It’s Easter so let’s talk about something eggy.
The other day it occurred to me that I should write about chocoflan, a immensely popular dessert and therefore a common presence in Bogotá. It’s a genius invention that solves the dilemma of choices because you get crème caramel and chocolate cake in one dessert. Sometimes you can really get the best of both, can’t you?
So, I thought I should do some research about chocoflan’s origin, and thus have found out that chocoflan is Mexican! It’s also called the ‘impossible cake’ (pastel imposible) because of the way it’s made.
The way it’s made is a miracle at work really. First, you’re supposed to put the cake batter into the baking mould, then pour the custard mixture directly on top. This is where the magic of chemistry comes in. The two mixtures don’t mix! Not only do they not mix; the custard actually seeps through to the bottom in the baking process, while the cake rises to the top, so the end result is a flan with a chocolate cake base when you turn it out once it’s done! Quite the contrary to my prior perception that the two layers were baked separately and then put together.
In addition to the chocolate cake base + crème caramel combo, chocoflans in Bogotá are topped with arequipe. The first chocoflan I tried was from Myriam Chamhi, the pastry chain that’s lauded to be the best in Bogotá. Myriam Chamhi’s chocoflan is big on the arequipe and chocolate cake. My favourite part of the chocoflan is not so much the arequipe but the crème caramel so I have to say I prefer Lina’s surprisingly light version – a mild and spongy brownie base with a thin arequipe top. Zukerino’s is also good – but be careful, it’s sweet, heavy and dense, raising heart-beat.