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Latin American Recipes

Nut Caramel Cake from Argentina: torta Balcarce for my Seventh Blog Birthday

Today I am going to introduce a speciality from Argentina: torta Balcarce or postre Balcarce. This cake consists of sponge cake layers, the caramel cream called dulce de leche, chopped marrons/sweet chestnuts (often replaced with walnuts), meringue, and whipping cream. The cake originated in the town Balcarce (hence the name). It was created by the pastry chef Guillermo Talou in 1950 and quickly became famous throughout the country. To the present day the town Balcarce celebrates a festival. One event is to actually assemble a gigantic cake and eat it. Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to eat this cake when I went on holiday in Argentina in 2018. However, I figured, why not try making it at home in Germany? I decided to make this cake for my seventh blog anniversary, today exactly seven years ago my first blog post went online, so I wanted to celebrate with you with this delicious cake.

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Queque de Platano or Banana Bread from Peru

During Covid and lockdown times, everybody seemed to have baked banana bread. I never published a recipe because I didn’t feel like following a trend. There are sooo many recipes out there, healthier ones, vegan, classic recipes, and some that sound like a decadent cake and have names such as “death by chocolate banana bread”. I finally caved and this has to do with the fact that this banana bread is prepared with plantains instead of bananas. Traditionally Peru and also Chile like to use plantains to make the bread, so I dared to declare this a Peruvian recipe. But I know that there are heated and emotional discussions as to which recipe belongs to which Latin American country. I will just keep out of it and call this queque de platano Peruvian. Please don’t kill me.

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Arroz con Pollo from Colombia

Arroz con pollo can be translated as “rice with chicken”. This is a one-pot meal popular in all of Latin America. Each country has their secret ingredient, each one swears their version is the best. Below version is popular in Colombia aka is the recipe from my mom-in-law. Yes, it contains the three main components, rice, chicken, and vegetables. But my mother-in-law likes to spice it up using some sausages in addition. She also swears by preparing each component separately to keep the rice moist. It is only at the end that she combines all the three. So this is not the traditional way of preparing this meal, but I have to say, I like her version a lot.  Otherwise you may end up with a pretty dry dish.

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Torta Rogel from Uruguay

I am going to introduce torta rogel from Uruguay today. Why do you find many recipes from Uruguay on this blog? Because I was born in this beautiful country in Latin America. Even though I have a German passport, I lived in Uruguay for several years as a child. We happened to live in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Back in the 80s you would occasionally find some horse carriages between the cars and we lived on one of the main streets. My sister and me often paid a visit to the nearby kiosk, we would either get “chicle”, which is chewing gum, or we got breakfast: bread and dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is the peanut butter of Latin America, the caramel made from sweetened milk is used as much in Latin American cuisine as is peanut butter in the U.S. I will never forget how my dad instructed my sister and me to get breakfast: “Go and get bread and dulce de leche from the vaca cow (vaca= Spanish for cow).” We may have spoken German among each other, but a Spanish word would slip in here and there. Sometimes funky creations such as saying the same word in two language would come out of it. But anyway, I love dulce de leche, so I wanted to show you this delicious cake, which contains a lot of it. In this reel you can see how I make it and how it looks.

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Empanadas from Mendoza, Argentina

Yes, I am introducing empanadas again, these are dumplings or turnovers popular in all of Latin America. Today I am going to introduce you to the ones famous in Mendoza, Argentina. These are traditionally filled with beef, olives, and hard-boiled eggs. They are similar to the empanadas from Uruguay. Uruguayan empanadas are also filled with beef and also contain hard-boiled eggs. However, there are slight differences such as no olives and the meat being prepared with tomatoes. You will also realize that the dough has one different ingredient, instead of water this dough is prepared with warm milk, making it extra easy to work with. If you want to check out further empanada recipes, check out this blog post.

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Roscónes: Yeast Wreaths from Colombia

Guys, it is World Bread Day again! Zorra from the German blog Kochtopf invites you to make a bread with yeast or sourdough. So I decided to make a new version of one of the first recipes I published on this blog: yeast wreaths from Colombia named roscón. Normally they are filled with a guava paste, however, we are going to replace this with quince. Of course I tried a new recipe for this occasion and also made them much smaller. I feel if you only eat an individual serving, it makes is so much easier to handle and then they are prefect for breakfast.

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12 Recipes with Dulce de Leche

I probably sound like a broken record, but dulce de leche is as popular in Latin America as is Nutella in Europe. This caramel is made from milk and sugar. You will find plentiful recipes featuring dulce de leche. It may be used as a filling or it will serve as a thin layer. It can be a simple dollop served with flan. You will be able to spread it on bread (just like Nutella) or you can simply eat it by the spoonful. I am telling you, there is a reason why this caramel is so popular. Today I will introduce twelve recipes from Latin America containing dulce de leche, one is from Russia. So which recipe is your favorite?

Let’s first start with the basic recipe for dulce de leche:

Selbstgemachte dulce de leche

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Dule de Leche Made in a Frying Pan

Dulce de leche is the Nutella of Latin America. I may sound like a broken record, but I don’t get tired of saying this. Dulce de leche is made from sweetened milk and becomes caramel. Just as here in Germany Nutella is spread on bread, you may just eat it by the spoonful or make a lot of baked goods with it, dulce de leche is used the same in Latin America. Yes, I do have fond memories of smearing dulce de leche onto bread. Jam could only be cut (and is called dulce de membrillo), so I spread dulce de leche on my bread and topped it off with some cheese. Yes, I know this sounds crezy, but I loved it. Yes, of course there is already a recipe on my blog for dulce de leche, check out how to make dulce de leche in this blog article. Essentially, we are going to boil sweetened condensed milk for long enough in unopened cans until they become caramel. This usually takes about 3 1/2 hours, so today I am going to introduce a quicker version, making it in a frying pan. This will take about 30-40 minutes. So if you are restrained timewise, this may be for you, but this dulce de leche is more liquid than the one from the can.

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Brigadeiros from Brazil with 4 Ingredients

Have you ever heard of the truffle called brigadeiro from Brazil? In my opinion this is a perfect treat, which you can give as a last-minute gift. They can be made in a short amount of time and are so creamy. If you are a truffle fan, this may be for you. I am introducing the traditional flavor here, which is made with sweetened condensed milk, butter, and cocoa powder. You will then roll in chocolate sprinkles. However, you may also use additional cocoa powder or leave plain. So all you need is four ingredients and a bit of time to make this delicious treat. Continue Reading…

Donuts from Argentina, bolas de fraile

Today is national Donut Day or Doughnut Day and I am going to celebrate it with donuts from Argentina or Uruguay. They are called bolas de fraile or berlinesas. In Germany donuts are called Berliner, Berliner Pfannkuchen, Kreppl, or Krapfen as this probably already explains where “berlinesas” are from. Apparently, German immigrants took this delicious donut to Argentina. However, one main difference is the filling. Whereas German Berliner are filled with strawberry jam or jelly traditionally, Argentinians will rely on their beloved dulce de leche, which is a caramel made from sweetened milk. A small difference is also how these are dusted with sugar, in Germany you will traditionall dust only the top part with icing sugar whereas in Argentinia regular sugar is used to roll the entire ball in it. Be it as it may, I hope you will enjoy these sweet little yeast treats, which are fried, filled with dulce de leche and rolled in sugar. Regardless of whether Germans brought them or not (another name is bolas de fraile, which literally translates as “balls from Monchs”), these little donuts will for sure sweeten your day.

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