Sunday, March 18, 2012

Leche Flan Cake Recipe

My Leche Flan Cake drizzled in Mango Puree instead of Caramel. Works too!

So last week, we were planning a surprise birthday party for my friend Jeff and I thought I should bring a cake for the event. I mean, Jeff is one of the most dedicated and gifted people I know and we've all been blessed by his cooking and generosity in one way of another, so this was just my small way of saying, "Thanks for everything".

Then, I thought of the traditional Filipino Dessert: Leche Flan Cake, something I've been meaning to make for almost a year! It's so fascinating because at the bottom, you have your good old butter cake. But at the top, you get a layer of Creme Caramel, aka Flan. I mean, who doesn't love Flan?! This is probably the first time I've ever made something Filipino and I LOVE trying to cook different cuisines.

ALSO, it was nice to introduce a different kind of layering for cakes than what most of us are used to, so I thought it was pretty fitting for this month's Sweet Adventures Blog Hop (SABH), where the theme is: Layers =)

See the layers? This was Cake No. 1

Only thing is, it turned out to be quite a disaster the first time I made it. Though it tasted good, the custard came out TOO firm and overly sweet. The cake base was worse because it was so stiff, dry and dense that it was hard to swallow.

From what I hear, this cake is meant to be really, really moist and soft, just a delight to eat. Feeling incredibly unsatisfied but determined to get it right, I decided to skip class and bake this cake again on the day of the party ;p

Then I realised where I went wrong:

1) Forgot to use the Coke instead of Milk
- When I made it again with coke, cake turned out much more aerated and light from the gas in the coke. Plus, you couldn't really taste the coke anyway and the cake came out pretty delicious

2) Didn't add enough water in the Bain Marie/water bath
- First time I only had up to two centimeters but it didn't create enough steam for the cake and custard. Second time, I filled it up to more than half the bundt pan and the textures came out perfect... YES!

3) Temperature too high
- I'm no baking expert, but even I know that 175degC was a bit high for baking custards. I shouldn't have followed the original recipe because when I baked it again at 160degC, the consistency was just right

4) Too much condensed milk
- Decreased the amount of condense milk and used more evaporated milk than the original recipe called for. SO much better...

Anyway, I've made ammendments to some crucial aspects of the original recipe. The final cake was really delicious (especially the flan) and well received at the party. I think most people liked the slightly unconventional idea. Just glad I finally got everything right. Oh, and I did actually add Mango Puree to the flan mix but no matter how much I added, the taste didn't change much so I scrapped it.

Best part about this cake is how simple it is to bake. For all you bakers out there looking for something new to try, I suggest you give this a go. It's as fun to bake as it is to eat. And the layers really is quite purrty too =)


Leche Flan Cake
(adapted from this recipe by Jules Food)


box butter/yellow cake mix (and ingredients to prepare as directed on box)
Coke or Pepsi

Flan: 300g sweetened condensed milk
1 can (375ml) evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Topping:Caramel ice cream topping or Homemade Mango Puree

Preheat oven to 160degC. Spray a bundt pan generously with cooking oil. Follow instructions to make the cake, but substitute milk with equivalent amount of coke/pepsi as stated on box. Pour cake mix into bundt pan and set aside.

Put the flan ingredients in a blender and mix well. Pour the flan mix gently down one side of the pan. The flan will go to the bottom of the cake mix so when you tip it over, the flan layer will be at the top.

Place bundt pan in a large roasting tray and pour boiling water into tray until it fills slightly above half of the bundt pan.
Bake in oven for 50 minutes. The cake will stay more moist than most cakes and you will see it separate a bit from the pan when it's done, as shown below.

Let it cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving. Turn the bundt pan over and let it sit while warming to room temperature. Finally, drizzle topping of choice and ENJOY! =D

*** Cooking Tips:1) Preheat oven well (mine takes about 35min to reach the temperature)
Use boiling water in the bain marie. Make sure you have enough if your tray is big
3) Use the Coke instead of water
4) If possible, use an oven thermometer for better accuracy

So happy that everything turned out the way I'd hoped! Persistence DOES pay off in the kitchen =)

Post note: A photo of the one I made again in 2013

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