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.
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:
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.
Today I am inviting you to a special coffee. I am going to explain why there are so many Latin American recipes on my blog. So grab a coffee or a tea and let me get started. You will see a traditional Colombian breakfast in the featured picture. These are tamales, which is food steamed in banana leaves accompanied by hot chocolate. Yes, this is something you will eat for breakfast in Colombia, I am not kidding. So just as this may be a very unusal coffee, I am also inviting you to grab something out of the ordinary for your “coffee”. The short answer to the original question is because I was born in Uruguay and because my husband is Colombian. Obviously both of us are interested in eating food we ate as a child. So there definitely is a nostalgic factor, for sure. But apart from the very simple and egoistic “I want to eat food I am familiar with”, I started this blog because I wanted to
A nostalgic recipe: Peach cake from my birth city Paysandú, Uruguay
I am going to teach you about empanadas today, these are the famous turnovers from Latin America. Empanadas are, I dare say, THE snack of Latin America. Empanadas do require quite a bit of work, first you have to prepare the dough and then the filling, then you need to fill and seal each empanada before it is baked or fried. As many dishes, empanadas are originally from Spain. However, Spanish empanadas have little resemblance with the empanadas from Latin America. Spanish empanadas are similar to a pie. The empanada from Galicia for example is big and round, like a pie, usually filled with chicken and champignons. Often the pie topping has some braided elements and is decorated in some kind of way. This is very different from the empanadas from Latin America. In this article we will have a look at how empanadas are made in Latin America. Of course I will give a lot of recipes at the end of this article.
Do you know flan, a custard famous throughout all of Latin America? Flan is mainly made from milk and eggs, try to imagine a steamed custard, creamy and with a caramel topping. I already introduced the classic flan here. In Uruguay vanilla flan is served with dulce de leche on the side, so if you want a bit more of the caramel flavor, that might be for you. I also have a recipe from Mexico on this blog, chocoflan is a mix of flan and a chocolate cake. Chocoflan is also called the impossible cake as the two layers change during baking. Today I am introducing you to flan de piña, aka pineapple flan. The custard has a distinct pineapple flavor and is served with a thin layer of caramel on top.
Leche asada, which translates as “toasted or roasted milk” is probably one of the easiest custards there is. Melt sugar, mix together remaining ingredients, pour into ramekins, and bake. I have made this dessert in under ten minutes. If you happen to have sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla at home, you can make this Latin American custard in a jiffy. As is often the case, this leche asada is originally from Spain and was brought to Latin America during colonization. Famous among the Canary Islands, leche asada is enjoyed all throughout Latin America. Peru and Chile in particular fight over who has the best leche asada, but I will keep out of this discussion, because if you ask me, neither as it stems from Spain. Regardless of who makes the best, let’s look at what leche asada actually is
Finally I am introducing the basic recipe for arepas on my blog! Arepas are a flatbread made from cornmeal. They are most popular in Colombia and Venezuela. As a German I have to say that these countries offer the same kind of varieties of arepas as breads are offered here. I already introduced arepas boyacenses, however, so far the basic recipe was missing. The reason being simple, I just felt I still didn’t know how to make perfect arepas even though it only consists of three ingredients, cornmeal, water, and salt. But now the waiting is finally over, below I am offering many tips. Hopefully they will make you confident enough so that your first arepas turn out great from the start. If making the very basic recipe, arepas are naturally gluten-free and vegan.
Chocolate and caramel are the perfect combination, don’t you think? I at least find that they are the dream team. And for that reason I am offering something from my birth country Uruguay, namely empanadas. These can be filled with about anything and everything. I have posted the classic beef empanada recipe beforehand, but today I wanted something sweet instead. I went for dulce de leche. Never heard of it? This is basically a caramel made from sweetened condensed milk, it is eaten throughout Latin America and is probably as important as peanut butter is in the U.S. Of course you will find the recipe on this blog as well. You basically need to cover a can of sweetened condensed milk for two and a half hours. All tricks and tips can be found here.
Uruguayan cutlet or milanesa is in my opinion the best! For that reason I had to introduce it here. Yes, you may be surprised, but I occassionally post savory dishes, you know, I eat more than only cakes and cookies. Usually my husband is kind enough to prepare our dinners, but I was eager to introduce milanesa on the blog. Finally. I mean, they are special to me as I ate cutlets a lot as a child in Uruguay. Obviously I had to prepare the milanesa you see below and yes, I was also the one who ate it, my husband didn’t do a thing.