The Minx: Faux Flancocho!

TAGS: taste teste, metal minx, Faux Flancocho, caramel, cake, bundt, dessert, chocolate, The Minx, hannah johnson, recipe

"Splurgin' Saturday" Dessert Recipe

flan2

So, I’m calling this “Faux Flancocho” because I’ve modified about 90% of the original recipe. Traditional Flancocho is made with a ton of eggs and evaporated milk, and it uses cajeta, which is like a homemade caramel sauce.

I should note, though, that the first time I make a new recipe I follow the instructions exactly. I then invite all of my neighbors over for a taste-testing party, write down any feedback they offer, and then modify the recipe appropriately based on their suggestions and my personal taste. (My Mama used to call this technique “doctoring” a recipe).

Well, by now I’ve made this recipe approximately five times. The first few attempts were okay, but the several noted taste tester comments of, "I'm not a fan of the flan," “The dominating flavor is egg,” “The caramel is gloppy,” “I wish it tasted more like cheesecake,” and “The cake part is too dry" pushed me to keep attempting to find the right ingredients to make it absolutely delicious. (Although, I also wrote down "Find New Taste Testers"). While I considered not attempting any more variations of this (and telling everyone to go eat someone else’s dessert), I was the one asking for feedback. So I just said something like, “Y’alls comments are duly noted...taste testing time is over,” and I opened the front door.

By the end of the day I ended up scratching the flan ingredients and replacing them with my personal favorite dense cheesecake recipe. I also flipped the ratio of brown and white sugar to complement the caramel topping and omitted two of the eggs in the cake mix, which resulted in a fudgy, moist layer of cake that was compared to ganache by one of my testers. I also used very thick, spoon-able Hershey’s caramel in a jar instead of the cajeta since it would sometimes come out grainy and “gloppy.”

Last night’s taste testing consistently received reviews like, “This is better than anything I’ve ever had in a restaurant” and “HOW did you make this?” So, I figured it was time to share the recipe with you, my dear readers…

You Will Need:

  • Two clean hands
  • Bundt pan (Sorry, this is Not optional…You really need one this time)
  • One jar of thick caramel (I tested with Hershey’s)
  • One box of cake mix (I tested with Pillsbury Pudding In The Mix Devil’s Food)
  • 4 Blocks (8oz each) of softened cream cheese
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 C Packed brown sugar
  • ½ C White sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch

Time to Get Down and Dirty:

flan7 Careful, this stuff is like crack for us foodies...

First of all, wash your hands. Then, grease your bundt pan and spoon the caramel evenly into the bottom of the pan. (I personally make this the first step so that I can lick the spoon). After you are done, put said spoon in the sink and resist the urge to tip the pan up and drink the caramel…

Beat your cream cheese, two sugars, and cornstarch for several minutes (until absolutely no lumps remain). Remember: brown sugar is notorious for small chunks, so smush them with your spatula against the side of the bowl and beat some more...

flan6 The beatings will continue 'til morale improves...

Add the four eggs one at a time, beating slowly until just combined and then set your cheesecake mixture aside.

Next, prepare your box of cake mix according to the directions (except for the eggs). I’m hoping you made this easy for us and used the Pillsbury mix like I did because boxed mix ingredients can vary widely. I did, however, use only one egg here (the mix calls for three). This will result in a very thick batter that you’ll have to paddle in the pan with a spatula. (Not the spoon that you probably still have hanging out the side of your mouth...)

flan5 The perfect marriage of flavors...

Now, see those little bubbles in the cheesecake mixture? We’re about to hurt their feelings because there’s no place for them in our cake. Raise the bowl about three inches off the counter and then drop it straight down, directly on the bottom of the bowl. (Now I'm talking about the bottom, not the edge. Otherwise, we’ll all have to wait while you clean up and start over). This should make a nice, loud SMACK! I recommend dropping the bowl at least three times to burst any air pockets hiding in the batter. While it's impossible to get all the bubbles out, you really want to cut down on the number of large air pockets—these can make your cake sink and look ugly. You can also have some fun and loudly say things like, “Now, straighten up!” or “I told you not to…” Then when your husband yells from upstairs, “What the blank is that noise?” Holler: “You better shut up, or you’re next!” Then drop the bowl again for emphasis and time how long it takes for him to get downstairs. Then, of course, say sorry and ask him if he wants to lick the cake mix/cheesecake bowls and/or spatulas.

Once you're done taking out your anger, carefully paddle the thick cake batter on top of the caramel in the bottom of your pan and then slowly pour the cheesecake mixture over the cake batter. In the original recipe, the flan mixture is very thin and somewhat incorporates itself into the cake batter. However, while cooking it magically “switch places” so that the flan ends up on top with cake on the bottom. Well, sorry kids, but ours ain’t gonna be magic like that. Ours will end up just like we put it in, only upside down. But it will be incredibly delicious, so let’s carry on…

flan4 Not magic... but magically delicious!
flan3 Water baths are like spa treatments...for cake

Now, cover your pan tightly with foil. No, really...give it the business. You need to push down around the center hole in the pan, or you’ll end up with a spongy cake and excess batter wasted into your water bath. Then, place the pan in a roaster or casserole dish. Add hot water until it is about an inch high on the side of your Bundt pan and bake it for an hour at 350 degrees.

After an hour, turn the oven off and let the cake cool in the oven for at least another hour. (I usually wait until the oven is almost completely cool). Then, refrigerate overnight, still keeping it tightly covered. (It will feel like waiting for Christmas morning...I ate my first piece at 5 a.m. yesterday morning).

Then, carefully remove the foil and run a butter knife around the edges of the pan. Invert the pan onto a large serving plate—most of the caramel will come out and ooze over the cake, but you can scrape the pan with a spatula (yet another lick-the-utensil opportunity) and also top each piece with more caramel as you serve.

flan2 Suck It, Paula Deen!

NOW ENJOY!

This dessert has a spectacular presentation factor with only a moderate amount of effort, and I would love to hear your personal feedback and any modifications to this recipe!

 

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