Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Masa Real-A Cuban Dessert

    I love guava, and so do Cubans.  Their heritage influences American cuisine all around Florida, and nowadays even around the country.  This is the reason why we can commonly find at any fashionable restaurant dishes made out of key Cuban ingredients like mango, guava or plantains.  Just take a good look at any popular restaurant around your town and chances are that you will find, included at their menu, entrees like fried yellowtail with mango salsa, or seared tuna in guava sauce.  And believe me... they taste amazingly delicious.  The sweet and salty pairing is a flavor that I have learned to love and enjoy greatly.  This is what I like to refer as the Cuban nouvelle cuisine. 
    More traditional uses of guava among Cubans include desserts like "masa real."  There is no literary translation to English, so if you decide to give it a chance, and have a piece, you better practice your Spanish.  To me, it is the perfect dessert to accompany a big and strong cup of coffee.  The texture is comparable to soft, juicy pound cake, and sandwiched in between lies the sweet and tangy guava.  It is easy to bake, and once you get the hang of it, it will forever become part of your culinary repertoire. 
    I have to thank my dearest mother in law, Elina, for the special recipe that I am about to share with you all.  She got it from her mother, and she passed it to me.  It is a family recipe, and as I always say, there is nothing like homemade food.  Que aproveche!

  • 1 Guava bar 
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sherry wine
     Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (190 grades centigrades.)
     Butter a rectangular baking pan (5x8.)   
     Slice the guava in thin slices.
     Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.
     Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Lower the speed and start pouring the dry ingredients carefully.  Then, add the sherry wine.   The dough looks soft and sticky.  Divide the dough in two.  Take one half and spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Carefully, place the guava on top of the batter without overlapping until the dough is covered.  Then, spoon the other half on top with a spatula evenly throughout the baking pan.  You will not be able to see the guava underneath.
     Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.  Check it with a cake tester to make sure it is done.
     Let it cool before cutting it in 2x2" little squares.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Masa real can be translated as royal dough.

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