One of the great things about being in San Antonio is that you meet a lot of people who know how to cook delicious food. One of these people is Carla. I met Carla on a volleyball team a couple of years ago and have since become friends along with collaborating on the BarCards and Second Take apps.
At my Christmas party two years ago, she brought her Mom’s version of Pastel Diplomatico, a traditional Mexican dessert consisting of flan and chocolate cake. The cake was devoured and my roommate and I had a battle over the tiny remaining piece.
After bringing the dessert again to this year’s Christmas party (I’m just sayin’, I think that this should become a tradition…), I asked her if she would be interested in sharing the recipe. It’s so good that you will need a diplomat to help you decide who gets that last piece.
One thing Mexicans know how to do is bake. We’ve got our empanadas, cuernos, reposteria, and – of course – pastel, or what you gringos call “cake.”
My grandparents owned a bakery in a small town in the state of Nuevo León, Mexico. This spawned many bakers in my family, including my cousin who now owns his own bakery in the town of Cadereyta, Nuevo León.
Several years ago, my cousin visited our family in San Antonio and made El Diplomatico, a tactful and delectable pairing of chocolate and flan cake. Over the years, my mother has taken this cake to a new level, adding her special touch to this dessert, causing one of my aunts to exclaim, “¡Parece que estamos en la gloria¡”
San Antonio Joe asked me to write a guest post on his blog with this family recipe (because he knows good food). So with my Mom’s permission, I share with you the secret recipe of El Diplomatico.
Click here for El Diplomatico Recipe Cards!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Bundt pan
- Large casserole dish that fits a Bundt pan
- Aluminum foil
For the Flan
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Cake
- 1 box of Betty Crocker™ Super Moist Cake Mix “Triple Chocolate Fudge” flavor (and the ingredients shown on the box: 3 eggs, 1 1/3 cups water, ½ cup vegetable oil)
- 1 Tbsp instant pudding powder (chocolate flavor)
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise (to make the cake extra moist!)
For the Topping
- ½ cup cajeta (goat’s milk), dulce de leche or caramel
- Chopped pecans for topping
- A little bit of butter and flour to grease the Bundt pan
Start by preheating the oven to 350ºF.
Part 1: The Flan
1. Add all flan ingredients to the blender and mix on a high setting for several minutes until the ingredients are in a liquid state.
2. Set aside.
Part 2: The Chocolate Cake
1. Separate the egg whites and yolk. Whip the egg whites in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Set the egg yolks aside in a small bowl.
2. Add the remaining ingredients (including the egg yolk) to the mixture and mix well.
3. Set aside.
Part 3: Where Flan Meets Chocolate Cake (how diplomatic of them!)
1. Grease all sides of Bundt pan with butter.
2. Sprinkle flour on all sides of the Bundt pan.
3. Pour the cajeta (or dulce de leche/caramel) in the Bundt pan.
4. Pour in the flan mix.
5. Pour in the cake mix so that the mixtures almost reach the top. (You may have some cake mix left over.)
6. Cover the Bundt pan with aluminum foil and seal the edges tightly. Cut out the middle portion to seal the inside edge.
7. Place the Bundt pan inside the casserole dish and place in the preheated oven.
8. Fill the casserole with boiling water so that the flan portion of the Bundt pan is surrounded by water. (This practice is called “baño Maria” or “bain marie.”)
9. Bake for 75 minutes.
10. Carefully remove the cake from the oven.
11. Let the cake cool for 30-60 minutes, then place in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 7-8 hours).
12. When ready to serve, remove the aluminum foil and gently use a knife or other flat utensil to loosen the cake edges from the pan.
13. Place your presentation plate bottom up on top of the Bundt pan. Flip both plate and pan over. The cake should slip out easily.
14. Garnish with chopped pecans for decoration.