Choco Flan

Unmolded this☝️before chilling it completely. Notice the sunken area on the upper left.

Lesson learned: Be patient! Chill it overnight before unmolding. 😊

ChocoFlan! This is a rich, delicious chocolate cake with a beautiful layer of creamy flan sitting on top.

I first had this over a decade ago when my Cuban coworker at UCLA brought it for a potluck. It still amazes me how the layers switch when baking. You get a bit of yummy chocolate cake, a thick, creamy flan, all topped with caramelized sugar syrup…what more could you ask for?

This cake is easy to make and truly beautiful that you can bring it to any gathering and it’s sure to wow everyone lucky enough to have a slice…or two!

You’ll need a 12-cup bundt pan to make this as it rises almost to the top when baked. Most bundt pans I own have a capacity of 10 cups, so be sure to check your pan!

If you only have the 10 cup mold, set some of the cake batter aside for 2-3 cupcakes, or make a couple of small individual Choco flans in a ramekin with some of the syrup, flan, and cake mixture. The baking pan with water will also catch any overflow batter, so you should be fine.

The flan layer on this cake is thick, just the way I like it. You’ll get a good proportion of flan to chocolate cake in every bite, I promise!

*I recently found a 6-cup bundt pan in Target made by Nordicware (https://www.target.com/p/nordic-ware-6-cup-formed-bundt-pan-navy/-/A-76431260#lnk=sametab) and I got 2 of course! If you have these smaller pans, you can split the caramel, flan, and cake batter between the 2 little bundt pans and have 2 Chocoflans – one to eat now and another for later, or to share!

Ingredients:

For the Caramel:

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

For the Flan:

1 can (12oz) evaporated milk

1 can (14oz) condensed milk

4 oz cream cheese (half a bar)

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cake:

1 box (15.25oz) devil’s food cake mix

1/2 cup canola oil

3 eggs, separated*

1 cup water

Equipment:

1 12-cup bundt pan (or 2 6-cup bundt pans)

Saucepan

Blender

Large baking dish

Bowls

Hand mixer

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Spray your bundt pan/s with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Caramelized sugar:

3. Pour sugar and water in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until deep brown, about 10-15 minutes. Keep swirling the pan when it starts to turn golden and remove from heat right before it reaches the color you want as it’ll keep cooking. You don’t want to burn this.

4. Using heavy oven gloves, immediately pour into prepared pan/s. Set aside.

Flan:

5. Pour all flan ingredients into a blender and pulse until well mixed.

6. Pour over caramel layer.

7. Place the bundt pan/s in a large baking dish. Fill baking dish with water halfway up the bundt pan. We are steam baking this, baine marie style!

8. Now carefully place the entire set up in the middle rack of your preheated oven. Close the oven and set your timer to 20 minutes.

9. In the meantime, prepare your Cake layer:

10. In a bowl, beat together devil’s food cake mix, oil, egg yolks, and water until blended. Set aside.

11. In another bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Carefully fold in 1/3 into the cake mixture until mixed. Fold in another 1/3, mix and then add in the last 1/3. Fold in until no more traces of the egg white can be seen.

*If you are crunched for time, you can also just place ALL the cake ingredients in a bowl and beat for about 2 minutes. The cake won’t be as light, but I’m quite sure no one will notice!*

12. Carefully remove the pan from the oven after 20 minutes.

13. Slowly pour this over the flan mixture. Cover with foil, lower the oven temperature to 350F, and bake for 55 minutes more, or until cake is fully baked. Check if cake is done by inserting a skewer in the middle of the cake, it should come out clean.

14. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill overnight before unmolding.

15. Place a plate on top of the bundt pan and carefully invert the whole thing. You would hear/feel the cake drop onto the plate. Carefully remove the bundt pan and serve the cake!

*You might want to fill the bundt pan with water now to facilitate removing the caramel that is stuck on the bottom. It will dissolve on it’s own, no need to scrub, but it will need time, like a day or two!*

Spicy Eggplant

Spicy Eggplant…this is one of my favorite dishes to order when eating out at an Asian restaurant. Of course with COVID-19 I had been cooking almost all of our meals at home for over a year.

Most of the meals I like to eat are easily made at home so I just had to recreate this recipe too as I have been craving spicy, salty, sweet foods lately. Must be because we are in this pandemic longer than anyone thought we would. This dish checks all the boxes – spicy, sweet, and salty – truly delicious with plain steamed rice. As a bonus, you get your veggie serving in there too!

You can make this vegetarian by cooking it as it is but my boys like meat and frowns if they cannot find meat in their plate so I did add a couple of handfuls of chopped meat in there. You can also make it spicier buy adding more chili paste. As always, feel free to tailor my recipes to your tastes!

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For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon plain white vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili paste (sambal oelek)
1/2 teaspoon ground bean sauce (or hoisin sauce)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

To finish cooking:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound eggplant, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

*I added about 200 grams chopped pork to this recipe when I was taking photos of it for this article. You can leave it out if you want, but it sure makes it taste better!*

1. Prepare the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and mixing well. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in a wok to 350 degrees F.

3. Add the diced eggplant and cook, stirring once, for about one minute. Remove the eggplant with a slotted spoon and set on paper toweling to drain.

4. Remove all but about a teaspoon of oil from the wok. Turn the heat to high and add the garlic.

5. Add the chopped pork and let it brown for a few minutes.

6. Carefully pour in the sauce.

7. Let the sauce come to a simmer for 30 seconds.

8. Add the eggplant back to the wok and cook for 10-15 seconds while stirring.

9. Combine the cornstarch,

10. and water to make a smooth paste.

11. Stir it into the eggplant mixture.

12. Keep stirring until it thickens.

13. Let it come to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

14. Serve hot with lots of steamed white rice.

15. Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #98: Mexican Street Corn

Have you ever tried corn on cob Mexican style? Flavored not only with butter, but cheese, sour cream, chili, cayenne, and all the other fixings?

Let me tell you it is delicious! And really filling too.

I usually only buy corn on cob (with the husk) during summer when it tastes the best. I soak it in water for a little bit then peel back some of the husk, sneak a pat of butter in each, pull the husks back on and grill till done. You can then top with whatever is on the ingredients list to suit your taste. Or just pile everything on!

If it’s not summer, I’m really content with canned sweet corn. So for this recipe, I am using canned corn. It’s easily accessible year round, and pretty inexpensive. Throw in a few other staples from the spice aisle and dairy aisle, some cilantro, and ta-da!! You’re golden!

As with all of my posts, I am not promising an authentic, passed down from generations recipe, but this will taste good enough, with a bonus of you being able to prepare it anytime the craving gets too much to ignore. 😊 I hope you’ll try making it!

I made this in the big ELB bowl but since there was a lot of head space left still, I’m sure it’ll fit in the medium bowl. I wouldn’t recommend using the tiny nesting bowl though.

It doesn’t get easier than this! Mix everything together, cover, steam, dig in!

I hope you like it! Help me by commenting below! I appreciate any recipe ideas in the comments too! 🙏❤️

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup corn (I used canned sweet corn, drained)

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sour cream

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder

1/4 cup crumbled queso blanco

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Lime and chopped green onions, to serve

2 ELB cups water for the base

Procedure:

1. In a small bowl, place corn,

2. Mayonnaise,

3. Sour cream,

4. Chili powder,

5. Cumin,

6. Garlic powder,

7. Salt,

8. Cayenne pepper,

9. And cheese. Mix everything together.

10. Spray the medium or large ELB bowl with nonstick spray.

11. Pour corn mixture in.

12. Cover with foil and place bowl in the base of the ELB. Pour in 2 ELB cups of water, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 25 minutes or so.

13. Carefully open the ELB and remove the bowl using a potholder. It will be hot!

14. Remove foil and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve hot and enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #97: Pistachio Cake

I’m back after not posting for a long time. Have you tried a beautiful, green colored Pistachio Cake?

My coworker (Jonnielyn Rivera) shared this super easy recipe with me a few years ago and I just had to adapt it to the ELB! It did take some time because I sometimes ended up with a cake that is too dense or tasteless, because of the amount of pudding. After a few tries, I think I finally nailed it. 😊 Look at the crumb of this cake in the photo below! Light yet moist and flavorful! 😋

And so here is an easy to make yet delicious recipe to try if you have time. All you’ll need is a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a box of yellow cake mix, a little box of pistachio pudding mix, a bit of sour cream, an egg, some canola oil, and some water!

I hope you’ll try out and of course, I do hope that you’ll like it!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1 cup yellow cake mix

3 tablespoons Pistachio Pudding Mix

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 egg

3 ELB cups water for the base

Procedure :

1. Spray the big or medium ELB bowl with nonstick spray.

2. In a bowl, place the yellow cake mix,

3. pudding mix,

4. sour cream,

5. water,

6. Oil,

7. and egg.

8. mix well until blended.

9. Pour into the prepared ELB bowl. Cover with foil.

10. Place bowl in the ELB base, pour 3 ELB cups of water in the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 55 minutes.

11. Carefully open the ELB and check the cake for doneness by inserting a skewer in the middle. It should come out clean.

12. Cool completely on a wire rack.

13. Carefully unmold the cake and serve.

14. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies (the Elon Musk one)

Finally, I was able to write this article. I hope you all will like it!

Tesla. Elon Musk. Bitcoin…..Chocolate Chip Cookies???

A few weeks ago, while on one of my rare break times at work, I came across this article about a Chocolate Chip Cookie that allegedly made Elon Musk go back for seconds. Wait, what? Did I read that right?

So of course, I read the whole article. The baker’s boyfriend works at Space X, and his desk is near Elon Musk’s office. So when the cookies were seen, he asked the bodyguard to get some. And then more.

I just wanted to go home and try the recipe she shared after I was done reading the article. But of course, I had to finish work before leaving.

So, a few hours later, I was able to prepare it. Lucky for me, ingredients for chocolate chip cookies are always in my pantry. 😊

I doubled the recipe so that I could share, and made it in the Thermomix so that it came together really fast.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chunks

1. Place the butter in a bowl. You can use a stand mixer or a hand held one. I used the Thermomix to make life easier.

2. Add the brown sugar,

3. And the white sugar. Mix together over low speed for 3 minutes.

4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5. Add the vanilla extract,

6. And the egg (eggs in the photo as I doubled the recipe).

7. Mix for about 15 seconds, low speed.

8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

9. Stir in the flour,

10. Baking soda,

11. And salt into the butter mixture.

12. Mix on low speed for 10-15 seconds, until just combined.

13. See the texture on the photo above.

14. Add in the chocolate chips, (love Trader Joe’s chocolate chips!)

15. And stir until incorporated.

16. Transfer dough into a container with a lid and refrigerate overnight.

17. Next day, line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Preheat oven to 350F.

18. Drop 2 tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared sheets.

19. Leave 2 inches of space between the dough balls as these spread out a bit.

*You can also scoop the dough, place it on the sheets, touching is fine, and freeze them. When frozen, transfer to a freezer bag and bake as needed. See above photo.*

20. Bake in the oven for 11-13 minutes, or until edges are golden, but the middle is still soft.

21. Slide the parchment or silicone mats directly onto the counter and cool for a few minutes. When set, about 5 minutes, transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Or enjoy cookies while they’re warm and gooey!

Sourdough Focaccia

We have been making homemade pizza for a few years now and it’s become a staple that I have 2 outdoor pizza ovens at the moment.

I also make our sourdough bread every week and need to switch it up with a few varieties using different flours, inclusions, or liquid to flavor the bread. Marshmallow stout instead of water for a chocolate chip sourdough batard anyone??

Between bread and pizza, there’s also focaccia! And here is a very easy recipe complete with a timeline to guide you!

You can split this bread in half crosswise to use for sandwiches, or just cut into squares, or rectangles to eat as is! Dip in olive oil, Trader Joe’s Garlic dip, hummus, baba ganoush…..It’s crunchy and soft, salty and herby…just delicious specially when still warm from the oven.

I use really good olive oil and salt as I believe it contributes to the overall taste of the focaccia. The olives are dry cured from Trader Joe’s, tomatoes and rosemary are from the backyard.

I doubled the recipe and made 2 13”x9” focaccia to eat and have enough to trade with a dozen home grown eggs. So please don’t be confused by the discrepancy between the instructions and the photos. 😊

I hope you will like this recipe as much as we did!

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Ingredients:

423 grams all purpose flour

181 grams bread flour

460 grams water

11 grams salt, plus more for sprinkling

115 grams starter, I used one straight from the fridge

12 grams good quality olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Toppings of choice, chopped herbs, olives, tomatoes, etc.

Procedure:

1. 10 am to 11 am

In a large bowl, mix flours, water, salt and starter. Mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the dough comes together.

Set aside for about 15 to 30 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the water.

Then mix the dough thoroughly, drizzling in the olive oil and pulling the dough up until well mixed. Use a plastic bench/dough scraper to help you pull up the dough and mix the oil in.

Cover (I use a clean, unused plastic hair cover!) and set aside for 30 minutes

#1

2. Bulk 11:15-1:15

#2
#3

Perform 4 sets of stretch and fold every 30 minutes, for 2 hours.

Photos 1 – 4 are the stretch and fold in the first 30 minutes, #2 at an hour, #3 at an hour and thirty minutes, and #4 was after 2 hours, the last of 4 folds. See how stretchy and smooth the dough looks after?

#4

3. Proof 1:15- 5:15

Pour some olive oil in a 13 x 9 inch pan.

Transfer dough to the pan and cover.

Every 30 minutes on the first hour, uncover the dough and stretch gently to fill the pan.

Cover and let rest for the remainder of the 4 hours.

4. 5:15 Preheat oven to 450F.

5. Drizzle the dough with about 2 -3 tablespoons of good olive oil.

6. Wet your finger tips and dimple the dough all the way to the bottom of the pan, multiple times.

7. Sprinkle with chopped herbs, olives, capers, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, etc.

*I used halved cherry tomatoes, chopped rosemary, olives, and Maldon sea salt. The other focaccia had the same toppings except it did not have tomatoes, as I only got a handful from the garden.*

8. Sprinkle with good quality salt.

9. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown.

*After baking, tops should be golden and edges crusty.

*Bottom should be toasted. This looks perfect!

Cut for sandwiches, this is what the crumb look like on my bake. Yummy!

Electric Lunchbox # 96: Creamed Corn Cornbread

Good morning everyone!

After posting the Jiffy Spoon bread recipe for the ELB, I got a few requests for a “from scratch” recipe as Jiffy is not readily available where they live. I had that problem once in a while too, so I am more than happy to accommodate that request.

The texture if this is not as soft as the spoon bread recipe, but it is close. I hope you try it both and decide which one you like better!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup sour cream

1 egg

1/2 cup cornmeal

3 tablespoons canola oil

3/4 cup canned creamed corn

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

3 ELB cups water for the base

Procedure:

1. Spray the big ELB bowl with nonstick spray. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, place sour cream,

2. Egg,

3. Cornmeal,

4. Canola oil,

4. Creamed corn,

5. Salt,

6. Baking powder, and sugar.

7. Stir everything together until just mixed.

8. Pour into prepared bowl and level the tops.

9. Cover with foil and set on the ELB base. Pour 3 ELB cups water in the base, cover, and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

10. Carefully open the ELB and check the bread for doneness by inserting a skewer in the middle. It should have little moist crumbs attached to it.

11. Cool for a few minutes on a wire rack. Invert onto a serving plate and serve warm.

Electric Lunchbox #95: Spoon Bread made with Jiffy Mix

Spoon bread…

I went to school in Virginia briefly when I was in high school. I was lucky enough to have cooking/baking class as my elective class of choice. The counselor asked me a few questions about interests/hobbies and asked me to choose my elective. Kitchen it is!

It was my favorite time of the day! I learned to make lots of food (sugar cookies, lasagna, manicotti, Welsh Cakes…) and we get to keep a portion to take home, or eat at lunch. I still have a few recipes I copied from that time in a blue notebook that I still make frequently.

One of the things we made was spoon bread. I didn’t quite understand it at that time, but yes, just as the name implies, it is a soft, moist quick bread that you’ll use a spoon to scoop up to eat. It is soft like pudding but with a little more structure that you can cut it.

In this recipe, I used a readily available cornbread mix to make life easier. And the amount of the ingredients are adjusted to fit the big ELB bowl.

Enjoy!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

Follow me for more recipes for the ELB!

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup canned creamed corn

1/2 cup canned sweet corn kernels, drained

1/2 cup sour cream

1 egg

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup Jiffy Cornbread Mix

3 ELB cups water for the base

*Use the big bowl of the ELB!*

Procedure:

1. Spray the big ELB bowl with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a bowl, place melted butter,

3. creamed corn,

4. corn kernels,

5. sour cream,

6. egg,

7. sugar,

8. salt,

9. and Jiffy cornbread mix.

10. Mix everything together until well blended.

11. Pour into the prepared ELB bowl. Cover with foil.

12. place 3 ELB cups of water in the base. Place the bowl in the ELB base, cover and steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

13. Carefully open the ELB and check the bread for doneness by inserting a skewer in the middle. It is done when a few moist crumbs are sticking to the skewer instead of thick batter.

14. cool completely and unmold carefully. Slice and serve or use a spoon to scoop up individual portions.

15. Enjoy!