A Fiesta of Flavor

Perfect for Cinco de Mayo or any other day of the year!

 Mexican Chocolate Bundt Cake

If you are inclined to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this week, the festivities center around Mexican culture, heritage and traditions. Bringing Hispanic baking traditions into your kitchen can be fun for young, old and everything in between. Hispanic baking brings us the flavors and feelings of a culture filled with vibrant colors and traditions rooted in history.

When you think of Hispanic foods, you immediately think of bold flavor. The sweet taste of dulce de leche adds rich, caramel flavor to traditional Hispanic desserts is made by slowly heating sweetened milk. The creamy texture to tres leche, a cake, or torta is soaked in three different kinds of milk: evaporate milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. Of course, there are also churros that are given an extra kick of flavor when dipped in Mexican chocolate sauce. These decadent desserts aren’t the only traditional Hispanic dishes bursting with flavor. Many Latin American dishes get their bold flavor and color from ingredients such as avocados and guava. These tropical fruits burst flavor throughout traditional dishes and drinks such as guava-pineapple sangrias, guacamole and chilled soups.

Celebrate a fiesta of flavors by trying out these mouth-watering recipes based on delicious and hearty Mexican staples.

Mexican Cheese Bread

Queso fresco, the most common cheese in traditional Mexican dishes, is thought to have been introduced to Latin America from the Spanish. Traditionally made from raw cow milk or combined with goat milk, queso fresco is milky and mild, making it the perfect balance for heavier dishes like enchiladas, huevos rancheros or Mexican bread.

Savory meets spicy in this soft, yet crisp, homemade Mexican cheese bread. Amazing as a side for a tomato-based chipotle soup or excellent as the base for a thick Cubano sandwich, this bread is packed full of south-of-the-border flavor.

Mexican Chocolate Cake

Don’t forget about dessert!  Hispanic celebrations just aren’t the same without some mouth-watering Mexican chocolate. Pre-European Mexico preferred chocolate, from the indigenous cacao tree, with a strong, sour taste, quite different from the chocolate we know and love today. Over time, Mexican chocolate has become sweeter, flavored with sugar or cinnamon that gives it a unique flavor, texture, and aroma. This Mexican chocolate cake mimics the flavors of Mexican chocolate without a need for specialty ingredients.

Heighten the flavor of any one of these cuisines with aguas frescas, non-alcoholic flavored water. By soaking fruits, flowers, and seeds in water, you get a fresh, crisp drink with a hint of sweetness. From hibiscus to guava, there is no limit to your creativity when it comes to Hispanic drinks and dishes. Then again, you can always have a margarita!