Culture

11 Delicious Latin American Desserts You Can Totally DIY

Directions:

  1. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut in medium sized squares. Peel and chop the pumpkin. Put in a heavy saucepan with the aniseed, add water to cover, and cook over medium-high heat until soft. Drain, reserving the water, and process in the food processor or mash the sweet potatoes and pumpkin to form a soft puree.
  2. Cool the water to lukewarm. In a bowl put one cup cooking water and the sugar; add the active dry yeast, stirring until dissolved. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes in a warm place, until it forms a sponge.
  3. Put the potato and pumpkin puree in a large bowl; add the activated yeast. Add the flour, and mixing with your hands add ½ cup of the cooking water, until the dough is no longer sticky, and feels soft and silky. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm and quiet place, until double or triple in volume, at least two hours.
  4. When the dough is ready, heat a good amount of oil in a big saucepan to deep-fry the picarones.
  5. This is a fundamental step and requires skill and training. With practice, you will get there. Have a bowl with cold water nearby; with one wet hand, take a portion of dough, and quickly try to make a ring shape with your thumb while you put it in the hot oil. With a long wooden stick, turn the picarones around (you can use a kitchen fork to do this). Serve drenched with syrup.
  6. For the syrup:
  7. Chop chancaca and put in a saucepan with cinnamon sticks, cloves, fig leaf, star anise, pineapple peels, and orange. Cover with water and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the chancaca is dissolved and forms a thick syrup. Strain discarding the solids, cool to room temperature, and put in a jar to have it ready to pour over picarones. You can substitute chancaca with molasses syrup or muscovado sugar.

Source: Perude Lights

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