Twice as nice

Happy New Year! May 2012 bring you and your family lots of joy, amazing moments, as many accomplishments, and of course health and abundance! 

What would happen when you combine two of your favorite deserts? A miracle!
I made these mini cakes for the New Year's Eve dinner: creme caramel, or flan, and chocolate cake. 
To make this amazing treat I just made half of the "Death by chocolate" cake batter recipe and half of Creme caramel recipe.


1. Make the caramel:

1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons water

In a heavy sauce pan put 1 1/2 cups sugar with 4 tablespoons water on medium low heat, and cook it until in becomes glossy and darkens, like this:

Divide the caramel in 4 medium ramekins, covering the bottom and sides of them. Let them cool until caramel hardens and starts cracking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Put a kettle of water to boil.

2. Prepare the creme (flan)

Ingredients (all must have room temperature):
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk 

In the bowl of your electrical mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix 4 whole eggs on low for 1-2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup of  sugar and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract , and mix well on medium/low speed, in order not to incorporate air. Slowly add the milk. Mix on low until all air bubbles are gone.
Pour it in another bowl and set aside.

3. Prepare the cake batter 

4 oz semisweet good quality chocolate (110 grams)
1/3 cup butter (70 grams)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons heaped cake flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sour cream

Break the chocolate in small pieces ( or you can just use chocolate chips instead and so you won't need to brake it ), and melt it with the butter in a sauce pan placed over another pan of boiling water. If you want you may add 1 tablespoon of rum, for more flavor. The sauce pan should not be touching the water in the second pan. 
In a bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the eggs with sugar on medium ( I put it on 4 on my KitchenAid for about 3-4 minutes ), then mix in flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract. Mix just until incorporated on medium speed. Slowly fold in the melted butter and chocolate and the sour cream. 

4. Divide the cake batter equally in the 4 ramekins, over the hardened caramel, just to fill them half way.

5. Using the back of a spoon slowly pour the creme mixture over the cake batter, to fill the ramekins. This technique is used when making layered cocktails. Here is a useful tutorial on layering liquids.

6. Tightly cover each ramekin with aluminium foil. This is important.
Place ramekins in a pan filled with hot water, and bake for 40 minutes. The water should rise about 1,5-2 inches on the sides of the ramekins. Why bake in a water bath? Since water evaporates at the boiling point, the water bath will never get hotter than 212 degrees F (100 degrees C), no matter what the oven temperature. This means that the outer edge of your cake won't bake faster than the center, ensuring even baking. When making cheesecake, the water bath also ensures it to stay moist and not crack on top.

And miraculously, while baking, even though the creme (flan) is poured on top of the cake batter, it will sink to the bottom of the pan. Tadaaaaa!

Let them cool for 15 minutes, on a wire rack, then remove the aluminium foil and let cool completely,  then refrigerate for 2 hours. 
To serve them, run a knife around sides to loosen the edges, then place the serving plate on top of the ramekin. Holding tight, turn them upside down, and the cake will easily drop on the plate, with the caramel on top, dripping all over the cake. So delicious!

Keep the leftovers refrigerated.

You can make this cake in a large pan, or a nice bund cake pan, too.

Thanks for reading,

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