Welcome friends of our blog. Today at Paulina Cocina we have a sandwich recipe and we all know how much we love those mountains of flavor. Surely when they saw the title they were a bit confused: A cuban cake from Mexico? As you read…
There are several versions of its origin but all have Mexico as their setting. With that said, let’s get into this tasty and hearty recipe.
Where can we find the Cuban cake?
Cuban torta has become a popular street food item in Mexico, especially in cities like Mexico City and Guadalajara. It can be found in street food stalls and specialized cake shops.
Why is it called Cuban cake?
As in all recipes that do not have a defined origin, there are several theories and stories about it. The most popular indicates that the original recipe for Cuban cake is so called because it began to be made in a place on Cuba street at the height of the Historic Center of Mexico City.
On the other hand, chef Luis Sordo has his own theory: ¨The name of the Cuban cakes is related to how Mexicans perceive the women of said tropical island, that is, large, splendid and good-looking, and that is transferred to the palate. Hence, the cake has everything and is very well prepared¨.
Although there are no precise data on its origin, it is clear that Cuban cake is part of Mexican cuisine where sandwiches are called tortassuch is the case of the drowned tortas.
The story of Fidel Castro and the Cuban cake
Another theory is linked to the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro. It seems that during his stay in Mexico he was a regular customer of the La Casa del Pavo restaurant that is still open today. He began to regularly ask for a sandwich with certain ingredients, which is what we know today as a Cuban cake.
Felipe Mendoza, who has worked at the restaurant for more than 25 years, says: “We have the Cubana that Mr. Fidel Castro invented. He sat at the bar and asked the lunch man on duty to prepare a cake to his liking and he told him step by step what to do. He asked her to put turkey breast, ham, cheese on it, to iron the bread and fry it a little. This is how the Cuban cake stayed, it was born here”,
What is the Cuban cake made of?
The original Cuban torta recipe calls for ham, baked leg, pork cheese, fresh cheese, yellow cheese, Milanese, sausage, beans, egg, avocado, onion, tomato, and slices of jalapeño or chipotle peppers, but it can have many more ingredients.
The Cuban cake is characterized for being a big hearty sandwich. It is built by stacking generous layers of ingredients between the bread. Some variants of the Cuban torta may include sauces such as salsa roja, salsa verde, or guacamole to add even more flavor to the sandwich.
Due to the large number of ingredients and the type of these, the Cuban cake is described as abundant, colossal, bomba, etc. and also as very caloric. It is a recipe that can be adapted to the requirements but the original recipe, as we have already seen, is characterized by the amount of fat and calories it contains.
The special bread of the Cuban cake
Surely when you see the recipe you will wonder what is the pan telera. It is a type of traditional Mexican bread, especially popular in the central region of the country. It is widely used for the preparation of cakes, including the Cuban cake.
- Telera bread is characterized by its oval and flattened shape. It has a crispy, golden crust, while its interior is soft and fluffy.
- The recipe for telera bread varies, but common ingredients include wheat flour, yeast, water, salt, and occasionally a little sugar or fat may be added. Its unique texture and flavor come from the way it is kneaded and baked.
- Telera bread is made through a fermentation and baking process. The dough is kneaded, shaped into an oval, and then left to ferment to develop its characteristic flavor and texture. Then, it is baked until it acquires its golden color and its interior is well cooked.
- Telera bread is widely used in Mexico for the preparation of tortas, which are sandwiches filled with a variety of ingredients. Its shape and texture make it ideal for containing the ingredients and offering a good eating experience.
- Telera bread is easily found in bakeries and grocery stores in Mexico. It is also possible to find it in some stores specializing in Mexican products in other countries.
Original Cuban cake recipe
This recipe offers a combination of contrasting flavors, such as the sweetness of the ham, the heat of the chorizo and jalapeño peppers, and the creaminess of the cheese and avocado. These flavors come together to create a rich and nuanced sandwich.
The Cuban cake is usually enjoyed with a refreshing drink, such as a soda or agua fresca. Some also accompany her with crispy fries the totopos to add a crujiente touch.
Yield: 4 portions
Preparation time: 50 minutes
- 4 telera loaves or French bread
- 200 gr of sliced cooked ham
- 400 gr of roast pork leg or shredded suckling pig
- 200g Oaxaca or Swiss cheese, grated or sliced
- 4 frankfurters
- 100g chorizo, sliced
- 1 palta (avocado), sliced
- 1 cup of refried beans
- 4 pickled jalapeno peppers, sliced
- 1 white onion, sliced
- Mayonnaise a want
- mustard to taste
- Hot sauce (optional)
How to make a Cuban cake
- Cut the telera bread in half lengthwise and spread a layer of refried beans on one half of the bread and a layer of mayonnaise on the other half.
- Place slices of ham on one half of the bread and the roast pork leg or shredded suckling pig on the other half.
- Add a layer of Oaxaca or Swiss cheese on both halves of the bread and the frankfurter and chorizo on one half of the bread. In the other half place avocado or avocado slices.
- Add pickled jalapeno peppers and sliced white onion to both halves of the bread. Hot sauce can be added to give the sandwich a touch of heat.
- Close the sandwich by pressing both halves together. Optional heat the Cuban cake in a skillet or griddle so that the cheese melts and the bread becomes crispy.