January Cookoff 2010: Mexican desserts

Welcome to the 2nd part of the Mexican January Cook off posts. (You can find Part 1 here.) Are you ready for the desserts?

In the serving order of the day, to start with we have:

Strawberry and Buttermilk Soup

Source: Mexican Dessert Recipes


* 2 pints ripe strawberries (reserve 6 for garnish)
* 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
* 6 ounces masa harina
* 2 cups water
* 2 cups buttermilk
* 1 stick canela (cinnamon)
* 4-5 mint leaves, dried and chopped fine or powdered Hoya Santa


1. Remove the hulls from the strawberries and wash. Cut into thin slices, place in a bowl and mix with ½ cup of the sugar. Stir occasionally. Puree strawberries in a blender and set aside.
2. Stir the masa harina into the water to dissolve; strain though sieve.
3. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the masa mixture, milk and canela stick.
4. Cook over medium heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon. When the atole thickens after approximately 3 to 4 minutes, reduce the heat to low and add ¾ cup of the sugar and the puree of strawberries.
5. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Add additional milk if necessary; the atole should have a slightly thick but pourable consistency. Strain into a serving bowl.
6. Chill the soup until it is sufficiently cold the soup should be served chilled.

To Serve

Pour into cups. Serve as a dessert soup garnished with fresh mint leaves, powdered mint a strawberry and some blueberries fanned out.

Chef notes:

While warm it tasted slightly sour as well as sweet. The sour-ness went away when the soup was chilled. Would recommend slightly less sugar as well, but this also depends on the original sweetness of your strawberries.

Tres Leche Cake

Source: Food Network

For the cake:

* Vegetable oil
* 6 3/4 ounces cake flour, plus extra for pan
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
* 8 ounces sugar
* 5 whole eggs
* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the glaze:

* 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
* 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
* 1 cup half-and-half

For the topping:

* 2 cups heavy cream
* 8 ounces sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour a 13 by 9-inch metal pan and set aside.
2. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
3. Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low and with the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar over 1 minute. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix to thoroughly combine. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches and mix just until combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. This will appear to be a very small amount of batter. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden and reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees F.
4. Remove the cake pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Poke the top of the cake all over with a skewer or fork. Allow the cake to cool completely and then prepare the glaze.

For the glaze:
1. Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the half-and-half in a 1-quart measuring cup. Once combined, pour the glaze over the cake. Refrigerate the cake overnight.

1. Place the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk together on low until stiff peaks are formed. Change to medium speed and whisk until thick. Spread the topping over the cake and allow to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Chef notes:

  • The amount of sugar was halved in the whipped cream.Substitutions were made for the ingredients that were not available in Australia.
  • Half and half = melt 1 tablespoon of butter in an empty measuring cup (1 cup size). Add enough whole milk to fill the rest of the cup.
  • Cake flour = add 2 tablespoons of corn starch in an empty measuring cup (1 cup size). Add enough plain flour to fill the rest of the cup.
  • In future, not all the milk mixture will be added. The cake did not absorb all of the milk and a fair bit of it was found still in the tray.


Source: Knead-2-know

Please view source for recipe.

Chef notes

  • Media Creama was replaced with whipped thickened cream.
  • Other than that, recipe was followed to a T.
  • However for future reference, hot water should be used for the water bath instead of cold water. It should also be filled up to the middle of the tray. Using cold water as suggested resulted in half-set flan.

And there you have it. One cook off, 3 main dishes and 3 desserts. Together with beers and margaritas, it was an amazing night and we look forward to many more cook offs!

My personal belief is that the Mexican theme went really well, with recipes that I shall be adding to my everyday cooking routine. So with January coming to a close, we have decided upon the next theme:

February Theme: Red
To celebrate Chinese New Year and also Valentine’s day, the theme Red has been chosen. Again, interpretation of theme is up to the individual cook.

Enjoy! And I hope to see some of you joining in the cookoff!


  1. good job!!!

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