The chocoFlan!

A decadent recipe! First try first success! Could not believe it! I have to say that I was quite sceptical about the fact the 2 phases chocolate cake and flan will swap positions during the baking but yes! It worked! The recipe recommended to use a bundt tin but because I did not have any, I chose to use my angel cake forgotten that it has a removable base… big mistake! a part of my flan finished in the bain-marie, next time the layer of flan will be a little bit bigger … practise makes perfect!

Une recette surprenante qui vient pourrait bien être en passe de devenir ce que fut le flan coco antillais des années 80! J’étais un peu sceptique en lisant la recette puisqu’on doit dans un premier temps preparer le gateau au chocolat et on verse ensuite le flan dessus! Comment se fait-il que les phases puissent s’inverser lors de la cuisson? Je me suis donc penchée sur la question et je tente une explication scientifique à la fin de ce post!

Prep 10 min
Cook 1 hr
Cool 2 hr-plus
Serves 10-12

160g caramel sauce (thick set), I used Waitrose salted caramel dipping sauce

160g sauce caramel (Vahiné)

For the chocolate cake
120g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
250g self raising flour + 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
70g cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
100g dark muscovado sugar
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
200ml buttermilk

Pour le cake au chocolat

120 g beurre à temperature ambiante, 250g farine, 1/2 paquet de levure chimique, 1/2 cc bicarbonate, 70g cacao en poudre, 1/4 cc sel, 100g cassonade, 125g sucre cristallisé, 2 oeufs, 1 yaourt nature mélangé type Danone mélangé du lait (1 pot de yaourt) (cela remplace le Buttermilk.

For the flan
400g tin evaporated milk
397g tin sweetened condensed milk
120g full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
¼ tsp saltP

Pour le Flan

400g de lait concentré non sucré, 400g lait concentré sucré, 120g Philadelphia, 3 oeufs, 1 gousse de vanille gratée (ou 1 sachet sucre vanillé), 1/4 cc sel



Heat the oven to 170C (160C fan). Grease a 27cm bundt tin with butter, then coat the bottom with half the caramel sauce and put the tin into a larger roasting tin about 40cm x 28cm in size.

Préchauffer le four à 170 degrés four traditionnel ou 160 degrés chaleur tournante. Graisser un moule et ajouter la sauce caramel (Vahiné)

1-Sift the flour, bicarb, cocoa powder and salt into a medium bowl.

1-Tamiser la farine, la levure chimique, le bicarbonate, le sel et le cacao en poudre.

2- Put the butter and both sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes, until light and fluffy.

2- Placer le beurre, les sucres dans le bol de votre mixeur muni du batteur plat. Mixer à moyenne vitesse pendant 2 minutes.

3- Beat in the eggs one at a time only until just incorporated, then turn the speed to medium-low.

3- Ajouter les oeufs un à un.

4- Mix in a third of the flour mixture and half the buttermilk, then repeat before adding the last of the flour. Mix until everything is just incorporated, then transfer to the bundt tin, smoothing out the top with the back of a spoon.

4- Ajouter petit à petit le mélange farine-cacao, alterner avec le melange yaourt-lait et continuer jusqu’à épuisement des ingredients.

For the FLAN:

Pour le Flan

5- For the flan batter, blitz all the ingredients in a blender until smooth – about 15 seconds.

5- Mettre tous les ingrédients dans le blender, mixer pendant 15 secondes.

6- Pour the flan batter over the cake batter in the tin, then cover the bundt tin first with a piece of greaseproof paper and then with a piece of foil, wrapping it up tightly.

6- Transvaser le liquide sur le cake au chocolat, couvrir avec un papier cuisson puis ajouter du papier aluminium au dessus.

7-Add enough boiling water to the roasting tin to come about 2cm up the sides of the bundt tin, then transfer to the oven and bake for an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out almost clean.

7- Preparer un bain-marie et déposer le gateau. Cuire pendant une heure. Le mien a mis 50 minutes donc je vous conseille de verifier la cuisson avec un couteau.

8- Let it cool down for at least 2 hours in the fridge before releasing it from the tin. Drizzle with more caramel sauce if you like.

8- Laisser refroidir pendant au moins 2 heures puis dans le réfrigérateur.


How can you explain that the 2 phases swope during the baking?

Our first impression would be that the chocolate mix is heavier than the flan, so why does it flip during baking?

It is all about Chemistry and Acid-Base reaction!

Baking soda contained in self raising flour is alkali (pH bigger than 7), the buttermilk is acidic (pH smaller than 7). When those 2 are mixed together a neutralisation’s reaction occurs and releases a gas : Carbon dioxide CO2.

Once the mixture is heated more gas is formed as the rate of the reaction increases. The gas is trapped within batters and expands upon baking.

The lighter cake layer rises and the denser flan layer is!

Note that the water-bath is capital to make it happen, to make sure that it is a nice and homogeneous heat that will also help to the coagulation of proteins in the flan.


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