Chocolate-Dulce de Leche Flan

It’s been a tough week. A while back I got it into my head to do some major upgrades on the site, which also involved moving the site to a new platform, which subsequently prompted (or I should say, “required”) a move to a dedicated place to park the site, rather than sharing a machine in a nameless office park, with a bunch of other sites like I did before. So after my relaxing week in the south, I returned a nearly blank space where my site used to be.

I say ‘nearly’ because in the vast whiteness of the blank pages that kept coming up instead of my site, there were error messages and mumbo-jumbos of numbers that confounded me, and the tech support people on the phone didn’t realize my knowledge of numbers only extended to quantities of butter and sugar for baking cookies, measuring cups of flour, and counting out eggs for a custard.

dulce de leche chocolate flan/cake

So while I sat there dumbfounded by all the technology, I decided to check out other sites on all the internets that were working, and read some simmering debates about which words (and emoticons) are okay to use when writing about food, and which should be avoided. Words like ‘delicious’, ‘tasty’ and ‘yummy’ are the objects of scorn and are supposed to be banished from recipes. Other no-no’s are exclamation points and emoticons. But when something just is so delicious that you find it indescribably yummy, I don’t know about you, but I think it’s worth smiling about : )

And I’m not kidding! ; )

On the plus side, when I came back from my trip, a copy of My Sweet Mexico had arrived in the mail from my publisher. They’ll often send me books that have me scratching my head, such as the River Cottage Meat Book. Then I’ll start flipping through it, and realize why they sent it to me. Like that book on meat that has become one of my favorites, My Sweet Mexico is gorgeous and beautifully photographed. Sorry to use those words, but it’s been a long week. (And to anyone who doesn’t like it—just be glad you’re not looking a blank page to look at right now.)

Aside from the recipes that caught my attention, this is a lovely book. Mexican desserts and sweets aren’t as popular as their other courses, but this book has recipes for things like Chocolate Milk Fudge, Corn Ice Cream, Burnt Custard, and even Calabaza en Tacha, whole candied pumpkin, that might change your mind.

But it was the Impossible Chocolate Flan that made me slip a bookmark in the page. Reading through the headnote at the beginning of the recipe, Fany Gerson, the author, wrote:

“…when you check whether it’s done a little while later, you find that the flan is hiding somewhere and all you see if the chocolate cake! You wait for it to cool, unmold it, and there is the flan!”

I don’t know about you, but if I made a two layer flan, put it in the oven, and opened the door a few minutes later and saw that one of the top layer disappeared, I’d be speaking with a few exclamation points, too.

dulce de leche cake drip cajeta

Still, when I saw the picture of the two-toned cake, with dark chocolate on the bottom and a dulce de leche-caramelized top, I knew that was the first recipe I wanted to tackle.

Mine came out a bit different than it looked on the pages. For one thing, the recipe called for a full cup of cajeta (or dulce de leche), which seemed like an awful lot. Not that one can ever have too much dulce de leche. And sure enough, there was quite a bit left in the cake mold when I released the flan. So I reduced the quantity in her recipe a little. (Although I know exactly what to do with the leftover dulce de leche.)

dulce de leche flan/cake

Also the chocolate cake layer wasn’t as majestic as the accompanying photograph. (I hope it’s okay to call a cake ‘majestic’….) But indeed, it did separate out when I sliced into the cake. Just not as dramatically. Still, I am really looking forward to working my way through some of the Mexican sweets in this book.

In the meantime, I’ve got a cake mold that needs my attention…

confiture de lait
Chocolate-Dulce de Leche Flan
Print Recipe
Serves 8 to 10
Adapted from My Sweet Mexico (Ten Speed) by Fany Gerson You can use either cajeta, which is traditionally made with goat’s milk, or dulce de leche. In France, it’s called confiture de lait (milk jam), although I generally make it myself. The author says that in Mexico, this is called Chocoflan, or “Impossible Cake”, and after I made it, I realized that I think I’d like it with a little more of a chocolate cake layer. So I scooted around the internet and found a few recipes that had a thicker layer of cake, and noted those recipes at the end of the post. The next time I try it, I might try one of those recipes and see what the difference is.
3/4 cup (210g) dulce de leche
For the cake layer:
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
3/4 cup (110g) flour
1/3 cup (35g) unsweetened cocoa powder preferably Dutch-process
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (125ml) buttermilk or plain whole milk yogurt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the flan layer:
1 can (12 ounces, 340g) evaporated milk
1 can (14 ounces, 395g) sweetened condensed milk
4 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC.) Lightly brush or spray an 8-inch (20cm) porcelain mold or cake pan (not a springform pan) with oil.
2. Smear the dulce de leche around the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place the mold or cake pan in a larger roasting pan, which you’ll use as a double boiler for baking.
3. To make the cake layer, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk or yogurt, vegetable oil, 1 egg, and vanilla.
5. Use a spatula to stir the wet ingredients into the larger bowl of dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Scrape the batter in the mold, over the dulce de leche.
6. Make the flan layer by blending together the evaporated and condensed milks, the 4 eggs, the vanilla, and salt, until smooth.
7. Over the back of a large spoon (like a big mixing spoon), pour the flan mixture over the cake layer, using the spoon to diffuse the custard as you pour.
8. Cover the mold or cake pan loosely with foil, fill the roasting pan with very hot water, so it reaches halfway up the side of the mold, and bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out relatively clean.
(Note: I found the flan took considerably longer to bake than 50 minutes; mine took practically an 1 1/2 hours. So being checking it at 50 minutes, but note that it may take longer.)
9. Once done, remove from the oven and carefully lift the custard out of the water bath wearing oven mitts, then let the flan cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate the flan until ready to serve.

To serve: Run a knife around the perimeter of the flan, then set a cake or dinner plate overturned on top of the mold or cake pan. Holding both the mold and the plate, flip the two simultaneously and shake gently, until you hear the flan release. Remove the mold. And remaining dulce de leche can be smeared back over the flan.

Storage: The flan can be kept for up to three days in the refrigerator.

Related Recipes & Links

Impossible Cake (Rick Bayless)

Chocoflan (Marcela Valladolid)

Mini Chocoflan (The Food Addicts)

Chocolate Mole

Dulce de Leche Brownies

Dulce de Leche

Why you should use aluminum-free baking powder

What is the difference between evaporated and sweetened condensed milk? (Home Cooking)

Cocoa Powder FAQ


  • September 12, 2010 7:16pm

    I can finish a jar of dolce de leche in no time and flan is one of my absolute favorite desserts so I have no excuse not to make this scrumptious flan.

    Happy to be able to get on your site after a few failed attempts.


  • September 12, 2010 7:20pm

    I’m still trying to lick the screen-thank you so much for sharing now I know what to do with the left over dulce de leche I have from the Muchas Leches Cake I just made. Better do it quick though, can’t stop tasting the dulce de leche…fabulous blog !

  • September 12, 2010 7:24pm

    Whether “they” would describe it as delectable, delightful or exquisite, this flan belongs in my life now. And I imagine the first word out of my mouth will be….yummy. Thanks for sharing!

  • September 12, 2010 7:25pm

    So glad you were able to get your site up out of the white. The recipe looks so much better than an error message, though perhaps a trifle more fattening…

  • September 12, 2010 7:25pm

    HI David – Definitely sounds like something I need to make and soon! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • September 12, 2010 7:31pm

    “it’s been a long weed” … is that a typo or an indication of another tension reliever after the long week? ;)

    This cake looks fantastic and I love the sound of the book too… must look into that, though I’m MEANT to have agreed a moratorium on the purchase of cookery books. My caveat is that it doesn’t count if the book is sent to me for review or gifted by friends, so I’ve been quietly adding to my collection despite the moratorium!!!!

    I do find the complaints about using “delicious” and “tasty” rather tedious – when there are perfectly good words in the language that mean what you want to say, why scour the thesaurus for alternatives every time? I agree that it’s good to use variety in language – who wants to read a review of a restaurant meal where every single dish is described only as delicious or tasty? But to avoid them altogether? I don’t think so!

    Thanks for making me hungry this Sunday afternoon!

  • September 12, 2010 7:32pm

    YUMMY :) !!!!!!!!!!!

  • September 12, 2010 7:35pm

    Out of this world! That is all I can say.

  • September 12, 2010 7:56pm

    I’m so excited to hear this is a good cook book. I pre-ordered it back in April and have been anxiously awaiting. The flan looks delicious, tasty, and yummy!!!!! :)

  • September 12, 2010 8:32pm

    This looks incredibly naughty and incredibly bad for my hips. But zomethign that i am going to have to try. Scrumptious!

  • September 12, 2010 8:37pm

    That sounds truly wonderful and majestic.

  • September 12, 2010 8:43pm

    Truly decadent. And it’s perfectly okay with me to call this cake majestic! I’d have to give this one a try. Lovely!

  • September 12, 2010 8:54pm

    Who doesn’t love that Pastel Imposible…this is one of my Mom’s favorite homemade desserts…
    Just one thing in Mexico is cajeta and in Argentina is Dulce de Leche.
    But for the argentinans cajeta is a bad word.

  • September 12, 2010 9:08pm

    Photos! gorgeous! Recipe! Yummy and indescribably delicious sounding!! The whole thing is beautiful! I am DYING to make this! Technology: Excruciating! Congratulations on getting through it!!!

  • September 12, 2010 9:16pm

    I was also caught up in that “words not to use” thing on Twitter, which left me with, “well then how am I supposed to talk about food?” I say, if the food is delicious, then you’re allowed to say so!

    Anyway, the pictures look good, and will you please make the corn ice cream? My boss is from Brazil and she goes on and on about corn ice cream.

  • September 12, 2010 9:23pm
    David Lebovitz

    Glad you all like this, it is an interesting recipe. I do think I would like it better if there was a thicker layer of chocolate cake, so perhaps figuring out a way to combine a few recipes might be in order. So I hope to give it another go shortly. Unfortunately I’m all out of dulce de leche at the moment!

  • Maya
    September 12, 2010 9:43pm

    as usual, reading your post made my day ! (i haven’t even finished reading yet !)

    talking about dulce de leche, have you tried Alfajores ?

  • September 12, 2010 10:21pm

    wow looks fantastic!! thanks for sharing. i worry about swapping out dulce de leche for cajeta…the goat’s milk used to make cajeta really adds something special and unique so for others out there who have the option of either/or, go for the cajeta!!

  • Neomi
    September 12, 2010 10:35pm

    So sorry to hear of your tech troubles. This recipe seems heavenly though and it may prompt me to conquer my fear of flan and try making it.

    Also just wanted to tell you how much I LOVE your book. I’ve had it only 2 weeks and I’ve made three ( three!!! ) recipes already– It is so much fun, thank you!

  • September 12, 2010 10:43pm

    What a delicious looking recipe, and there’s my favorite, Dulce de Leche. I love pairing fruit with Dulce de Leche, maybe you could turn this cake into smaller cakes and top the caramel with fresh raspberries and serve the cakes with a fresh raspberry sauce? A good “fudgey” dense cake layer would be nice. Thanks for all the great recipes!

  • September 12, 2010 10:47pm

    Can I just say, thank you for being so unpretentious! Who makes up these food blog rules anyway? This flan is very beautiful. Er, uh…marvellous?

  • September 12, 2010 11:14pm

    David, you made a wonderful choice for your dessert. This Friday, September 16, is Mexico’s Bicentennial, marking 200 years of independence.

    Dulce de leche is commonly known as cajeta (ka-HAY-ta) in Mexico, and cajeta has been declared the Bicentennial dessert of Mexico.

    ¡Viva México!


  • September 12, 2010 11:17pm

    Whoops! I mean “this THURSDAY, September 16, is Mexico’s Bicentennial.

  • September 12, 2010 11:33pm

    I can definitely see “their” point. I would definitely be more apt to try a recipe that the author presented in a straightforward, dry, precise manner. No need to tempt my taste buds with any photography, either. After all, why pretend that food and cooking is anything more than fuel for the body?

    (Yes, read that tongue-in-cheek. And thanks to DL and all of the other food bloggers who “get it” and let us know how excited–or not–they are about particular recipes and other post topics!)

  • Lynn in Tucson
    September 13, 2010 12:41am

    I’ve seen this in a restaurant downtown (and I wasn’t in the mood for dessert). I can’t wait to try this!

  • September 13, 2010 12:42am

    This looks delicious – what other word is there for it? A must try – I know what to do with leftover dulce de leche too.

  • September 13, 2010 2:00am

    !!!!! Dang!!!!

  • September 13, 2010 2:08am

    with dark chocolate on the bottom and a dulce de leche-caramelized top……

    Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars, gain 200 pounds at this dish

    Nothing but gold David

  • Shari
    September 13, 2010 2:34am

    Who exactly are these people who are telling everyone which verbs and punctuation they should and shouldn’t use? There are so many wonderful foods in this world, that we need every single descriptive word in our languages to be able to fully explain just how fricken awesome they really are! We need diversity people! Not more arrogant snobs telling us what’s cool or not cool. Geez! Now, let’s get back to concentrating on all the yummy and tastylicious food. : )

  • Amy B
    September 13, 2010 3:00am

    Glad you are back! Just wanted to let you know that Sweet Life in Paris has turned out to be THE book to give to friends and family. I was absorbed in a virtual life in Paris for at least a week. Funny how not everyone is as interested as me in hearing about life in Paris. I also got myself Ready for Dessert as a treat during a difficult spell at work. While I’ve made the upside down cake which was very well received, it’s my 12 year old daughter who has commandeered the book for her own. I felt a twinge of envy when I tasted the best brownies I have EVER had from her hand (and your’s). She has bookmarked at least 80% of the recipes to try. I think I’ll just sit back and enjoy. By the way, coming from a family that reads cookbooks for fun, not just to cook from, your dessert book is her First. ;-)

  • September 13, 2010 3:05am

    holeymotherofgawwwwwd that looks good. now I don’t want dinner. bad david. very bad david.

  • September 13, 2010 3:30am

    Can I say fabulous or delectable? Words to describe these sorts of desserts (especially with all of the dulce de leche) are hard to come by! I think I need to go back to school or buy a Thesaurus!

  • Cecilia
    September 13, 2010 3:34am

    this looks fantastic I can not wait to make it, But I can only make it if I am going to have ten over for dinner because I can not have any leftovers – I could not trust myself with that in my house. But I am glad bathing suit beach time is over in the northeast.

  • Jenn
    September 13, 2010 3:39am

    that looks scrumptious! hope the repairs to the site finish ok. Had a brief panic when i clicked on “recipes” and there was nothing there except the amazon widget. Thank you for writing and inspiring me. Whenever I make anything of yours it turns out perfect. Room for dessert is my favourite book! J.

  • September 13, 2010 3:45am

    Word, Shari.

    David, how considerate of you to post this recipe when I have just spent the past week researching “chocoflan” to put on the menu at the Nuevo Latino restaurant where I make desserts. The recipe that’s been posted on various blogs (for example: calls for butter in the cake, but since the dessert is served chilled, I was thinking that an oil based cake (such as the one you post here) would retain a more pleasant texture. Thanks for doing my work for me. It looks yummy, and delicious, too.

  • September 13, 2010 3:49am

    This dessert looks very ambrosial or palatable or maybe even toothsome or lip smacking. I got a little help from my thesaurus just for fun. I think this desserts looks delicious and downright tasty.

    I will make this dessert because I truly believe it will be so friggin yummy. Thanks for this recipe. What about in another flavor like coconut? Maybe even a combo chocolate/coconut or vanilla. That might be scrumptious.

  • September 13, 2010 3:57am

    Oooh, this is that flan that switches layers with the cake layer when cooking. Took me a minute. I still like the coconut idea, now just figure out how?

  • September 13, 2010 4:32am
    David Lebovitz

    Tara and Cooking in Mexico: I love goat milk cajeta, but have not been able to find fresh goat milk in Paris (nor goat milk pre-made cajeta). But you’re right; it is the best!

    Alanna: After I made this, I searched around and saw that, and a few other recipes, with the thicker cake bottom. I do think that’s the way to go, and next time (well, once I finish off this dulce de leche…) I am going to experiment a little more.

    Jenn: Me too! We’re working on the page, spiffying it up. Hope to get it back soon. Glad you like the book~

    bunky, shari, cakelaw, kim, anna: Well, technically all those folks talking about overusing certain words are right. But we don’t live in a one-size fits-all world and (I think) the people that are the most interesting are the ones who break the rules. Some of my favorite bakers and food writers, such as Maida Heatter and Julia Child, were certainly guilty of using a lot of descriptive words like ‘sublime’ and ‘scrumptious’ and they work just fine.

    It’s good to be aware of overusing certain words (when I wrote my ice cream book, I vowed to only use the word “refreshing” once), but we should all remember—it’s just food!

    Amy and Neomi: Glad you’re enjoying the books–Thanks for the kind words : )

  • September 13, 2010 5:30am

    Oh – deliciously tasty looking dessert and just the excuse I need to make up some yummy dulce de leche in the Thermomix and get baking!! Thanks! ;)

  • Gavrielle
    September 13, 2010 5:31am

    Looks incredible! Here in New Zealand, the makers of sweetened condensed milk do a caramelised version, which is dulce de leche but at a third of the price. Score!

  • September 13, 2010 5:34am

    I need to make this! But we just moved and my kitchen isn’t ready for baking yet. David, I hope you will report back if you do any successful variations of this — I’ll be waiting. As soon as I can find my baking pans and have a surface to put them on, this is going in my oven.

    Since I only comment here once in a while, I should also take the opportunity to say that your recipes and your writing are both wonderful. Sometimes when I read how-to posts like the one you posted recently about baking substitutions, it reminds me of how generous you are with this blog — it’s not just a place where you can write down those between-book recipes, you’re actively trying to educate and help your readers. (And make us fat.) So, thank you.

  • September 13, 2010 5:40am

    I’m a big Fany Gerson fan! Thanks for promoting her! Have you seen her in Fine Cooking this month making pan de muerto?

  • GSB
    September 13, 2010 6:02am

    So, let me get this straight – the cake is on the bottom of the pan, custard on top. When baked and then flipped over onto a plate, will the cake will be the top of the dessert and the flan part on the bottom? Am I a total numb nut here in the middle of the night asking this question? In your photos, it looks like the custard flan is on top and cake underneath with plate below cake…hmmm…

  • September 13, 2010 6:04am

    Oh dear heavens. Sometimes I think you’re the cruelest man in the world, not one of the best. Your site is pure torture, and yet I can’t drag myself away. Smiley face.

  • September 13, 2010 6:27am

    I have have had something almost exactly the same on the last trip to Puerto Vallarta with family. I have been a few times, mostly during the Processions after Thanksgiving. It is an amazing experience, so many people night after night, walking a long distance, dressed in white and carrying candles, singing this beautiful song, some doing traditional dances and dressed as their ancestors protecting their way to the cathedral. These are poor people, yet their faith is their core and they bring offerings of fruit or whatever they can to Christ and Mary to help those with even less. My father eats everywhere on the streets and I am almost as brave. I have heard that if you drink enough Tequila it will kill any ‘touristas’ (the dreaded poopies). Anyways, the last trip I saw a woman on the street selling chocolate cake layered with flan. I judge restaurants by their desserts because dessert is my purpose for living, so I bought 2 pieces from her. Fool! I should have bought the whole thing. Simple and one of the best things I have ever had.
    If you go to PV, have a lunch of shrimp tacos at the little place with an outdoor counter, across from the Super Mercado by the Rio Cuale, caddie corner from the roast chicken shop. We went every day once we found it. She makes a nice flan also.

  • Tags
    September 13, 2010 7:15am

    One word that never ceases to puzzle me is “unctuous.” People who are obviously describing something they’re enjoying use a synonym for “greasy,” “soapy,” or “unpleasantly oily flattery” to make this point.

  • shelleyorama
    September 13, 2010 7:37am

    What a terrible welcome home surprise for you! It should have been ahhhhhhh, but instead it was ACK!!! You were exactly right to self-medicate with a large dose of dulce de leche.

    glad the site is technolicious once again. : )

  • September 13, 2010 8:13am

    I had to stop using the word wonderful except on rare occasions. It was in just about every paragraph I ever wrote.

  • Jo
    September 13, 2010 8:39am

    I can’t believe it! Iwas going to search your website for details on how to make dulce de leche (without the exploding tins of condensed milk and because it’s the first place I think to go for desserts) and I find syncronicity. Wonderful! I’ve had a craving for dulce de leche, but wondered what I should make with it – caramel slice? Your dulce de leche brownies? I think I’ll have to go with this cake. Thanks David!

  • Geraldine Toltschin
    September 13, 2010 9:05am

    Wow, what a way to return from a restful, delicious vacation! Scaaaaarrreeeee.
    I know everyone is going to SCREAM reading the next comment, trust me it’s true. However Goats milk would be good for people with allergies, I guess? Out on the Patagonian Pampas here is what is done.

    Cajawhattie? Dulce de Leche is made from COWs MILK :-) It is prefereable to make it from your own cows milk, but. . . For those without benefit of a herd, here’s how I’ve made my dulce de leche since hanging up my huge copper pot used for that purpose. AND BY THE WAY, it should only be coveooked/prepared over a wood burning cooker! :-) Ah, life in the boonies. Cooking on a wood burning stove is the total cooking experience, love it.

    Simply take one can of condensed milk (here in Spain it comes in 1 liter sizes so I do 5 at the same time). Put the can/cans in a huge pot of water covering it totally.
    Cook at a low simmer for at least 2 hours for a small can, 4 hours for larger one kilo cans. KEEP AN EYE ON THE WATER LEVEL AT ALL TIMES. When the can is removed from the water, let it cool. THEN, take the entire contents out of the can putting it into a VERY large bowl, begin beating with either a small electric beater or your big one. Give it a good beating, it will appear rather strange for a bit, then,
    add some butter and a bit of vanilla essence (I also make my own w/vodka and vanilla beans). Continue beating the contents until it’s looking once again like dulce de leche. You may now put what is left after you have tested it 500 times in a container.

    I loved your link to Rosa Jackson, her reviews and blogs are fun and very entertaining. THE FOOD LOOKS DELICIOUS :-) <<<<<< That's for "them".

  • Geraldine Toltschin
    September 13, 2010 9:11am

    By the way, the cake looks amazing. I’m going to make a real custard instead of using the evaporated milk, and more condensed milk. Wish me luck. Cooking for 1 1/2 hours would most certainly dry out the cake below? You are correct in thinking it should have a slightly larger layer of cake.

    Will get the book, Mexican food and deserts are always very creative and ah, good to eat.

  • September 13, 2010 1:50pm

    The site was down? I check-in every morning about 7 (US Eastern-Daylight) and haven’t had a single problem… But I do hate that the new site won’t let me click your ‘Twitter Updates’ for a full page of witty asides – guess I’ll have to break down and sign up…

    And, for the record, I think that the word ‘majestic’ is woefully under-used, and DEFINATELY applies to that cake!

  • shyanne
    September 13, 2010 2:28pm

    Thank you! Thank you!! Your recipes are always inspiring me, a new and learning pastry chef. This recipe will definitely be my dessert special this week.

  • Daria
    September 13, 2010 3:13pm

    Oh no you didn’t?! Looks amazing… Tried your chocolate chip cookie recipe this weekend. Huge success!!! I never thought to slice them: much better, more even cookie! Thanks!

    Question: So I’m already thinking about the holidays (must be the cooler weather). My panettone *never* rises. Any tips???

    Unfortunately I can’t help out with recipes from other people, so I suggest contacting the author of your panettone recipe. In general, you might want to test your yeast in tepid water to see if it’s still active before using it. Good luck! -dl

  • September 13, 2010 3:44pm

    Can’t wait to hear how your further experiments go because, frankly, this sounds delicious. There, I said it.

  • Roberta
    September 13, 2010 7:53pm

    You make me smile, every time. And the cake is yummy all right!

  • September 14, 2010 4:41am

    Welcome back…you were missed. This looks great…and reminds me a little bit of that old fashioned chocolate cake that was in one of Molly Katzen’s books that required pouring boiling water over the cake batter before baking – it made a mess in the pan and then, when it was baked, came out with this amazing spongey chocolate cake and a pudding “bottom”. This looks like a much richer, tastier sort of chemistry problem! Thanks for sharing – it’s risen to the top of my to do list!

  • Gavrielle
    September 14, 2010 7:33am

    After reading that you’re not supposed to say “yummy” et al, I turned over my New Yorker cartoon calendar and found a cartoon of a dinner guest saying “Revelatory, Michael – such airy meatballs.”

    After I’d stopped giggling, I made a resolution to start using “airy” in every food-related situation. That should fox the food-writing police.

  • September 14, 2010 8:43am

    Love this chocolate flan, it is amazing and I love the step by step guide and picture as always.

    Web design problems can create many headaches, as I have been there, hopefully things are better for you now.

  • September 14, 2010 10:47am

    Chocolate? Dulce de leche? Flan? This is the holy trinity!

  • September 14, 2010 4:35pm

    Hi David,
    I’m coming to Paris on 24th September till the 27th to visit some Parisian supperclubs. Do you know of any that are run by French people? Thanks in advance.

  • September 14, 2010 4:49pm

    I can see why you would choose this recipe to try from your new cookbook. I fell in love with dulce de leche a couple of years ago. It’s such a phenomenal ingredient to have in your baker’s cupboard. I make a cheesecake I named the Caramel Latte Cheesecake and it uses 3/4 cup dulce and instant espresso powder and it is by far my favorite cheesecake ever.

    Sorry to hear about your website troubles. Glad to see everything worked out for you and you are up and blogging again.

  • sillygirl
    September 14, 2010 5:03pm

    When you work out a recipe for a more-chocolate-cake version will you please post it?

  • September 14, 2010 7:43pm

    Oh, there’s river cottage books somewhere ?! I think my wallet just popped out my pocket and ran hiding under the couch at this very idea. I’m gonna be broke soon -errr, I mean more than I already am if this is possible.

    I must say that the dulce de leche is mouthwatering, but I kind of don’t like those cakes which are not cakes, and which are not flans either. I feel like they could’t make up their minds or something :D

  • September 15, 2010 12:25am

    That looks frickin amazing. I seriously want to invent an interactive monitor where I can lick the bowl too. A Judy Jetson type of thing!

  • Edna
    September 15, 2010 1:53am

    Hi from Mexico!!!

    We call this dessert Pastel Imposible and usually the flan layer is thinier than the cake layer and it’s delicious!

  • Edna
    September 15, 2010 1:56am

    By the way in Argentina “cajeta” is a terrible word hat’s why they call it dulce de leche, in México they call it cajeta because a lon time ago the people used to sell the cajeta in little round boxes (cajita in spanish) and the word cajita became cajeta.

  • Edna
    September 15, 2010 1:58am

    Sorry, my fingers type too quickly and I miss some letters

    By the way in Argentina “cajeta” is a terrible word that’s why they call it dulce de leche, in México they call it cajeta because a long time ago the people used to sell the cajeta in little round boxes (cajita in spanish) and the word cajita became cajeta.

  • Edna
    September 15, 2010 2:03am

    You should cook a tres leches cake and decorate it with goat’s milk cajeta… mmmmm

  • September 15, 2010 9:18am


    Glad you are back! I guessed you must be updating the site when I could not load it. I think you just have to ignore what anyone else says is ok for recipe language, after all it is your own style that makes the site worth reading!:)

  • berit
    September 15, 2010 10:18am

    Huh uh there’s a lot of passive agressiveness here…don’t let the writing gurus bother you David, I think your writing is great as it is!

  • September 15, 2010 10:27am
    David Lebovitz

    Edna: It’s interesting how those words get swapped interchangably, but some folks are pretty adamant that they aren’t the came thing. I think the French have it right by just calling it confiture de lait…ie; milk jam.

    berit: It’s doesn’t bother me, I just find it is limiting to say which words you can’t and can use when writing about food. As I mentioned a bit above, Maida Heatter used every kind of word to describe her cakes, from stupendous to luscious, and we all love her dearly for it.

    sillygirl: I did post links to recipes out there on the web that have a thicker cake layer. I will probably give one a try at some point, but I’m still on Dulce de Leche overdose!

    Krysalia: Am not sure if the River Cottage books are available in France. I know a US publisher picked some of them up, but I have seen them at Librarie Gourmand in Paris, in English.

    mrsmarmitelover: I don’t know of any French folks who have started a supper club; the only ones I know of here are run by Americans. If anyone does know one, please let us know as it’d be interesting to hear about them.

  • Francheska
    September 16, 2010 3:37am

    Corn ice cream is sooo so good, I buy a scoop almost everyday after lunch and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top is always a must!

    Anyway this dessert, I have to forget I ever saw this, ill die

  • lolo
    September 16, 2010 10:30am

    I’m gonna dream of this dulce de leche pic all night :).

  • Dee
    September 17, 2010 2:20pm

    Hi David

    Thanks SO much for posting that recipe! Like several others on your site, I made it and much to my pleasant surprise, my recipe ended up with an even 50/50 split of cake and flan. I dont’ know why, but i’m not complaining!

    I’m serving it tonight with company, and I can’t wait to try it! It looks amazing and i’m sure it will taste incredible!

  • Helena
    September 17, 2010 8:52pm

    Just want to make sure: Are the quantities in ounce for both kinds of milk in the custard part mean FLUID OUNCES, i.e. represent volume rather than weight measurements? Or are these actually weights? Thanks.

  • Jesus medina
    September 18, 2010 6:34am

    Hi David,
    This is a great recipe, but you are right; here in Mexico the chocolate cake layer must be thicker :)

    And I’ve seen how my grandma made it in the stove in a water bath, or in the oven…I hope we can see more recipes from this book.

  • September 19, 2010 5:49pm

    I love flan
    I love chocolate
    I love your blog, it makes me smile!!!

    ……..Lisa : )

  • Edna
    September 20, 2010 4:46pm

    You should try a flan de cajeta or a gelatina de cajeta I have such a great recipe that you could try

  • Giovanna
    September 28, 2010 9:39pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I tried it with some strawberries on the top.
    It was just delicious

  • Ella
    October 10, 2010 5:37am

    I have question. My flan always ends up tasting like sweet scrambled eggs. It quite disturbing. Do you know why this happens, and if so, what I can I do to correct it?


  • Theophylact
    December 12, 2010 9:35pm

    How deep is that cake pan? We tried the deepest we had, and had half the recipe left over, so that the second layer never got properly made. The cake, though a failure, was still delicious, and we’d like to try again. We’ve been searching for pans that look nearly as deep as the one in your photo, but can’t find anything deeper than 2 3/4 inches (roughly 7 cm) deep, other than spring molds. Will a ceramic soufflé dish work?

  • December 14, 2010 5:19pm
    David Lebovitz

    Theophylact: I used a high sided porcelain soufflé dish for this although I’m not presently at home so don’t know the dimensions. As mentioned, I found the recipe a bit tricky. You can try contacting the author at her website-My Sweet Mexico, and perhaps she can give you more guidance.