This post is being sponsored by Nordic Ware featuring their absolutely 70th Anniversary Crown Bundt. All opinions of this ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL pan are mine. So several weeks ago I arrived home to a box on my front porch. Now 99% of the time it’s something that Mr. Fantabulous ordered for his company. However this time it was to me. Now the box was marked with the Nordic Ware logo which meant awesomeness was inside the box however Mr. Fantabulous was starving and lord knows that man needs sustenance or else he may wither away. Yeah, he’s that spoiled. LOL, So the box had to be set off to the side until dinner was done.
Finally, it was time to open the box and folks let me tell you what, when I saw that glimmer of gold shine through I got the biggest smile on my face ever. You don’t understand how excited I was to receive this pan. Now we all know that I have a huge love for Nordic Ware. It’s a brand that has been around for 70 years (they are actually celebrating their 70th Anniversary now!), it’s one that not only I trust but one that my mom and grandmother trusted. Even though I’ve only been one of their brand ambassadors for a little over a year now, they’ve been a part of my life for generations so to me they are family. And what better way to celebrate family and an anniversary than with a cake!
However given the true beauty of this pan, not just any cake would do. Oh no, no, no. For a pan to be named “Crown Bundt” it needed a cake that is as royal and befitting as the title so that being said I give you the Dulce de Leche Chocoflan.
I only ever had this dessert once in my life about 25 years ago and it was at this little Mexican restaurant off the beaten path in the middle of no where. We were starving, the place looked shady but again, we were starving. Folks let me tell you what, it was in that moment I learned to never judge a restaurant by its cover. That had to be one of the best restaurants I had ever eaten at. They weren’t busy at all so the owners came over to talk with us in very broken English however one thing we did understand was food. We talked about ingredients, flavors and ways their grandmothers taught them how to make certain items. By the time it came to order dessert I declined as I was positively stuffed however the owner’s wife insisted I try her chocoflan. I looked at her and said “You’re what? What’s a chocoflan?”
She explained that in her family it was a traditional cake made around holidays and for celebrations. It’s a blend of 3 different flavors and textures – you have your cajeta (dulce de leche or caramel sauce), your intense chocolate cake, and then your flan. Flan, for those that aren’t familiar, is a baked egg custard dish that is typically coated in a caramel sauce. When it’s done baking, the dish is inverted onto a plate and the caramel sauce that was at the bottom of the pan drips down over the top of the silky egg custard.
She explained that this dish can be a bit labor intensive as it does involve 2 batters and is best served the next day as it needs to be cold as you want the flan to set. When you serve it, you would slice the chocoflan and then pour warm cajeta sauce over top. Cajeta is a Mexican confection of thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelized goat’s milk.
When she served us, she actually brought out the whole cake to show what it looks like and how it’s served. Hers was made in a loaf pan. She sliced a thin slice and then poured the cajeta over top. Seeing it drizzle down over top was truly stunning.
Speaking of stunning.. check out this video of my pouring over Dulce de Leche. Looks pretty delicious, huh? Trust me, it’s BEYOND delicious!
But before I continue I need to rave more about this pan. Honestly you need to buy 2 of these! One for yourself and one for your favorite foodie in your life. This pan is jaw dropping! And the fact that it’s Nordic Ware’s 70th Anniversary pan, you NEED this!
For 70 years as a family owned and operated company, Nordic Ware has proudly produced quality kitchenware products, primarily made in America. From humble beginnings, Nordic Ware has become an internationally distributed brand with a variety of collections, hundreds of products and millions of fans. In celebration of this exciting achievement, they are releasing three new exclusive shapes inspired by Scandinavian roots and favorite designs in a special gold-metallic finish. 70 years is remarkable and the fact that’s family owned and operated is incredible!
So back to my story… even though I was positively stuffed I was in awe of this cake. I couldn’t figure out how she kept saying you bake them at the same time in the same pan that it actually worked. But it did! That first bite… unlike any flavor/texture combination I have ever had. It was surreal and honestly life-changing.
Of course, I immediately asked her how she made it so she started to explain but I kept stopping her “Wait, what do you mean you put the cake batter down first and then the flan??? That’s not possible as it’s on the top now!” but she swore up and down that’s how you did it. For years I thought it was just a language barrier between her and I – her broken English and my having zero understanding of Spanish. As we were leaving she gave me such a big hug and told us to stop back, that we made their night. A few years later we stopped by there but sadly they closed down.
Since then I’ve only made this cake a handful of times as, while it’s not really that labor intensive, it does require you to follow many steps and make 2 batters. Think of it like you’re making a cake from scratch and a custard from scratch. Not a big deal. The only difference, is you have to make them in the same recipe. But folks, the outcome is probably one of the best desserts you’ll ever make. This, THIS, this is your WOW FACTOR dessert! If you ever want to impress someone, make this.
When I’ve made this in the past I’ve only ever made it in a standard Nordic Ware bundt pan – nothing with such distinct lines or patterns. But with this pan, it deserved something royal. The first thing you must do is coat the inside of the pan with melted unsalted butter. Use a pastry brush and coat every single crevice. Do not use non-stick spray or spray with flour. No, you just want plain melted butter.
Next, this recipe makes more batter than what the pan can hold. The pan holds 10 cups where my recipe calls for a 12-15 cup bundt pan however no worries as I tell you to just get 2-4 eight-ounce ramekins and butter them. Please – mini chocoflans?! No one will complain about this!
Yes, you really do pour the cake batter in first THEN the flan batter. I found it easiest when pouring the batter over top of the cake batter to actually pour it over the back of a large serving spoon. It made it fall slower over the cake batter so as to not have the raw cake batter rise or mix into it.
When filling your pans you need to leave about a 1/2″ of space at the top as the cake will bake and rise up. Also, you must bake these in a water bath method or bain-marie. The water bath works by absorbing the heat and distributing it gently and evenly around the custard. By doing this you’re not “scrambling” your eggs in the custard.
Full transparency here I was a bit nervous about making this in a pan that had such distinct crevices but I trust in Nordic Ware and in the generations, they’ve been in my family they’ve never let me down. A little over an hour and the chocoflan was done. One thing that is different about making this chocoflan and your traditional cake is you must let it cool completely in the pan before you try and remove it.
When it’s cool to touch all you do is place a large plate over top, invert and give it a few shakes to help loosen it. Gravity will do the rest. Now if you want, before you invert it you can pick up the pan and give it a few jiggle shakes to help loosen it. Think of it as chocoflan-aerobics. LOL Work off those calories before you eat!
Finally the moment of truth…did it stick? Would it work out? Did I just conquer the Impossible Cake?
As you can tell by the 987 yes, it came out PERFECT with all that luscious Dulce de Leche seeping down over top of the flan and down the sides of the chocolate cake. But wait.. didn’t we put the cake batter down first next to the Dulce de Leche??? How’d that happen? MAGIC folks, magic! No, actually it has to do with the fact that there is leavening (baking soda) in the cake batter. When you combine baking soda and buttermilk you produce almost a gas which makes the cake lighter. As it bakes, the heavier batter falls to the bottom of the pan (flan) and the lighter batter rises to the top (cake).
As I was taking these photos I was positively beaming from ear to ear. There are very few times in my TKW life where I honestly want to brag about “hey look what I made!” but this, this is one time where I just want to show every single person alive this cake and these pictures. I’m just so proud of myself and truly thankful for Nordic Ware bringing me into their family and allowing me to share my creativity with the world.
A few hours later after the photo shoot from the kitchen, I hear “OMG WOW! HONEY! What is that?!” I just sat at my desk beaming from ear to ear. As I walked out to the kitchen he was standing there, the fridge door with his eyes as big as silver dollars. He pulled it out and just stood there staring. I couldn’t contain myself and I just immediately started to smile. He said “Baby, whatever this is, this is truly a thing of beauty! It’s literally the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. Just wow!
… can we eat it?” LOL Since I wanted the big one to chill for 24 hours we split one of the smaller ramekins and well, I got almost 2 bites of it. He went full-on caveman on me with this just raving over and over how unbelievable it was. I just grinned and said, “wait until tomorrow, it’ll be even better!” And I was right. Since I was working from home we had some for a lunch snack and seriously mid eating this he put his fork down and gave me the biggest kiss on my cheek telling me how lucky he was not only to have me as his wife but to have a wife than can make this.
So yes you need this pan and you need to make this recipe. Is it a bit more advanced than my other recipes? Yes but it’s so worth it!Print
- 2 cups warmed Dulce de Leche (or caramel sauce)
- 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter (for coating the pan)
- 10 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 XL egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon chocolate extract
- 3/4 cup AP flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoon black/dark cocoa powder (can use all dutch if you don’t have this)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoon buttermilk
White Chocolate Flan
- 4 XL eggs
- 4 ounces full fat cream cheese, at room temp (you want it soft)
- 4 ounces melted white chocolate, cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 14-ounce can of condensed milk
- 12-ounce can evaporate milk
- Preheat the oven to 350F, with the rack in a middle.
- Brush the Nordic Ware Crown pan with 1 Tablespoon of melted butter ensuring every crevice inside is coated; set aside. Since you’ll have extra batters, brush 3 8” ramekins with butter. I find the best way to coat this pan is to dip a pastry brush into the melted butter then paint the inside of the pan.
- Boil water (I did about 10 cups) – enough to go up 1 1/2” up the sides of the crown pan and 1/2” way up the ramekins
Make the Cake
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter and white sugar for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- While the butter is creaming in a separate bowl sift together the ap flour, cake flour, both cocoa flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder; set aside.
- With the mixer on low add in the egg and chocolate extract and beat until combined.
- Turn the mixer off and add 1/3rd of the flour mixture. Turn the mixer on low just to barely combine.
- With the mixer running add in 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix just until barely combined scraping down the sides.
- Repeat by adding another third of the flour, mixing until combined followed by the rest of the milk and the rest of the flour.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer, scrape down the sides and bottom. Remove 2 cups of batter to a smaller bowl and set aside. Set the larger bowl aside.
Make the White Chocolate Flan
- In a blender add the 4 eggs, softened cream cheese, white chocolate, vanilla, condensed milk and evaporated milk.
- Blend on high for 1 minute exactly.
- Place the Crown pan inside a larger pan that is at least 2” deep pan as you’ll be baking this with a water bath method. I found using a metal 9×13” pan was fine. Do the same with the ramekins – again a 9×13” metal pan works well.
- Place 1/2 cup of the warmed Dulce de Leche in the bottom of the Crown pan. Take 3 tablespoon of the Dulce de Leche and place into the bottom of the ramekins
- Carefully spread the large bowl of cake batter into the pan trying to get it in evenly.
- Take the small bowl of batter and divide that between the 3 ramekins. Take the batter no more than 1/2 way up the side of the ramekins. If need be, use a fourth.
- Slowly pour the flan batter over the back of a large serving spoon into the crown pan taking it no more than 1/2” from the top. You need that 1/2” of space.
- Pour the remaining flan batter into the ramekins leaving a 1/4” space at the top.
- Cover the Crown pan with buttered foil as well as each ramekin. (butter the foil and place buttered side down)
- Place the larger pans (each should contain the batter filled Crown pan and the ramekins) into the oven.
- Carefully pour the hot water into the larger pans taking the water up 1 1/2” up the sides of the Crown pan and 1/2 way up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake the ramekins for 50 minutes (do not peak) and the Crown pan for 70 minutes (again no peaking!).
- When done, carefully remove the pans from the oven (remember there is hot water so be careful!).
- Remove the foil and place the Crown pan and ramekins on a cooling rack.
- Allow to cool completely.
- To unmold grab the Crown pan and gently shimmy shake the pan from side to side and up and down lightly to help loosen it.
- Place a larger plate on top of the crown pan, in one swift movement invert the pan and plate so the plate is on the bottom and gently pull up. If the cake doesn’t slide out just gently shake the cake and plate up and down. It’ll slide out.
- For the ramekins I find taking a small thin blade around the edges helps it slide out easily. Just place a plate over top, invert and the chocoflan will slide out.
- Any Dulce de Leche left in the pans use a spatula and pull out letting it drizzle on the chocoflan
- Place the chocoflans in the fridge uncovered for 2 hours or until chilled. Remove from the oven, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. The chocoflan is best the next day.
- To serve, heat up the remaining Dulce de Leche and pour over each slice of the chocoflan.
- Store in the fridge covered