I’m very lucky. I get to play with food for a living.
I “play” with food and sometimes make something new with it. I take traditional dishes and transform them into something I love much more. If you’ve eaten Buñuelos de Yuca before, you can see where this is going.
These aren’t grandma’s buñuelos.
Not that there’s anything wrong with grandma’s buñuelos, if you love them.
I’m not particularly much of an enthusiast, which probably explains why I’m writing about this dish more than 14 years after having tackled much more obscure dishes in our cuisine, and even after writing a recipe for the less popular Buñuelos de Viento.
Grandma’s Buñuelos de Yuca are perfectly round, but a lot denser than these, and therein lay the problem. I thought that they would work better if they were closer to beignets. So I started experimenting on ways to get there. And I did.
Unlike traditional Buñuelos de Yuca, these are puffy and crispy on the outside, airy and creamy inside, and with a touch of spice that will have you dreaming of them for a long time. They have all the goodness of grandma’s buñuelos, but such a nice texture that I’m hoping you’ll love as much as I did.
- 1/2 lb [0.23 kg] of yuca (cassava), boiled soft
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 small egg
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 1/2 cup of oil for frying (soy, corn or peanut)
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 star anise
- 2 small sticks of cinnamon
- 1 doz cloves
- 1 cup of water
Cool yuca to room temperature. Remove and discard the center nerve. Place in the food processor bowl. Add butter, egg, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Blend until it turns into a smooth batter.
Cover the bowl and chill the batter for 3 hours in the fridge (or 20 minutes in the freezer).
Heat oil over medium heat in a 1 qt [1 lt] saucepan. Scoop batter with a small spoon, shape with a second small spoon and place into the hot oil, being careful with hot oil splatters. Scoop 3 more balls and place into the oil. Fry four at a time until they turn golden brown all over (turn if needed).
Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
Mix all the ingredients and boil over very low heat until the liquid has reduced to half. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Place still warm into 4 small bowls or dessert glasses, pour equal amount of syrup over them. Serve immediately.
Instead of purée cassava (yuca), like traditional Buñuelos de Yuca, this is made with a sort of batter, which means that you cannot shape them into perfect round balls. By chilling them, the batter will harden some, which will allow you to shape them with two small spoons, they resemble traditional Buñuelos de Viento.