Mexican sweets, Mexican flavors 2
Last week in Mexican Sweets, Mexican Flavors, we talked about how typical sweets represent a great tradition in Mexican cuisine. We brought to you three examples of Mexican candies. Today, we have three more for you. Let’s remember what we said.
The convents were the origin of many of these dishes. The convent of Santa María de Gracias, founded in Guadalajara in 1586, is considered as one of the most influential in the creation of these sweets.
Typical sweets are part of the cultural manifestations of Mexico, especially its gastronomy. Its value is as much as that of music, charros or any other art.
Now, on with our three sweets of the week.
Dulce de Jamaica
The Jamaica flower is a hibiscus very popular in Mexican cuisine. you will find it as an ingredient in different dishes. However, its main use is to make fresh water and the famous caramel sweets.
The sweets we find in Jalisco came from the Chapala area, which is still the best and largest producer. There are both artisans and in small factories. The recipe is very easy to follow. All you have to do is caramelize an infusion of Jamaica flower with enough sugar. Then you give it your favorite shape and let it cool before enjoying.
Jamoncillos are popular throughout the country. Being a milk sweet, they were created after the arrival of the Spaniards, who brought the cattle with them.
A dry fruit is usually added to the jamoncillo, almost always a nut. There may not be a Mexican market that does not have, among some of its Mexican candy stands, some variety of jamoncillo,
If you go to a Mexican market, chances are you will find candy stands. And if you find a candy stand, there will be jamoncillos for sale. You can bank on it! There will be either in the classic round cut with a nut on top, or in other colors and shapes.
The basis of its preparation is milk, sugar and the seed of your choice. Here we will give you a recipe published in the book Dulces Mexicanos:
Ingredients (for two medium-sized jamoncillos)
1 liter of whole milk
2 1/2 cups of sugar
1 drop of liquid red vegetable coloring
1/2 cup (50 grams) of peeled and toasted pumpkin seeds
Put the milk in a copper saucepan and heat. When it boils, add the sugar. Cook over low heat until the bottom of the saucepan is visible. Divide the mixture into two parts, and to one of them add the red vegetable dye.
Heat each preparation again and beat vigorously until it is slightly whitish.
Pour the red mixture into a pancake pan covered with a blanket of cheesecloth. Add little balls of natural colored jamoncillo. Compact the sweet with slightly damp hands and let cool at room temperature.
Cocadas Mexican sweets
Cocada is a sweet made from grated or ground coconut cooked with sugar or brown sugar. You can find cocadas with more ingredients and different shapes and textures. It will depend on which region of the country you visit,
The simplest cocada is only a coconut candy cooked in its water with sugar or brown sugar, drum-shaped or round.
There is no fixed rule to make this candy. Sometimes it is white if you peel the pulp and you use refined sugar. It will be dark if it has the brown pulp skin and you cook in brown sugar. In some places it is a soft sweet and in others harder or even crunchy. We liked this recipe to share with you:
1 can of condensed milk
1 cup of milk
2 cups grated sweet coconut
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
Cinnamon powder to taste
Boil the cup of milk with the cinnamon stick in a pot over medium heat. Add a cup and a half of the grated coconut. Let it cook until the soft and it absorbs the milk.
Add the condensed milk to the mixture. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon to avoid sticking for 15 to 20 minutes over medium heat.
In a pan brown the half cup of the remaining coconut, adding the cinnamon powder.
Remove the cocada from the heat and give it your favorite shape.