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.
Today I am introducing a Colombian cake to you, which is similar to the Victoria Sponge Cake, it is called Torta María Louisa! The main difference is that you will soak it in orange juice and instead of jam fill it with caramel cream made from sweetened consdensed milk. Torta María Louísa is not only common in Colombia, but also in Venezuela and El Salvador. Whereas I have seen recipes with two different fillings and a meringue outside, I decided to stick to the classic and keep this cake simple. Two layers of orange cake sandwiched together with caramel.
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.
Have you every experienced this? You want to bake something you ate during your holiday, but then you can’t find the right ingredients. This is what happened to me when I tried to make achiras, this is a gluten free cheese snack from Colombia. My first problem was the cheese being used, it is called queso campesino and simply is not sold in Germany. Feta is probably the closest you will ever find, but it is firmer and much saltier. So I thought I couldn’t make achiras.
On top of that, Colombians use a special starch for achiras. It is extracted from the Sago palm. I was very certain that regular grocery stores in Germany wouldn’t offer Sago starch. At least this is what I thought.