Chocoflan (Caramel and Chocolate Cake)

Emilio my little son was invited to a play date, I don’t usually take something to play dates, but this one was with his best friends, so I thought to bake something and this cake has the wow factor, it is a flan and chocolate cake together, it is quite popular in Mexico, some people call it, “Pastel Imposible” (impossible cake), but my little boy calls it magic cake, so this is the way we call it. Continue reading ” Chocoflan (Caramel and Chocolate Cake)”

Alegrías de Amaranto (Amaranth Bar Alegrías)

 

Every year around mid February, Ensenada hosts a traditional port carnival, this is what port cities do. My parents always used to take us to see the parade in the afternoon and that was my favourite part as they used to get us lots of nice sweet treats, one of them were “Alegrias”, these cosy amaranth bars taste just heavenly. This recipe originated in the state of Morelos, Mexico, there they do these amazing shapes and combinations, but nowadays alegrias are very popular all around Mexico.

Alegrias are also extremely nutritious, amaranth are the tiny little seed use to make these mexican sweets, amaranth is similar to quinoa and in fact it is as healthy as quinoa, as it contains high levels of protein. In Mexico amaranth has been eaten since a long time ago. The Mayans and the Aztecs used to eat a lot of this grain as part of their diet and it was consider a very important ingredient.

The recipe is an easy to make, you just have to be careful while you are popping the amaranth, because it burns very easily.

Makes a 30 d x 20 h tray

Ingredients 

  • 100 gr amaranth seed
  • 3 light brown small piloncillo bars
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 oiled 30 x 20 tray

Method

First pop up the amaranth seeds. Heat a pan with a glass lid, try first with a few seeds to see if the pan has the right temperature. Remember the seeds burn quite easily, that is why I suggest to use a glass lid, so you can see when the seeds stop popping. Do it in small batches, I did one tablespoon at a time. Put the popped amaranth in a separate bowl and reserve.

Break all the piloncillo bars and place them in the same pan where you popped the amaranth, add the honey and water and heat until everything has dissolved.

Let the syrup to cool down for 5 min.

Add the popped amaranth into the syrup and stir vigorously until all the seeds are cover with the syrup.

Place the amaranth on a pre-oil tray, I just rubbed a tiny bit of rapeseed oil to avoid the amaranth bars to stick to the tray.

Press the amaranth with a rolling pin and let it cool for a few hours.

Cut them with a sharp knife in different shapes.

Tips

  • You can add pumpkin seeds, almonds, raisins or any other nuts you like.

Listo!

Provecho!

Dulce de Calabaza (Pumpkin in Syrup)

 
One of the dishes that I will always have in my heart is”dulce de calabaza” or “Calabaza en tacha” as some people call it. For me, this recipe totally takes me back to my childhood, I remember going to visit my grandma in Sinaloa and she and my aunties would cook this dish, sometimes specially for me, as I was and still am number one fan of “Calabaza en dulce”. They are the experts to make this recipe, specially my auntie Laura and Ana.

In Mexico this recipe is cook during the autumn and specially during “The Day of the Dead” as an offering to our loved ones that had past away. Whatever the occasion the truth is this recipe is cosy, delicious and once you try it, you will definitely love it and would, like me, eat the whole pot!

I made a medium pumpkin because it is only for my family and me, but you can make as much as you want, it is an easy recipe and I promise you will love it.

For a medium pumpkin

Prep 15 min

Cook 1 hr approx

Ingredients

  • Cheese or Queensland pumpkin washed and cut in chunks
  • 100 gr Dark Brown Mascovado Sugar or dark piloncillo.
  • 2 medium cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 100 ml water

Method

In a large casserole dish add some of the sugar on the bottom and place the pumpkin skin up, add the cloves and cinnamon sticks.

And put another layer of pumpkins and add more sugar, do this until all the pieces are in the casserole dish. Add the water and cook in low heat. Make sure when it is cooking all the pumpkin pieces are covered with the syrup. Cook until the pumpkin is cook and tender.

Enjoy it just by itself or with some milk.

Tips

  • This recipe traditionally is made with dark “Piloncillo” or “Panela” as some people call it.
  • For this recipe I used dark brown Mascovado sugar as I couldn’t find dark piloncillo. The results are very similar.

Listo!

Provecho!