Thursday, February 26, 2009

frances cake, take 16: the mission, impossible edition

heidi is a baker of style and class. clearly.

she has a passion and keen taste for all things delicious and good, so when she told me about "impossible cake," i knew the frances cake challenge was on. (impossible cake also goes by the much less thrilling, though more descriptive, name chocoflan.)

here is the sitch. impossible cake has three layers: dulce de leche (also known as cajeta), chocolate cake and flan. each layer is poured into the pan in that order. but, through impossible magic, the chocolate cake layer and the flan layer trade places while the cake is baking (what the what?), so when the cake comes out it goes dulce de leche, then flan and then chocolate cake on the bottom. impossible!

but really, not impossible. because heidi and i just did it.

the recipe might seem a little daunting...

...but don't be dismayed. you can take your time and prepare the layers one by one. your counter will look like this.

{dulce de leche for the top layer, ready and waiting}

{flan in the blender, light, foamy and delicious}

(a small piece of advice, if i may: check to make sure you have enough eggs before you start. or pray that you have really kind neighbors with adorable red-headed twins and spare eggs. either one works.)

heidi also showed me this little trick, because she is in-the-know like that. when pouring one layer of something onto another (like when pouring flan on top of cake batter), pour over a ladle to distribute evenly and avoid making a sink-hole in the layer beneath.

who knew? (heidi did.)

since we had already attempted one impossible task (the cake itself), we decided to try more impossible things while it baked. these included tracking down a totally obscure clip of an episode of "this american life" (success!), as well as finding a video that appeared to have been removed from youtube (success again!).

the final impossible step of impossible cake is getting the cake out of the pan. but, even that turned out to be no match for us!

one suggestion, though, should you decide to attempt the impossible yourself. the recipe says to use a springform pan, which we did, but i don't think you need to. when we flipped the pan upside-down the cake came out so easily i didn't even open the springform at all. and the downside to the springform is that some of the flan leaked out. this is more of an annoyance than a major problem because the springform pan is sitting in another, slightly larger, pan of water. that pan caught the leaky flan and we just ate it out of the bottom, so all was well (and delicious).

but, i say you can use a regular cake pan and leave all that flan inside the cake instead.

leaks and all, the final product was absolutely beautiful and, i'm not going to lie, possibly the most delicious frances cake yet.

and, there you have it. impossible my eye.


Lacey said...

I just have to tell you that that cake looks so incredibly good. I may end up having to attempt it myself. Tonight. Thanks for the inspiration.

Cameron said...

that is complete madness. i have to try it!

Jill N said...

is it weird that frances cake has officially made my life list? just seems too good to be missed--these are some of my favorite posts! and this cake looks especially delicious:)