Thursday, October 30, 2008

Boniatillo (Cuban Tropical Sweet Potato Pudding)

Boniatillo, boniatillo is the name of a dessert in Cuban Cuisine that is like a creamy, sweet smooth pudding made from the Cuban White Sweet Potato. There are 2 versions of Boniatillo, 1 version is "Boniatillo Seco" (dry) which is dry, hard, and like candy, the other is "Boniatillo de Mesa" which is like a custard/ pudding (that is the one I am making) there are many versions of Boniatillo, some infuse it with coconut milk, other's add rum, some infuse with lime and cinnamon, others with orange, some add cream cheese, etc. the one I am making is from "Nitza Villapol's" book called "Cocina al Minuto" the NON COMMUNIST edition/ pre-castro not the other one that is communist and has dumbed down versions of Cuban food. (Sad)

I knew of this dessert because I've heard of it, but my grandmother never made it so I set out on a journey to find a good recipe and wa la someone had posted a photo of Nitza Villapol's book on the page where she wrote this lucky me. (I don't feel bad not buying it because Nitza stayed in Cuba and never got a dime for what she did, so money wont go to her anyway even if I bought the book plus she's dead RIP)

About Boniato is a type of white sweet potato used in Cuban Cuisine. It has a reddish dark purple skin, and solid white flesh, when cooked the flesh becomes a pale yellow. It can go by other names like "Tropical Sweet Yam", "Tropical Sweet Potato", "Cuban White Sweet Potato"

It is not as sweet as the regular sweet potato used in the USA (which is orange fleshed) it is very starchy, and has a potato like consistency with a hint of sweetness.

The Boniato oxidizes easily so it must be peeled quickly and put in water to prevent discoloration. Also it's very perishable try to use in less than 1 week stored at room temperature.

If you cannot find "Boniato" use a white fleshed sweet potato, like a Japanese sweet potato or something of that sort.

-2 lbs. Boniato (Cuban White Sweet Potato)
-4 cups regular white sugar
-2 cups water
-peel of 1 medium-large orange
-juice of 1 medium-large orange
-juice of 1/2 a lime
-1 tablespoon of butter
-1 tablespoon Vino Seco Dorado Edmundo (cheap dry white wine)
-4 egg yolks beaten well

-Ground Cinnamon

(1)Peel Boniato, cut into big chunks, throw in a pot with enough water to cover, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil covered for 15-20 minutes (until it is tender check it by piercing it with a knife)
(2)Meanwhile, add sugar, water, orange peel, orange juice, lime juice to a pot, bring to a strong boil on high then let it boil on medium for 15 minutes. Remove orange peel. Set aside.
(3)When Boniato is cooked, mash to a paste (you can use the food processor to help or do it the old fashioned). Set aside.
(4)Slowly mash in syrup to prevent lumps, bring mixture to a boil on high then lower to medium stir for about 6-8 minutes, add butter, stir well again, now remove from heat add beaten egg yolks slowly in a stream stirring fast in one direction.
(5)Return to stove on medium heat and stir for 3-5 minutes, remove from heat, stir in wine. Put in individual serving bowls dusted with cinnamon or in 1 medium large bowl dust it with cinnamon.
P.S. For a different flavor when making the syrup use 4 cups water, 4 cups sugar, peel of 1 lime, and 1 cinnamon stick and make into a syrup, and continue recipe as directed.

ALSO yes I know it's very sweet Cuban desserts are sweet, it's as sweet as marmalade, your only suppose to have a little bit, maybe like 1/4-1/2 cup after dinner to cleanse pallet from a garlic heavy Cuban dinner :)... sadly I can't help myself I had a big heaping bowl of this after dinner ha ha...


HotChocolate said...

I think your Sweet Potato Pudding is awesome. Even though I use the sweet potato just plain old boiled, this dish you have made sounds good. Keep up the good work! Love your blog.

Marilyn said...

Hi Nathan,
Happy Halloween!
Excelent Boniatillo.
Guarde la receta.
About Nitza, habia un chiste en Cuba sobre como ella enseñaba a hacer Arroz con Pollo, sin Arroz y sin Pollo!
Tu sabes quien era Margot?
Her kitchen helper, era la que lavaba los platos.
Cuando alguien quiere quejarse de no querer lavar platos siempre dicen: Yo no soy Margot!

Nathan said...

Jaja que chistoso, yo vi un video de donde Nitza (ya en el Cuba communista) estaba enseñando como acer un "Boniatillo Seco" lo enseño a lo pobre solo Boniato y azucar no mas nada! Y luego se la pasaba hablando de la comida del Cuba de antes y se miraba media depremida. Medio triste.

Aqui esta los videos:

Boniatillo parte 1:

Boniatillo parte 2:

Mamey said...

Nathan: Otra coincidencia. Yesterday I cooked 'real boniatos' which in the L.A. area are practically worth their weight in gold. But I just boiled them and used thick slices as a bed for salmon en salsa (the salsa pretty much what I would use for bacalao a la vizcaina...I cook the sauce for a good while before throwing in the pan-fried salmon, which of course doesn't need much cooking).
Served it with polenta (my Dad passed on the polenta as he told me he ate too much of that during the Depression back in Cuba in the 30s)and an avocado/red onion/watercress salad.

Nathan said...

What do you season the salmon with sounds delicious, I want to make :) and yum Boniato goes so goood with Vizcaina sauce I remember having some with Bacalao a la Vizcaina with it.

Oh yeah and the Polenta thing we make it at my house to, it's a Cuban thing my grandma tells me, "La jente que no tenian mucha plata pa' comida accustumbraban comer Harina de Maiz"

My grandmother likes to make it "Harina de Maiz Con Camarones" and "Harina de Maiz Con Patas de Cangrejo"

Sometimes she'd make it also plain with salt, sometimes she'd use the "Harina de Maiz" to make "Majarete" to. The salted and Majarete versions are good for breakfast. :)

mamey said...

Yeah, growing up I had polenta (harina) with various foods...fried eggs, picadillo, bacalao, crab, pork chunks. Have you made tamal en cazuela?

Nathan said...

I haven't made Tamal En Cazuela, well I did make it once I made the one from "Marta's Cuban American blog" but it was horrible to me and my family.

It was tooo acidic she called for tooo much tomato, lime, and wine it's overpowering (we threw it away)

My grandma tells me back in the day in Cuba people would grate the corn and all that, but my grandmother suggested to brown some finely diced pork butt pieces, add olive oil, make a sofrito and add some tomato sauce and water then simmer with cumin and salt for a little bit, afterwards just make the Harina de Maiz (just using water, corn meal and a bit of salt) and add the pork with sofrito to it, stir and ta-da.

Mamey said...

Nathan: I season the salmon with garlic, paprika, cumin, sea salt, and black pepper...not exactly a Basque combo...For the sauce I use fresh crushed tomatoes and a bit of tomato sauce, onions, bell peppers, and pimientos morrones.
On a different note, how about a pozole recipe?

Nathan said...

I will make that salmon dish :) but knowing me I will probably add a little extra-garlic for the sauce lol.

Hmm... Pozole, expect a Pozole recipe sometime this month :) My mother bought all the cuts of pork meat she needed for the Pozole, and my mother makes THE BEST Pozole, a lot of peoples Pozoles are bland and cheap she makes a really good one though :)

mamey said...

Nathan: You can never put too much garlic, for sure! I got used to lots of garlic as a little kid because my aunts often toasted the leftover bread from lunch, rub it with plenty of garlic and drizzle it with olive oil. That was usually the first part of my afternoon merienda followed by ice cream from ambulatory vendors (they would sell Guarina ice cream...dlicious chocolate, coconut, mamey, guanabana...).

Mamey said...

Nathan: I've had delicious pozole in a home in Santa Fe, New Mexico and another made by a friend from Colima, Mexico. Most places in town don't make very good pozole. It's a great dish...looking forward to your recipe. I've never made it.

Rox said...

You should make dulce de leche cortado soon- that's one of my favorites, but I am not a repostera... actually i quite suck at it.LOL I hope you'll consider making this one in the future ;)

Nathan said...

You can see a wonderful recipe with some pictorials at Marilyn's blog listed under "My Blog List" on teh right side of my blog.

Her blog is called "My Cuban Traumas" she has a recipe for "Dulce de Leche Cortada"

I'm sure you can make some desserts a lot of Cuban desserts are super easy a huge amount of them are simple custards (flan, tocino del cielo, etc), puddings (bread pudding, natilla, rice pudding, etc.)and fruits in heavy syrups (usually infused with cinnamon.

Rox said...

oh hey i checked out my Cuban traumas... i will make her recipe soon. Thanks for letting me know she had made this!

Karen Brown Letarte said...

Oh, Nathan, that is so funny about your great big bowl of boniato-- you are as bad as I am about dessert!
This sounds SO yuummy...
:) K