Monday, June 16, 2014

Steamed puddings of Ecuador - Quimbolitos





Quimbolitos, or sweet steamed puddings, are a snack favorite of mine in Ecuador.

They are sold on the streets and in restaurants and are immensely popular among Ecuadorians.

Especially because many people do not own ovens and they can be made on a stove top.

But people do appreciate them for their taste alone.

Quimbolitos are the sweet tamales of Ecuador and can be found also in Nariño, Colombia, which was part of Ecuador in colonial times.

They are served as snacks, desserts, or for breakfast with a cup of coffee.

The recipe varies from region to region, most often in the proportion of cornmeal to wheat flour.

The ratio of lard to butter also varies. 

In Ecuador the Quimbolitos are cooked in achira leaves, the leaf of the taro plant, perhaps better known as dasheen or yautia.

Some people cook them in banana leafs also but nothing seems to be lost by cooking them in parchment or foil, however.

Banana leaves can be found in the produce or frozen section of most market that carry Latin foods.

Quimbolitos


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 6 eggs yolks
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup Chihuahua, mozzarella, muenster or parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp anise sedes (optional)
  • 2 tbsp brandy or anise liquor (for soaking the raisins)
  • Pinch of salt
  • banana leaves, thawed if frozen and cut into 10x14 inch rectangles

  1. Cream the butter and ¾ cup of sugar.
  2. Add egg yolks one at a time, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Stir in cheese, cornmeal, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, zest, and anise.
  4. Mix egg whites with a pinch of salt.
  5. Beat the eggs until you have soft peaks, then add 2 tbsp of sugar and continue to beat until you get glossy, stiff peaks.
  6. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the butter and cheese mixture to lighten, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.



ASSEMBLE



Place a banana leaf down with the grain running left to right

Spread 3 heaping tablespoons of mixture in center of leaf about 3.4 to 1 inch thick

Place 3 or 4 raisins on top of batter

Bring sides of leaf together over filling

Fold other ends under and place on a cookie tray until ready to steam.

Place quimbolitos in steamer, top loosely with leaf pieces and cook 30 - 40 minutes.


VARIATIONS


Many cooks prefer to make them with wheat flour only, while others prefer a combination of flour and cornstarch.

Yet others use cornmeal, and you can even use quinoa flour instead of the wheat flour in the recipe for gluten free effect.

48 comments:

  1. At first glance I thought it was tamale!! It looks delicious!

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  2. I have a friend who just adopted an Ecuadorian boy- will definitely be sharing this with her!

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    Replies
    1. They should definitely cook him some Ecuadorian meals. Just let him get to know his culture. Or if he's older, then it'll bring back memories and keep the culture alive.

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  3. I love visiting here and learning about your culture. These sound amazing. The ingredients list sounds good. I have never seen a banana leaf so I'm going to keep my eyes open to see if they sell them anywhere around here.

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    1. If you can't find them, just use parchment paper or tin foil. It's not exactly the same flavor but the thing is to find the flavor you like anyways.

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  4. I think I'd love these steamed puddings. I would sure love to taste and try!

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  5. I'd love to try this. We have something a little like this in our culture wrapped in banana leaves. I always love it. So I'm sure this would be great.

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    Replies
    1. Banana leaves are amazing for cooking. Never knew they could be so versatile, lol

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  6. This Really Look So Delicious Would Love To Make For My Family Thank You

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  7. looks like something I would eat now ;)

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  8. Looks like something i would try and like.. thanks for sharing the recipe..

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  9. That looks so good. I love that it has cheese in it.

    Michelle F.

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  10. Very interesting, love street food and these look and sound delicious. There is a Ecuadorian restaurant we enjoy going to and the food is so wonderful.

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  11. Those look like so much fun. Very exotic. Sounds yummy. I don't have very many recipes that call for cornmeal. But it's always so yummy!

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  12. I have never heard of these before. It looks delicious! Is there anything in US it can be compared to?

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    Replies
    1. It is a bit like eating a cake. But I don't really know if there is anything else that is quite like it.

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  13. added this to my recipe board on pinterest... looks good!

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  14. as someone else said, i thought it was a tamale at first too! but it looks cool, i would try it.

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  15. I loved the quimbolitos in Colombia thought I haven't tried the Ecuadorian version, delicious with a cup of coffee.

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  16. Was it a surprise for you the first time you tried them? Were you expecting them to be sweet? They look quite like tamales as someone said a bit earlier.

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  17. I would sure want to taste that and eat it for breakfast with a cup of coffee! :)

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  18. This looks really interesting! I would love to try it someday

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  19. hmhm really nice. The cake is really seem so sweet and interesting. I want to try it one day. I am an Indonesian so there is not cake like this

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  20. The interesting cake that will I try

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  21. They look like perfect snacks and desserts. I'm sure to love this.

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  22. Thanks for the recipe. I'll try this

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  23. Thanks for sharing, that looks so yummy.

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  24. You make and share some of the most creative recipes I have ever seen. Of course, I have never visited Ecuador. But I guess what I am trying to say is that you are so "food adventurous". I wish I could be more like that!

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  25. I will so be trying to makes these soon. I love to try new food. I cook a lot of Mexican and Cuban at home since that is my background but other food is fun to try as well.

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  26. Wow!! In India we often use Banana leaves for cooking and even as a plate to eat. Cooking with leaves makes the food more yumm and healthy... its really a great recipe :)

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  27. I would love to try this but I don't I could use banana leafs because don't think we have a store that sells them. I may have to try this in foil. Thanks for sharing.

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  28. Banana leaf makes the food taste better. This looks so delicious and I am drooling right now. If I ever visit Ecuador I should meet you because you know where to get delicious food there.

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  29. I don't know if I would like the texture of steamed pudding.. doesn't look too pleasing to me.

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  30. So this is a banana leaf? I have been wanting to buy some and steam tamales. We make our own, love your posts!

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  31. VERY interesting. I've never heard of steamed soup before. Is it pudding-like?

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  32. My mother loves eating local delicacies that we have in our country. This one looks like "puto" as what we call or rice cake but this one is covered with banana leaves. The puto however is semi covered at the bottom.

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  33. Thanks for linking up with us and sharing your recipe!

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  34. So fun! I love seeing foods from other cultures. Thanks for sharing with Hump Day Happenings!

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  35. I'm a big Tamales fan. I need to check out the recipe and carefully follow it. :-)

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  36. puddings are such comfort food + this particular one sure looks delish! :)

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  37. Thanks for linking up last week at Creative Spark Link Party! Make sure to stop by this week to link up again! http://bit.ly/1mesFbT

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  38. I've been craving these for so long. Thank you for your post. I'm curious, as I have a huge bag of Maseca to use up, do you know if the cornmeal can be replaced with instant masa?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tiffany, I'm so sorry I haven't answered you before. A purist would say no. But I say go ahead.
      The people here make a difference between quimbolitos made with cornmeal and those that are not. The taste is a bit different. But to me both taste good :)

      Delete
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