Armchair travellers are flexing their culinary skills in the kitchen right now, and seeking inspiration around the globe.
We’ve gathered the best South American recipes – many of which are from their top hotel chefs and kitchens – for cakes and deserts. There are, of course, many beautiful hotels with top class chefs in South America serving up delights that would jazz up any dinner table. And cooking up some of those local flavours and aroma’s is a great way of experiencing the joy of travel from your own kitchen. We say, just because you’re staying home right now, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some South American recipes. Add some Latino sweetness to your life!
If you’re keen to try some new South American food, then try your hand at these four recipes. Cakes and desserts on the menu include a honey, chia and coconut chocolate bar, tres leches cake, cloud forest fruit cake and comforting rice pudding.
With these sweet treats, your staycation inspired by our favourite South America hotels and top travel spots will be a breeze.
Inkaterra Chocolate bar with honey, chia and coconut
– ½ cup of cocoa butter
– ½ cup of coconut oil
– ¼ cup of honey
– ½ cup of cocoa powder
– ½ cup of grated coconut
– ½ cup of chia seeds
– Vanilla extract – to taste
– Sugar or Stevia – to taste
Makes 3 or 4 bars
– Melt the cocoa butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the coconut oil and
when the mixture is thoroughly mixed, add the honey and mix well.
– Continually mixing, add the cocoa powder until mixed well and add the chia seeds,
grated coconut, vanilla, and stevia or sugar until well mixed and combined.
– Pour the mixture on a parchment paper and bake it at 180°C (350°F) for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool before refrigerating for 1 hour.
– Remove the parchment paper and cut into bars. This recipe makes 3 to 4 servings
depending on how you cut them
Tres Leches Cake
This is a lusciously rich and moist cake from Mexico that is soaked in milk giving it a sweet but light taste. Perfect for an afternoon treat or coffee morning.
-flavourless oil, for the tin
-4 eggs, separated
-200g caster sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-200g plain flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-410g can evaporated milk
-200ml sweetened condensed milk
-300ml double cream
-2 tbsp icing sugar
– Heat oven to 180C/160C fan and grease and line a 20cm square cake tin.
– Put egg whites in large bowl with a pinch of salt. Whisk using electric hand whisk until foamy, which takes about 3 mins. Continue to mix and add 150g of sugar, make sure you add just a spoonful at a time. It should now look beautifully thick and glossy.
– In another bowl, put the egg yolks, remaining sugar and vanilla for a full 2 mins. It should look pale and foamy. Then add in the flour, baking powder and milk to the egg yolks, and use a metal spatula to fold it all together.
– Add a large spoonful of egg white to your cake mix, whisk this together which will loosen it, then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites you have left over using a large metal spoon. If you over-stir you take out all the air so be wary of this. Now you will have a nice and smooth batter.
– Now you pour the batter into your tin, taking time to smooth the top. Bake for approx 40-45 mins – if a skewer comes out clean from the middle you are done!
– Take the evaporated milk, condensed milk and 3 tbsp of the cream and mix this together in a bowl.
– Let your cake cool for 10 mins in the tin, then using a knife you can gently let it out around the sides. Use a fork to poke holes all over it so that the milk mixture will be absorbed into the centre of it. Then pour over half the milk mixture and wait for 5 mins. After this, transfer to a plate and pour over some of the remaining milk and stop as it starts to leak. Use your leftover milk to offer on the side in a jug as a yummy extra.
– After it’s cooled, garnish your cake as you like and serve: you can use strawberries or dust with cinnamon whatever you like! This cake is best stored in the fridge.
Cloud Forest Fruit Cake
A special take on a classic, this is a very moist fruitcake made with delicious fruit puree rather than citron and candied peel.
-300g Wheat flour
-180g Brown or dark sugar
-3 free-range eggs
-175g Avocado/coconut oil
-2g Ishpingo (Amazonian cinnamon) or cinnamon powder
-150 gr Local seasonal fruit puree
-4g Baking powder
-2.5 gr Salt
-30g Lemon juice
-150g Egg whites
-140g Brown or dark sugar
-350g Unsalted butter cut into pieces and at room temperature
-2g Good quality vanilla essence
-50g Lemon leaf powder
Serves 8 to 10 slices
-Sift the dry ingredients and base (flour, salt, baking powder and ishpingo or cinnamon powder)
-Mix the black or brown sugar with oil and seasonal fruit purée with a whisk. Our purée is made with a mix of local seasonal fruits such as salak, pineapple and roasted banana. The texture should be thick and without any big lumps. However, most kinds of ripe fruit can be used for this purpose. For better results, aim to balance the sweetness and tartness of the fruits.
-Add eggs to the oil mixture, one by one. Beat at medium speed with a mixer.
-Add the dry ingredients to the mixture and keep stirring until a creamy texture is achieved.
-Put waxed paper at the bottom of the pan and bake at 170ºC for 30 minutes. Allow cooling and remove the wax paper.
-Cut the mix into portions and spread a dab of brown-sugar buttercream. Top everything with green aromatic leaf powder. We use sun-dried lemon tangerine leaf powder from the Guayabillas
-Prior to preparation, place blender glass and whip in the fridge to cool for one hour. Brown the butter carefully. Place in a separate bowl and allow to cool.
-Dissolve the brown sugar in the egg whites in a bain-marie (the water should not touch the pot or be allowed to boil) until it reaches 65ºC.
-Put the mixture in the bowl of the cooled mixer, mix to lower the temperature, once it reaches 30ºC, beat until a shiny meringue with stable peaks forms.
-Change the whisk for the shovel accessory and start adding the butter in small, steady drips (the mixture must be cold to avoid melting the butter).
-Keep whisking at a steady pace.
-Once the butter is fully incorporated into the mixture, whisk at a higher speed to achieve the highest creaminess possible.(This buttercream can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week. Prior to use it must be tempered and whipped)
-Clean the lemon leaves and dry them at 45°C.
-Grind to a fine powder. Keep in an airtight container.
Marcela Jongezoon’s Rice Pudding
This recipe from the hotel chef is a family heirloom having been passed down from her grandmother in her native home of Guatemala City and remains near and dear to her heart.
4 cups of water
1/2 cup white rice
1 cinnamon stick
4 tsp sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
– Bring the water, cinnamon stick and cloves to a boil for about 20 minutes.
-To prepare the caramel, remove the wrapper from the can of condensed milk and place the can in a pressure cooker with water for 45 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can boil in a regular pot of water for 4 hours. (You can do this ahead of time.)
-Add the rice to boiling cinnamon water and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. Then add evaporated milk and sugar for cook another 20 minutes.
-Pour a tablespoon or two of caramel into a dessert bowl. Scoop in the rice putting and more caramel on top, Garnish with fresh mint and enjoy.