When you are born and grown in a tropical country like Venezuela, eating plantains is an everyday thing. Ripe plantain with white cheese (fresh, grated, melted, grilled, aged), is an irresistible duo, a combination of flavors that I treasure since I was a little girl.
This ripe plantain cake with panela cheese is a typical Venezuelan dish. It can be served as a dessert with papelón (piloncillo or panela) and cloves syrup.
Since we love to combine sweet and savory, it can also be served as a side dish when there are parties and family gatherings.
Usually prepared in a refractory glass oven dish, as if it were a lasagna, I decided to bake it on cheesecake pan, first, because I wanted it to look like a cake (rather than a pastelón) and then because I wanted to show the layers of plantain and cheese.
Whether you serve it as a dessert or side dish, this plantain cake with cheese can be eaten hot, warm or at room temperature. If you’re going to serve it as a side dish, it is better to add the syrup when you assemble the different layers of plantain and cheese.
Note: Click the ‘Products‘ tab above to learn more about the Cacique® ingredients used in this recipe. You can find these ingredients near you by clicking the ‘Find Stores‘ tab, selecting the products you are looking for, and entering your zip code.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 4 cups ripe plantain cut into slices (I used partially cooked frozen plantain, thawed)
- 1 Cacique® Panela cheese, sliced
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup grated of Cacique® Cotija cheese
- 3/4 cup of yellow pre cooked cornmeal (arepa flour)
- 3/4 cup of papelón syrup
- 1/2 pound of papelón, panela or piloncillo
- 1 cup of water
- 6 cloves
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cover the bottom of a cheesecake-baking pan with nonstick spray and parchment paper. Spray the sides of pan with spray too. Put a layer of plantain slices in bottom of pan, add a layer of Panela cheese and sprinkle with a tablespoon of arepa flour. Repeat the previous step to finish with a layer of plantains.
- In a bowl combine the beaten eggs with sugar and salt. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pan, and tap it to ensure that the liquid will permeate through the various layers. Sprinkle with Cotija cheese.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in middle of cake comes out clean. Cool down on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.
- With a knife, separate the trim ring cake. Open and remove the hoop. Let the cake sit for 15 more minutes. Place the cake up side down, and discard the parchment paper. Drizzle with some syrup.
- To make syrup: In a small pot over medium to high heat, bring papelón, cloves, and water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Don’t leave the pot unattended. Yields 3/4 cup of syrup.