The Impossible Chocoflan – and giving thanks to fellow-bloggers!

As another year draws to a close, I can’t help but recall my early blogging experiences which started around April of this year.  We had just returned from a vacation in Brazil, and at the time decided my very first post would feature Brazil.  I did not know what I was doing then or where I was going in the blogging world.  A few friends encouraged me to try it, and a good friend actually got me started on WordPress.  I knew I always wanted to document my thoughts, ideas, photos, recipes, travel adventures, gardening etc, and what better way, than to have it all assembled in one place?   Not only have I met so many interesting folks from around the world via this medium, but I’ve also learned so much along the way.  I feel like I’ve improved my photography skills; I’m now curious about aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc, words that meant nothing to me in the past.  I try to refine and boost my food styling skills for each post.  I attempt various recipes from other bloggers that I would not ordinarily have tried before.  I reach bloggers who write about gardening, travel and other subjects that interest me, all the while enhancing and enriching my very own site.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give thanks to a few bloggers who made all this possible, helping me along the way, sending encouragement, praise, motivation and inspiration.   When I first made contact with Selma @ Selma’s Table, she was only too willing to help out.  She provided me with sites, links, and other information to get me started on WordPress.  We struck up a bond right away, we both grew up in Kenya, had lived in Canada and also England and had oodles to talk about.  She’s still my go-to person whenever I am stuck with a technical question, or really any problem that arises with WP.  Her blog is brilliant, full of amazing tips and tricks from her kitchen.  Special thanks also to Nancy @ Feasting with Friends.  When Nancy and I co-hosted one of the Fiesta Friday parties, she took time to email me, instruct me on many areas and generally provided additional information on WP, her blog too is wonderful.  Angie @ The Novice Gardener hosts Fiesta Friday, it’s a virtual party where folks from near and far mingle, exchange recipes, and try out new ones.  Her posts are top-notch, her props so vibrant, her photography inspiring.  Angie is always welcoming and so willing to help.  Thanks also to each and everyone of the other bloggers out there who follow my posts, I do appreciate the warmth, friendship, and encouragement that you’ve poured, I truly am indebted.  I’m positively inspired by all your blogs.  Now, I don’t feel like an amateur anymore, I can help new bloggers and make them feel more welcome.  Best wishes to each and everyone of you for 2015, may we continue to meet via this medium.

Today, I’m posting a recipe that I tried from one of Angie’s posts called The Impossible Chocoflan.  I just knew when I first saw Angie’s post that I would be trying this heavenly dessert.  The pictures below will show you the magic and gorgeousness of this dessert, part chocolate cake and part flan, what’s not to love? But don’t take my word for it, just try it out for yourself.  It is fairly rich,  I’d definitely make it again, but only on special occasions.  It is almost magical how the layers get reversed – the cake and flan layers flip themselves in the baking process.  You pour the cake batter first into the ramekins, then the flan batter on top of it.  During the baking, somehow the cake will rise to the top and the flan will sink to the bottom – something to do with density I believe?  Watch the magic unfold when you flip it over, go on, give it a try.

The caramel layer –  servings 8-9

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar and the water.
  2. Heat on medium-high, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling.
  3. Stop stirring and allow syrup to continue boiling until it turns amber (about 6 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat immediately and pour about a tablespoon into a 4-oz. ramekins and roll around to coat the sides of the cups.

The cake layer

  • 2 oz. (1/3 cup) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tbsp (half a stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter and microwave for 30-second increments, stirring in between, until mixture is melted and smooth.
  3. Add sugar, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract and whisk until everything is well blended.
  4. Add flour mixture and stir until incorporated.
  5. 5. Pour into ramekins, on top of the caramel.

The flan layer

  • 4 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup 1% milk
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • You can either place all the flan ingredients in a blender and process until smooth or use a whisk or hand-held mixer.
  • Strain to avoid any lumps.
  • Pour slowly and carefully over the cake batter.

Place the ramekins in a large roasting pan.  Pour hot water around the cups to come halfway up their sides.  Bake in a 350deg F oven for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

IMG_2296Remove ramekins from the hot water bath and place them on a rack to cool.  When completely cool, cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  To unmold, run a small metal spatula around the sides of each cup.  Place a flat serving plate on top and invert Chocoflan onto the plate.  Lift off the ramekins.  The caramel sauce will flow down the sides of the Chocoflan, or drizzle more caramel before serving.  Decorate with candied nuts or fruits.  Makes 8-9 mini (4-oz) chocoflans.

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Oh sooooo good!

 

 

 

62 comments

  1. Wonderful post Loretta! We got started at abut the same time and found people that were so helpful to us. I agree on your A list of helpers too. Your flan looks amazing, and your pictures are gorgeous. I cringe at my first photos and am having fun learning more about photography. Have a Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for those encouraging words Julie. Yes, I recall starting around the same time as you. Your blog is wonderful, and I agree, we’ve been inspired by so many great blogs out there haven’t we? I have actually just signed up for Blogging 101 which starts on Monday. It’s a 4 week free course, I hope to learn a lot more and improve my site. Take a look and see if it is something you might benefit from too. Happy New Year 2015.

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      1. I did Blogging 101 when I had been blogging about one or two months. I knew nothing at the time and it was very helpful. I also met so many wonderful bloggers in the same boat as me. I just did 201 in November and a wordpress class on photography. I got so busy that I wasn’t the best student, but will definitely do the photography class again. I have so many things I want to do. Where can I find the time? Well maybe if I would get off the computer I might find the time? 🙂 Good Luck Loretta!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh gosh you’re already giant steps ahead of me. Well, it’s good to know that you benefited from 101. I’d love to take the wordpress class on photography. If you have a link where I can join up in the future, that would be real helpful. I should also link my blog to Pinterest, I have an account there, but don’t use it as much as I should. Is it fairly simple to post your blog on Pinterest? Yes, you can just get so lost on here can’t you?

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  2. So glad you made this flan Loretta as I have been wanting to as well, but a different version. I mentioned to Angie when she first posted hers that I had read an article about why this amazing thing happens, switching of layers. She suggested I write a post about it and I have not done that – now you have given me a reason to do so. Yours turned out beautifully, the one I will be making is one flan not individual ones so we shall see. Happy New Year to you and your family 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judi. Yes, we will definitely be awaiting your post on the magic of this sweet dessert. It really was quite fun to make. I too wanted to make one big one, but Angie’s post tempted me to invest in some ramekins for my kitchen, something I’ve always wanted. It does tend to get a bit fussy with the little bowls, so I’m sure yours will be just great. Let me know how it turns out. A very Happy New Year to you and your family as well xoxo

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  3. Thanks Linda, give it a try, you’ll love making it, it’s quite magical the way it flips itself in the baking process. Happy New Year to you and your family as well xoxo

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  4. Looks like you nailed that impossible chocoflan, Loretta… it looks delish! It happens to be on my list of recipes to try. 🙂
    Thank you so much for the very kind words. ❤ I think Angie knew what she was doing when she paired us up for FF… she helped create another great friendship! I look forward to seeing where 2015 takes your blog… Happy New Year!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy New Year to you, Loretta! I’ve really enjoyed ‘meeting’ you via our blogs – it’s been such a pleasure! I look forward to seeing more from you next year! Oh, and it looks like you got Angie’s flan down, pat! c

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks Selma, my feelings are mutual. It’s been such a pleasure :). Yes, I definitely plan to broaden my blogging skills next year. In the meantime, wishing you and Jake the best for 2015. Hopefully, I’ll see you in the New Year in England 🙂

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  7. Found it Loretta but it requires the knowledge of need to click the comment box and then scrolling through all the comments to get to the comment window. I was motivated to comment but I wonder if others are not bothering? Would be a shame as you produce such lovely and worthwhile work.

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    1. Johanne, now you’ve really got me confused :)). Actually I randomly tried other blogger sites, and the same thing happens – you scroll all the way to the bottom to reach each of their the comment boxes. I tried yours too, and I had to scroll to the bottom to get to your comment box. If there are 55 responses, it takes a while I know. I wonder if there’s a way to get the comment box right under the post? Perhaps some other bloggers will be able to tell us. Thanks anyway!

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  8. Loretta,
    Amazing post on the choco flan! Your blog is amazing!
    Where are you doing the blogging 101? A newbie like me could learn a lot. I joined one at my towns evening education program but did not find the instructor very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sandhya, you’re so kind. I consider myself a newbie too after seeing all those professional bloggers out there. But, I guess it’s great that we’ve started and are anxious to learn more. I found the Blogging 101 announcement on the Reader. I registered for it, but haven’t received a confirmation. It starts on Monday, 5th and runs for about 4 weeks and it’s free! Hopefully we’ll meet there soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for the information, Loretta. I will try and find it. If I cannot do it this time, I will do it the next time. Do let me know how you like it.
        I am definitely learning so much everyday with so many talented bloggers, you included.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. It has been so wonderful ‘meeting’ you Loretta! I have really enjoyed your awesome creations as well as your encouragement. This flan has been on my to-make list ever since Angie made it! Yours came out just fabulous! Happy New Year ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your chocoflan looks fabulous, Loretta! The caramel layer looks perfect. That amber color is sometimes hard to achieve. You have to stop cooking the caramel just right or else it would burn, am I right? Thanks for the kind words. It’s been such a fantastic blogging journey for us, isn’t it? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Angie, you’re a dear! Yes, I think caramel deserves one’s undivided attention, or it could literally scorch and burn. I’ve had a few bloggers comment on how much they too have wanted to try your chocoflan recipe, and now this gives them cause to brave it :).

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  11. I have wanted to make this dessert but haven’t had the courage to! This looks amazing and so yummy! It is nerve wrecking coming into the blogging world but I am very glad I found your website through FF! 🙂 Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement Sadia, the dessert sure was a mystery how it flipped over in the baking process, and yes you must give it a try. By the way, last night I made your coriander/tomato chicken with a slightly adapted version, it was really good – I’ll post sometime soon. 🙂

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    1. Thanks Michelle, yes a number of folks have been wanting to try it since Angie posted, and my post has given them cause to go for it :). Happy New Year to you, may we continue to meet via this medium 🙂

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  12. Awe now I found this post you mentioned and so glad you mentioned it. Yes it’s been a real experience blogging over the last year and we have all been together through it, you mention all the people I know and it’s such a great community. I consider you all far more expert than me at all the cooking but always know that i am welcomed too, to join in 🙂

    Keep up the fantastic work and that pudding looks fab! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting Justine. I think we all learn from each other on here don’t you? You should not consider yourself less of an expert, I’ve seen some of your cooking posts and they have all been very good. I’m taking a Blogging 101 post by WordPress tomorrow, hopefully I’ll learn some new tips to make my blog “pop” :). Hope to see you around soon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I love how this is the second Angie based recipe at this fiesta friday! Your impossible chocoflan came out beautifully, and I’m sure it will be eaten up quickly at the fiesta. Thank you so much for bringing it, and happy 2015!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kaila, I was rather pleased with the results too, although I’ll probably make a larger one instead of the individual ramekins the next time, as it tends to be a bit time-consuming. Thanks for co-hosting, I hope you had a good time with everyone. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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