Pastel de choclo dulce, tasting joy one grain at a time

Light and simple sweet corn cake.

As far as we know, the savory version of pastel de choclo has been a favorite in Peru since the XIX century, and ours is not the same as the famous one made by Chilean cooks. Just like in the States,there are hundreds of recipes of corn cake in Latin America, maybe because corn is such a staple in our diet and we are always figuring out different ways to enjoy it. In our kitchens we have every variety with all kinds of fillings: beef, chicken, olives, cheese, etc.

I love to have it as a sweet treat with coffee or tea. Here you have the recipe for the loveliest corn cake ever! The texture is wonderfully light and moist, with a tender crumb thanks to the cream cheese and butter. It has an intense corn flavor and the tiny amount of flour (can you believe it only has 2 tablespoons?) is enough to bind everything so the result is amazingly good and satisfying.

Any type of white corn is good in this cake, and I have to confess that when I’m feeling lazy and don´t want to go to the supermarket, I just go to the freezer and take out a bag of frozen Peruvian corn that I buy in my Latin supermarket, thaw the amount needed for the recipe and proceed as indicated. It really is delicious this way too, though fresh corn is ideal; the fresher the better. Yellow corn will produce a sweeter version of the cake, which is not bad at all, but I recommend you stick to white corn for authenticity´s sake.

In some households they like to add raisins, cinnamon, or any other flavoring to the dough. I prefer a simpler style because I like the corn flavor to be the star of the cake. Remember, if you use older corn, the cake will be drier and somewhat tough. And never substitute corn with cornmeal or corn flour. That’s the way corn cake is made in the US, but our preparation is different, and it simply won´t work.

Once the cake is ready, you can leave it covered in the counter and it will keep fresh and moist up to a couple of days. Serve it with caramel or vanilla ice cream, fresh fruit on the side (this is up to you), or custard over or under the cake. If you are feeling indulgent, serve it as breakfast with guava jelly instead of the custard, and a slice of cheese. (This is not Peruvian, but I like it.)

Here you have my own interpretation of Chef Flavio Solórzano´s master recipe. Follow the instructions carefully and you´ll be charmed with the magic simplicity of this cake.

 

Sweet corn cake (Serves 6)

  • 8 oz. fresh white corn (about 2 cups)                
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (about 1 package)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (about  ½  cup)              
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

 Preparation:

*Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Line the bottom of a 9 inch round pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F.

*Whip butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg yolks one by one, then the cream cheese. Whip at high speed for 5 minutes.

*Process the corn in the blender or food processor until very fine. Add to the butter mixture with the baking powder and flour.

*Meanwhile, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form and fold them very gently.

*Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden and firm.

*Remove the cake from the oven and cool in a rack.

Do you have a favorite recipe for corn cake?

 

This post was originally written for www.multiculturalfamilia.com:

http://www.multiculturalfamilia.com/2011/10/14/pastel-de-choclodulce-peru-delights/

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Comments

  1. Never heard of this but it sounds good!

  2. I would like some with a cup of coffee. It looks and sounds divine!

  3. This looks and sounds amazing. I must make it to taste it! Hmmmm….

  4. Me muero! This looks so delish!

  5. I’ve never had a corn cake, but this looks phenomenal! I usually make cornbread (with cornmeal) in the form of stuffing. My husband grew up on a Native American reservation so I could definitely use more corn recipes.

  6. Does the choclo have to be cooked? Or do you blend it raw? Gracias!!

  7. Hi! My daughter and I made this tonight for her fourth grade immigration play and reception tomorrow. As part of their studies, she had to interview someone who immigrated to our country, so she interviewed a friend who is from Lima, Peru. Then her class wrote a play about immigration. Some of us were asked to bring in a treat so she wanted to make something “Peruvian” and we came across this recipe online. I just sampled a piece and it is very delicious- but it is much more moist than I thought (almost custard-y??). Does that seem correct or did we possibly not cook it long enough?! Thank you so much!

    • Peru Delights says:

      Hi Julie, I´m so glad you liked our Pastel de Choclo. The perfect texture -for me- is lightly custardy, kind of creamy. I don´t like it when the corn layer is hard like a brick. This means that you made it right… Bravo! And thanks for visiting!!!

  8. Hello!! I am back to report that of all the treats brought in today, this was one of the few items that was cleaned out – totally eaten up!! Because I knew I would have to portion it out, I ended up cooking it in a square pan (I was a little worried that maybe that screwed it up!), and this morning I cut it into small squares and put each square into a paper muffin cup and put them all I’m a tray. We offered spoons to eat them with (but the muffin paper may have been enough). Fortunately, I made two so we have leftovers for ourselves! Thanks again!!

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