about one inch the sides of the bundt pan and ramekins. Place the bundt pan/ramekins in the water bath.

~ For the flan ~
Place evap milk into the blender. Add the cream cheese and blend well using pulse setting. Add the eggs, condensed milk and vanilla. Beat on pulse setting until well blended. Set aside.

~ For the chocolate cake ~
Measure the water and oil and place in a cup. Separate egg yolks from the white. Place the yolks together with oil and water. Place egg whites in a big mixing bowl.

Empty the contents of cake mix in a mixing bowl. Make a well at the center. Place liquid ingredients in the center. Using handheld mixer, blend well for about 1-2 minutes and set aside. Meanwhile, start beating the white on moderate speed with a balloon whisk using stand mixer. Slowly add the 1/4 cup sugar into the whites when foamy, and beat on high until glossy and stiff. (The sugar helps stabilize it.)

Fold the whites into the cake batter. This will help lighten the cake batter so that it will float.

Pre-heat oven to 325 °F.

Pour the leche flan into the prepared pans to about half the thickness or less of the whole cake. Next, gently pour the chocolate cake onto the flan. If you folded the whites good, this batter should float.

Bake the ramekins for about 45 minutes then take out (for some reason, the glass ramekins take long; maybe shorter for metal ramekins). Bake the bundt pan for another 15-20 minutes or until the cake is done (cracked on top and sounds hollow when tapped). (Adjust your baking time if you have larger bundt pan.). Take out of the oven and let sit on a cooling wire rack. IMPORTANT: Let them cool to room temperature completely, as the flan continues to cook in the residual heat. If you try to eat them while still warm, the flan will be runny.

Once fully cooled to room temperature, chill in the fridge at least overnight. This stage is important as well, because the chilling stage helps the flan set. Place your caramel sauce (for pouring) in the fridge as well.

When ready to serve, place some warm water into a pan and warm the bottom of the bundt pan for a while to somehow melt the caramel sauce (I should have done this with mine but I forgot due to excitement). Invert onto a cake pan. Microwave the caramel sauce for 30 seconds and give it a stir. Pour caramel sauce onto the cake for tempting appearance and reserve some for serving.

WARNING: This is so rich that a thin slice will fill you up quickly (although our unit secretary had to control herself from hogging the whole thing, according to her.)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


When I first baked this challah, I chose it from breadworld.com because of how pretty it looked like. I know how to braid hair (I used to braid my hair whenever it would grow long since my high school days). And when I made this fancy looking bread for supper, my husband's comment was that it was like pastry. When I first tasted it, it reminded me somewhat of how ensaymada tasted like, but not quite.

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