Jacaranda trees, sweet fragrant jasmine blossoms, misterious huele de noche. Árboles de Limón, (lime trees), wild orchids and at the back bottom the Popocatépetl volcano watching us. Those are the colors I grew up at my parent’s garden. Truly Under the Volcano. Being raised in Cuernavaca, la Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera (“the city of eternal spring”), I have enjoyed the beauty of nature at its full splendor year round. In Mexico (at least, most of the territory) we don’t really know what winter is or represents.
I specially planned a very significant post for my first blog anniversary: my pastry chef boyfriend would create and bake a cake . But as the wise saying says: “Si quieres que Dios se ria, haz planes” (If you want to make God laughing, do some plans). Today May 2nd we are dealing with moving companies, farewell parties, lots of visas paperwork and bureaucracy. We’re leaving Shanghai to warmer areas, still in Asia.
So instead of a fancy French entremet, I made a simple yet delectable Pastel de Elote (Mexican Sweet Corn Cake).
Almost impossible to track back the origin of this cake, but since it has some condensed milk on it, I assume is not a very old recipe of the Mexican Repertoire but more the result of the excelent marketing of La Lechera condensed milk. I asked my friends on Facebook and Twitter for the best Pastel de Elote recipe and I received plenty of them. This particular one is an adaptation from the recipe Cristina Rey shared with me.
Pastel de Elote (Sweet Corn Cake)
Fresh whole kernel corn of 5 corns on the cob or
2 cans of sweet whole kernels (Mexican Brand not American)
90 gr unsalted melted butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk (La Lechera)
2 teaspoons of cornstarch
2 teaspoons of baking powder
Preheat oven to 200C. Grease and flour a cake mold.
Mix all the ingredientes together with a blender.
Bake at 180-200 C for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until you insert a toothpick and it comes almost dry. This cake has more of a pudding like consistency so toothpick will never come totally dry.
Last year when I learnt about the worldwide Nutella Day celebration, it was too late to participate, but I promised myself to do it the following year.
Here I am my friends, keeping my promises but most importantly, paying homage to a longtime , obscure love affair: Nutella.
Luckily for me, it didn’t take me long to find out what to do with this buttery hazelnut-chocolate spread. The answer came to me naturally: Alfajores; because what could be better than pair this amazing Italian invent with one of my favorite cookies?. After all the best two best ways to eat Nutella are: 1) by spoonfuls (very dangerous, I know) and the 2) as in a tartine, with plain toasted bread. I just replaced the bread for a cookie.
Yes, I´m such a smart cookie :)
Oranges are one of my favorite fruits. I like it because its versatility to apply it on savoury and sweet recipes but also as the best option for a light snack during the day. Orange and Vanilla pound cake is my edible version of heaven. I used to bake and sell this cake when I was doing my Culinary studies and it was one of my bestsellers. There’s nothing fancy about this cake but that’s where its beauty resides, is all about the sweet taste of oranges.
Try it with any other citrus fruit.