This is one of those secret vault recipes I had to bribe granny to share with me.
Then some more bribing was involved to convince her to let me post it here.
Traditionally, this recipe is called Sopa Borracha. The direct translation is drunken soup. But as you can tell from the pics, it isn’t a soup at all. It is a delicious + airy + drunk in all the right placed dessert from Panama, very popular in weddings and quinceaños.
This year we are making it for New Years, cuz we are rebels like that. And we’re calling it Festive Rum Cake in a Jar. Here’s how to make it:
Psst… it’s easier to make than store-bought cake in a box. I swear.
- 8 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a square baking pan.
Step 2: Combine the flour + baking powder + salt.
Step 3: In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat egg yolks + sugar until creamy. In a separate bowl, using a wire whisk or electric mixer, beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture. Then fold the combined egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring only enough to wet the dry ingredients. Add vanilla.
Step 4: Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife tip inserted in the center comes out clean.
In a hurry?: You can totally skip this step + get yourself some store bought vanilla cake, just make sure it’s dry. Moist-y cakes don’t work for this recipe. There’s a famous pastry shop here in Panama called MOMI + we buy our cake from them all the time. It’s part of this recipe’s charm.
- 8 cups sugar
- 4 cups water
- 1 pound raisins
- 4-5 cinnamon sticks
- 2 pounds prunes
- 1 bottle run (I used Bacardi)
- 1 bottle dry sherry (I used Tio Pepe)
Step 1: In a saucepan, combine the sugar + cinnamon sticks + water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring briefly, until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to low and cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Add the raisins + prunes during the final minute of cooking.
Step 2: Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the rum + dry sherry. Allow syrup to cool for at least 30 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks before assembling.
To assemble: Cut the cake into small squares + place them in a deep serving dish or individual portions. Bathe with the syrup + let them soak well (“to get drunk”). Garnish with prunes + raisins. Traditionally in Panama we use silver sprinkles as decoration.
Skip the confetti this year. Grapes are so last season. Make this Festive Rum Cake in a Jar instead.
Enjoy it with your favorite people in the whole wide world!
See you back here in 2016!
Here’s a quick recipe inspiration for ya’: Choco Almond Smoothie with Chunky Buckwheat Cacao Granola. It’s been my go-to breakfast during this last stretch before baby Olivia pops.
This super healthy recipe is sweet enough to satisfy my dessert cravings + filling enough to keep me off the couch. Perfectly nourishing for moms-to-be but also anyone looking for an energizing way to start their day.
Tip: When using cacao, look for organic, fair-trade if possible.
Choco Almond Smoothie
- 1 ½ frozen banana, diced in cubes
- 2 cups almond milk,
- 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ice cubes
Step 1: Add all the ingredients to a high speed blender.
Step 2: Vroooommmm, mix it all up!
Step 3: Serve in a pretty glass jar + top your favorite granola. I topped mine with Choco Buckwheat Granola.
Chunky Buckwheat Cacao Granola
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup buckwheat
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup cacao powder
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F.
Step 2: In a large bowl combine rolled oats + buckwheat + coconut flakes + chia seeds + coconut palm sugar. Roughly chop nuts + add them to the mix.
Step 3: In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, melt coconut oil. Add maple syrup + vanilla extract + salt + cacao powder. Whisk to combine, until the consistency is smooth.
Step 4: Pour liquid ingredients over dry + fold coat.
Step 5: Spread mixture out in an even layer on a lined baking sheet. Press firmly with a wooden spoon to ensure that the mixture is compact. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Step 6: Remove from oven, flip granola in large chunks + place back in oven to bake for another 10 minutes. Repeat every 3-4 minutes until toasted + fragrant.
Be very careful: This granola is very easy to burn. Take my word for it. The thing is, the dark color of the granola makes it hard to tell if it is cooked or not, so instead of going by sight alone, go by smell. Another good way to test if your granola is done is by tasting a hazelnut, which takes the longest to cook. If the hazelnut tastes nutty + pleasantly roasted, you’ve showed your oven who’s boss.
Try it + let me know how it goes, okay?
PS: This week I was a guest on The Cultivate Show, the podcast for parent entrepreneurs who want to be great business people and even better parents. I talked about life waiting for Olivia + how my business will evolve with her arrival. The episode is now live. You can listen to the podcast here!
Remember my preggo craving a couple of posts back? The result: Clean Chocolate Nut Blondies, my greatest invention. Left lots of you licking your screens. (Click here to follow my messy adventures on Instagram).
So I transcribed the recipe.
Here it is. You’re very welcome!
This is, hands down, baby Olivia’s new favorite treat. I hope your belly enjoys it as much as mine!
(Curious. Did you like the illustrated recipe format? Or do you prefer the written version instead? Thought I’d try something new for a change, but I wanna make sure you dig it before I get too excited.)
Last week, dad + David + I went to go see Alejandro Junger LIVE, the Uruguayan M.D. who created the Clean Program. If you’re not familiar with his work, I totally recommend a Google search. Doctor, one of the very few I listen to these days, is absolutely brilliant.
So, I made Clean Glazin Raisin Pretzels in his honor. Just in time for Valentine’s Day.
You can steal the recipe below.
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour or flour of choice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
- 2 tablespoon firm coconut oil
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 3 cups of warm water
- Extra flour, as needed
Step 1: Heat the almond milk + maple syrup in a measuring cup to around 110 degrees F. Sprinkle the yeast on top + let it sit 5 minutes. If your yeast is good, it will bubble.
Step 2: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the flour + salt + sugar. Cut in the coconut oil, using a fork or a stand mixer. Then stir in the raisins. Thoroughly combine this mix with the yeast mixture, using your hands or a stand mixer, then knead dough on a floured surface or in the bowl for 5 minutes, adding more flour as needed to keep it from being too sticky to knead. I mixed dough in the bowl + added a total of 6 tablespoons extra flour by the end of the 5 minutes.
Step 3: Lightly grease the mixing bowl. Set dough in the bowl, cover the bowl with a towel + put the bowl in a warm place for 50 to 60 minutes or until it’s doubled in size.
Step 4: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F + lightly grease a baking tray. In a long + shallow container or dish, dissolve the 1/3 cup baking soda in 3 cups of warm water, then set aside.
Step 5: Get out the risen dough. Punch the dough to deflate, then form evenly-sized pieces (8-10 large pretzels or 16-20 smaller ones). Roll each section of dough as thinly as you possibly can (the thinner the better), then twist into a pretzel shape. Dip each into the baking soda water, shake to dry, then arrange the pretzels on the baking tray. Pretzels are done when they have turned golden-brown + you can smell them (about 15-18 minutes).
- 1/4 cup yogurt of choice
- 2 1/2 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup to taste
- 1 tablespoon almond milk, adjust to control thickness
- 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Stir together all ingredients. Apply glaze to each pretzel directly before serving, or use glaze as a dip instead.
I Need Your Help
Since I can no longer watch the news or anything remotely stressful because baby Olivia starts kicking real hard in retaliation, I need your help filling up my movie wishlist. I’m talking about no-suspense (or drama of any form), feel good films. Or documentaries. Something I can pair with these Clean Glazin Raisin Pretzels + won’t give me indigestion, if you know what I mean.
I can tolerate a bit of crying if the ending is like BOOM, pure magic. But no Titanic or La Vita è Bella sh*t, please. Even Animal Planet is becoming a little too extreme for us.
If you’re an AppleTV + Netflix junkie, will you help this 5 month pregnant lady pick out some happy movies?
Thank you soooo much!
Life is Messy Kitchen, the printed book, comes out March 2. Holy Batman + Robin!
Be sure to pre-order your copy at www.lifeismessykitchen.com if you don’t like paying full price.
I submitted my Abuelita Nany’s signature Ron Ponche recipe to Sweet Paul Magazine’s Holiday Contest this year.
For 87 years granny’s kept this famous recipe a secret, until I bribed her with this competition, cuz if there is something granma’ loves more than cooking + seeing your face after savoring what she made, is winning.
Happiness is… ferociously following granma’ around the kitchen with a video camera to document this heirloom recipe. Until the very end she was still trying to sneak up on me, ninja-style so I couldn’t measure her “to taste” additions. “Abu, you told me this recipe called for 8 egg yolks. I just counted TWENTY FOUR!!!”. Sneaky granny. Sneaky sneaky indeed.
Happiness is… faking I didn’t actually learn how to recreate my Abuelita Nany’s Ron Ponche, so she keeps on making it herself for years + years to come. Cuz nothing says “es la Navidad” like the smell of rum coming out of grandma’s kitchen.
Happiness is… hitting submit on Sweet Paul Magazine’s Holiday Contest page + never hearing back + still feeling like a jackpot winner.
Happiness is… sharing everything this recipe means to me + my family + our history with YOU!
Here’s what you’ll need to make Ron Ponche de Abuelita Nany, because you should. Make it, I mean. Because even if you’ve been naughty this year you deserve an indulging extravagance.
- 4 cups white sugar
- 4 cups whole milk
- 4 cups evaporated milk (we used Nestle)
- 24 egg yolks (not 8 as granny will have you fooled) + whisk with 1/8 cup whole milk
- 4 teaspoons corn flour or corn starch + diluted in 1/2 cup water
- 1 bottle of rum (Granny likes Bacardi)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a large pot add sugar + milk + evaporated milk. Cook in “Baño María” (in English this is called “Water Bath” or Bain Mary), until it boils. Stir occasionally. It took us approximately 20 minutes.
Bring the fire down to low heat. Dilute corn flour in water before adding to the mix. This step is important. If the corn flour is added when dried it can create ugly clusters of muchiness. Add the wet corn flour mixture to the mix. Stir well.
Add vainilla. Stir, until well combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks. Add 1/8 cup milk. Add this to the cooled down mix in slow motion, using a mesh strainer. Stir stir stir stir like a crazy person.This is one of granny’s secret steps. Skip it if you want Frittata Ponche instead of Ron Ponche. NOT!!! Most people get this part wrong + end up cooking their eggs. You should notice eggs yolks “strings” coming from the strainer. That’s the idea.
The add 1 bottle of rum. Let cool completely.
Bottle in beautiful recycled glass bottled + gift for christmas using these Holiday Gift Tags (ahem ahem).
Keeps in the refrigerator for up to a month. Serve in a fancy cup with ice or in a whisky glass. Make it festive!
When I told my family “I DID IT!!! Eagle Minor One Niner has landed the recipe. I repeat Eagle has Abuelini’s Ron Ponche recipe”, it felt like I had landed on the moon or holding The Ring, as in my preciouzzzz.
Of course I documented the entire experience in film + photos, for myself, for my kids + their kids. But then I saw the footage + I was like, “I can’t keep this too myself”. So here’s an editor’s cut version of the footage. It’s raw + intimate + mostly in Spanish, but I knew that wouldn’t stop you from enjoying all the magical moments. Take a peak!
Tell me what tastes like Christmas in your family? Any treasured Holiday recipes or funny stories around food? I wanna know EVERYTHING, in the comments below. Especially if it involves a sneaky granny buahahaha.
And without further delay, the Life is Messy Kitchen Virtual Potluck winners are:
- Ana from La Guinda del Pastel
- Sandra García
- Matt and Olia
Hip hip HOORAY!!! Congratulations to the messies who won + everyone who helped me with my judge duties. This was sooooo hard you guys.
Winners please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a quick “I won” + your mailing address. I’ll take care of the rest.
If you have no ideas what the hell I’m talking about, giveaway what the whaaat, go here!