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Pan con chocolate (Chocolate flan with caramelized bread, olive oil and brioche ice cream)

Pan con chocolate (Chocolate flan with caramelized bread, olive oil and brioche ice cream)
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: In Washington, D.C., I had chocolate flan at Jaleo (Chinatown location). It was so good that I had to consciously stop myself from saying mmmm with every bite. Can you get this recipe? Lee Kelly South Pasadena Dear ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes, plus chilling and cooling times | Serves 8

Chocolate cremoso

  • Scant 5 ounces (138 grams) chocolate, preferably 70% cocoa, finely ground or chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 1½ teaspoons (125 g) milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 1½ teaspoons (125 g) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons (25 g) sugar
  • 2 large (30 g) egg yolks

Step 1Place the ground chocolate in a large bowl.

Step 2In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the milk and cream, and bring to a boil over high heat.

Step 3Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks. When the milk mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and slowly drizzle it into the bowl with the eggs while whisking to warm, or temper, the eggs.

Step 4Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and gently heat until it thickens to form a custard, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Remove from heat again, and pour the custard over the chocolate.

Step 5 Cover the chocolate bowl with plastic wrap for one minute to retain the heat and to give the custard time to begin melting the chocolate. After a minute, remove the plastic and gently stir the mixture to melt the chocolate into the custard. Continue stirring until the chocolate is emulsified with the custard.

Step 6Cover the chocolate custard with plastic wrap, pressing it against the surface (this will prevent a skin from forming), and place the custard in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

Chocolate sauce

  • 2 1/4 ounces (63 g) chocolate, preferably 70% cocoa, ground or finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon (63 g) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon (63 g) corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) water

Step 1Place the chocolate in a bowl. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the cream and corn syrup and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate, stirring to melt the chocolate and form a sauce. Stir in the water, then transfer to a small squeeze bottle or container, and refrigerate to chill.

Cocoa crumble

  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (50 g) flour
  • Scant 1/3 cup (50 g) cocoa powder
  • Generous 5½ tablespoons (75 g) butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt
  • 1 egg yolk

Step 1Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, butter and salt, mixing until the mixture resembles a fine meal. Add the egg yolk and continue mixing until the yolk is fully incorporated.

Step 2Transfer the dough to a nonstick silicone-sheet-lined baking sheet and top with a second silicone sheet. Roll the dough to a thickness of one-fourth inch. Remove the second sheet and bake until the cookie is completely cooked and dry, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside until it is cooled to room temperature.

Step 3Using your hands, break the cookie into a coarse meal, then sift until you have a fine powder. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Brioche ice cream

  • 1 1/2 cups (340 g) milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (100 g) heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (20 g) milk powder
  • 1/2 cup (98 g) sugar
  • 1 3/4 ounces (50 g) brioche, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • Heaping ½ teaspoon active dry yeast (4 g fresh yeast)

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, scald the milk and cream. Whisk in the milk powder and sugar and bring to a simmer (180 degrees). Remove from heat and pour the milk mixture into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation.

Step 2Toast the brioche in the oven until dry and lightly colored, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the brioche to the milk mixture. Cover the surface of the milk and brioche with a layer of plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight to steep the brioche with the milk.

Step 3After steeping, blend the brioche and milk mixture until it is completely smooth, and strain through a fine strainer.

Step 4Take about one-third cup of the milk mixture and warm it in a microwave to around 100 degrees. Add the yeast to the warmed mixture and set aside for 30 minutes to give the yeast time to ferment, then place the mixture back in the microwave and bring to a simmer (185 degrees) to kill the yeast.

Step 5Mix the yeast mixture with the rest of the milk mixture and process in an ice cream machine. Cover and freeze the brioche ice cream until ready to serve.

Orange gelatin

  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (100 g) fresh orange juice, divided
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (10 g) sugar
  • 1 sheet of gelatin, softened in cold water
  • Zest of ½ an orange

Step 1In a small bowl, heat half the juice with the sugar in a microwave until it comes to a boil. Add the softened gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Stir in the remaining juice and zest, then strain the mixture into a small container and refrigerate, uncovered, to set overnight.

Caramelized bread

  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons (50 g) water
  • 8 very thin slices country bread or baguette

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the sugar and water in a small bowl and microwave until the water is heated and the sugar is dissolved to form a simple syrup.

Step 2Place the bread on a silicone-sheet-lined baking sheet and brush each slice with the simple syrup. Bake the bread until golden brown and caramelized.

Step 3Cool completely, and carefully store in an airtight container.


  • Chocolate cremoso
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Orange gelatin
  • Brioche ice cream
  • Chocolate crumble
  • Caramelized bread
  • Maldon salt, for garnish
  • Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
  • Olive oil, preferably Arbequina, for garnish

Step 1Place the chocolate cremoso in a piping bag fitted with a petal tip. Meanwhile, warm the chocolate sauce carefully so it will spread easily.

Step 2Squeeze a little of the sauce from the squeeze bottle in an oval pattern on each of 8 plates. Pipe a wavy ribbon of chocolate cremoso on each plate, and spoon a small bit of the orange gelatin to the side.

Step 3Scoop a small scoop of ice cream for each serving, and carefully roll each scoop in the chocolate crumble. Place each scoop to the side of the ribbon.

Step 4Garnish each serving with a piece of caramelized bread, a sprinkling of Maldon salt, fresh thyme leaves and a few drops of olive oil. Serve immediately.

Note: Adapted from Jaleo in Washington, D.C. This recipe calls for a kitchen scale, squeeze bottles, silicon baking sheets (commonly called silpats), piping bags and petal piping tips, which can be found at cooking and baking supply stores. We adapted the recipe slightly when testing for the home kitchen. The original recipe called for glucose syrup in the chocolate sauce; we substituted corn syrup. The recipe also called for glucose powder (18 g), ice cream stabilizer (1 g) and fresh yeast (4 g) in the brioche ice cream; we substituted granulated sugar for the glucose powder, omitted the stabilizer and converted the fresh yeast to use active dry.


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