Annie's Chamorro Kitchen

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Annie's Chamorro Kitchen

by: Lt. Col. Annette Merfalen | .
Annie's Chamorro Kitchen | .
published: October 02, 2014

“My name is Annie. Food and I get along so well! Cooking and baking are more than a hobby for me – they’re a passion. I come from the beautiful island of Guam, U.S.A. The recipes you’ll find here are my creations, or those of my children, who are also budding foodies. I hope you like them. Drop me a comment or two to let me know how you like our island and other delicacies. Enjoy!”

- Army Lt. Col. Annette Merfalen,
Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colo.

Latiya

Pronounced ‘la-tee-ja’, this is a classic Chamorro dessert.  A light, creamy, custard-like pudding topped with a generous sprinkling of ground cinnamon tops a layer of scrumptious cake.  I say ‘custard-like’ only because my version of Latiya contains NO eggs, unlike most of the variations of this recipe.

The cake options are endless, but my favorite, by far, is carrot cake, and not just any carrot cake, mind you, but a moist rich version made with carrots (of course), pineapples, raisins, and lots and lots of nuts!

Pound cake is another favorite for this, as is another classic Chamorro dessert:  Chamorro Cake.

The key to assembling this oh-so-yummy dessert is to put lots of space between the pieces of cake.  This way, you can pour the creamy latiya topping in between the nooks and crannies.  Oh, I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Drumroll please…..and now for my Coconut Latiya Recipe.  You don’t want to miss out on this one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Sara Lee pound cake (I use the smaller one and slice it about the width of my thumb)
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can water (use milk can)
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 8 HEAPING teaspoons corn starch
  • Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a medium pan, combine the evaporated and coconut milk (reserve the can of water), butter, sugar, vanilla and coconut flakes. Cook over medium heat.
  2. Mix the cornstarch with the can of water. When the butter has melted, add the cornstarch/water mixture.
  3. Stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture comes to a boil; continue cooking for about a minute longer then immediately pour over pound cake.
  4. Sprinkle the top of the latiya with cinnamon then allow to cool.

Easy Shortcut Chamorro Cake

This is an absolutely delicious cake, a favorite on Guam.  This is absolutely fantastic served without any frosting; however, it’s also delicious served with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or as a base for Latiya.

This is my shortcut version, but be checking back for my “regular” Chamorro Cake recipe, which I’ll post soon!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box butter (yellow) cake mix
  • 1 8-oz container sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (use 1 teaspoon for a stronger lemon flavor)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together; pour the batter into a 13×9 pan.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes (check at 20 minutes). A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out with a few crumbs sticking to it.
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