Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Natilla again and still no bunuelos, but there's Tzemet Kuch and flourless chocolate cake

Our colleague from New Jersey with roots in Colombia - or is it Peru - refreshed our memories by bringing in again some Natilla that hee mother had made. This is the coconut custard type thing that is made around the holidays that is a specialty of the aforementioned countries.  It is very good, gluten free, and has a hint of clove in the taste because there is a small amount of whole cloves included in the recipe.  As was the case with the last time we were treated to this it was a very firm and not too sweet Natilla with adequate coconut. The only issue is that once again there were no bunuelos.  These are fritter type things that are supposed to be served with the Natilla. Last year our Natilla bringer claimed her brother had eaten them all but this year we don't know what the excuse for not having them was.  In either case we continue to be deprived of the full Natilla experience. We may have to have someone step in to get those bunuelos.   In the absence of the complements for the Natilla we decided to vary it up a bit by adding colored sprinkles to the pieces. Our Natilla lady was not amused.
Its' traditional Colombian Chirstmas Goop aka Natilla...AGAIN!
Natilla as we have come to know it!
Lots of coconut and gluten free!
What's wrong with a little color?
But even though we did not get the bunuelos we did have other things to go with the Natilla. Our French colleague had brought in an Alsatian treat that HER mother had made.   This is called Tzemet Kuch or in French - Petits biscuits alsaciens à la cannelle. In German from which the Alsatian dialect stems from it is called Zimtkuchen or cinammon cake.  There are very many versions. This particular one consisted of a hard flat dough baked and topped with a cinnamon sugar. It had a cookie like texture but was very good!  A lot of Zimtkuchen are more like a coffee cakes but we liked this kind!

Alsatian Tzemet Kuch from grandmother's recipe!
These were the flat and crispy kind!
The recipe stems from the grandmother who passed it down to the mother who passed it down to our French colleague who lost it. But Mom just gave it to her again so she won't have to wait for Maman's next visit from France. During the recent visit that yielded the Tzemet Kuch our French colleagues and family were seen on TV strolling about the State House in Providence during one of the asinine Fox news reports about embattled Christmas.  They enjoyed seeing themselves on TV.  Check it out and see if you can figure out when they see themselves.

As if the Natilla and the Tzemet Kuch were not enough we also got to sample a flourless chocolate cake. This has been baked for a Holiday celebration for the enjoyment of those with gluten sensitivities.  That does not apply to most of us but we were happy to oblige.  It was very chocolatey and delicious. In the absence of flour as you could imagine it was very dense!

And a flourless chocolate cake to boot! Who needs bunuelos!

Between the Tzemet Kuch and the chocolate cake we almost didn't notice the absence of the bunuelos....ALMOST!

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