Torta tres leches o cuatro?

Tres leches Cake or four?

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I made this recipe for our house warming party, and my friend Jane loved it. I promised I would put the recipe on my blog. Even though is not Bolivian, it is very Latin American and you can use your favorite fruit to go with it. I love blueberries in Maine, but in Bolivia I love topping it with grilled mango and grilled pineapples. To Jane and Maura for sharing hours in the kitchen baking. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter (softened)

1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 eggs yolk

5 eggs white

1 cup milk or cream

1 can (14oz) condensed milk

1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

1 cup whipped cream

Fresh fruit like berries, mangoes, roasted pineapples, peaches

Preparation:

If you don’t have time to bake the cake you can use Betty Crocker  yellow cake mix and follow the box instructions.

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Preheat oven at 350F. If you are making one cake use a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. If you are making two cakes use two 8″ baking dishes. Lightly butter the baking dish.

In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Beat egg whites to until stiff and you see small peaks in their shape. Set aside

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and 3/4 cups of sugar until pale and thick. Add the eggs yolk and vanilla, beat to combine. Gradually add  the flour and mix to combine. With an spatula add the whipped eggs whites and mix into the batter until well mixed. Pour into the baking pans. Bake for 30-35 min.

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In a bowl mix together milk or cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk and set aside.

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Remove the cake from the oven and poke the cake  all over with a toothpick, and add the mix of milk. Is very important to make enough small holes around the cake so the mix will go through the cake and to pour it slowly so the milk will soak the cake. Let it cool for an hour. I like making this one day ahead so the cake really is well moisturized by the mix of milks.

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Whip cream to peaks. Spread the cream evenly over cooled cake and top it with a layer of your favorite fruit. Enjoy!

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Buñuelos Bolivianos

Buñuelos Bolivianos

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What I love most about cooking are the memories that different smells bring back to me. There is nothing better than walking in the streets of Cochabamba and suddenly smelling fry dough in the air and the sweet corn being boiled. My family would go on the Thursday night of Semana Santa to visit church we would walk from church to church, trying to visit as many as possible before midnight. Outside of each church you would see the tents of the Apis, Pasteles and Buñuelos all being cooked and served hot. We usually took a break in our church visits and enjoyed the bitter-sweet flavor of the Api and the sweet, soft dough of the buñuelos and, even better, the melting cheese inside of a pastel de queso. Yes Cochabambinos love to eat.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup milk

1 tbsp yeast

1 egg

3/4 cup hot water

1 tbsp + 1 tsp anise

3 tbsp sugar

3 cups vegetable oil

powdered sugar, honey or molasses.

Preparation:

Get  the ingredients together.

Boil water and measure 3/4 cup of hot water. Add the anise and let it cool until you can touch with your finger.

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Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a crater shape in the middle.

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Add the milk, yeast and egg. Mix.

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Separate the anise from the liquid and add this infusion to the dough. The dough needs to change from dry to almost liquid. Add the anise seed at this point and mix.

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Let it rise for an hour, if it’s a hot day will take less than an hour.

The dough should still be sticky, that is a good sign, but not liquid. To make the buñuelos. pass your fingers through the oil and take a small portion of the dough and shape the dough into round disks and poke holes in the middle. This takes some practice so don’t get to scared. You want them nice and round, very thin in the middle and thick at the edges.

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My mom usually mixes oil and water in a bowl to handle the dough. I like just oil because water and hot oil are not a good mix. While you shaping the dough poke some holes in the middle, this helps to cook faster. Do one at a time.

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Heat the oil. Try with a small portion of dough first to see if it’s hot enough. You need to turn them around when you see the edges inside getting golden.

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Serve hot with honey or syrup. Goes perfectly with Api or tojori, also with a good cup of black roasted coffee.

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Arroz Con Leche

Arroz Con Leche

Happy Easter! Felices Pascuas!

My favorite part of this holiday has always been the dessert. I grew up in a large family surrounded by  a lot of my cousins. On this holiday, all our moms would get together to cook 12 dishes including Arroz con Leche and Biscocho (sweet bread) and cook all morning to part of the afternoon. My cousin and I used eat the other dishes so fast just to get to dessert. They would give us a pieces of a good Biscocho and a cup of Arroz con Leche. We sat together in a circle looking at each other with big smiles to finally have the most delicious dish of the day. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Disfrutenlo!

Serves 8

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup of rice

5 cups of water

½ cup of sugar

4 cups of milk

4 0z evaporated milk

½ tsp cloves

¼ stick cinnamon

Powdered cinammon

Get the ingredients ready.

Put the water in a large pot and add the cloves and cinnamon. Let it boil for 5 min and add the rice. Stir to make sure that it doesn’t stick in the bottom. It needs to be cooked in water first for about 10 min.

You will see that the rice has absorbed most of the water. Add the milk and sugar and let it cook for another 15 min.

Add the evaporated milk and let it boil for 5 min and it’s ready.

Serve in cups and sprinkle ground cinnamon on each of them. If you like. you can add ground coconut on top. This dish goes really well with a piece of biscocho. Enjoy it!