Welcome to a recipe with history and an uncertain but unique origin. Mix of African and European cuisine, sheet cake is as special as it is full of flavors. Caribbean, heat, colors and flavors… Everything makes sense in this recipe.
It requires meticulous preparation but its unique flavor makes it a true culinary gem that is enjoyed on special occasions in the Dominican Republic. Clearly this dish reflects this nation’s passion for food and celebration.
About the sheet cake
What is sheet cake and where does it come from?
Los sheet cakes They are a delicious and traditional culinary specialty of the Dominican Republic. This dish is part of the gastronomic culture of the Caribbean island and has become an essential element in festivities and celebrations.
He Cake in Leaf It is made from green plantain dough, which is mixed with lard, oil, achiote (which gives it its yellow color), and a variety of fillings that can include pork, chicken, beef or even cod. These ingredients are wrapped in banana or bijao leaves, giving it its characteristic name of “sheet cake.”
The Dominican pastries recipe It is a manifestation of that country’s rich culinary heritage. The tradition of making sheet cakes It has been passed down from generation to generation, becoming a symbol of identity and celebration for Dominicans.
The sheet cake, a creation of gastronomic traditions
He Cake in Leaf, a delicious culinary specialty from the Dominican Republic, does not have a specific inventor. Instead, it is the result of a rich culinary tradition that has evolved over generations and been influenced by various cultures.
Its main ingredient, green banana, is also used in other countries in the region, such as in the recipe for patacones.
About the process
The preparation of sheet cakes It incorporates native ingredients from the region, such as green plantain and banana or bijao leaves, it can also be served with tapioca.
It is the product of the evolution and creativity of many generations of Dominican chefs who have contributed to its development over time.
The sheet cake, a delicacy of Dominican gastronomy, has its roots deeply rooted in the Dominican Republic, where it has become an emblematic dish of Creole cuisine.
- Variety of fillings: One of the most notable curiosities of sheet cake is the variety of fillings used. Aside from the traditional fillings of pork, beef, chicken and cod, there are many regional and personal variations that include ingredients such as olives, raisins, potatoes, and others.
- Wrapping process: The technique of wrapping cakes in foil is an art. It requires skill and experience to fold the sheets so that the cakes are well sealed and retain their shape during steaming.
- festive food: Sheet cakes are an essential element in Dominican Christmas celebrations. During the Christmas season, families and communities come together to prepare large quantities of sheet cakes, known as “juntadera de cakes.”
- bijao leaves or banana: Although banana leaves are the most common for wrapping cakes, some regions of the Dominican Republic use bijao leaves, which have a distinctive aroma and flavor that they impart to cakes.
- Enjoy all year round: Although sheet cakes are especially popular during the Christmas holidays, they can be enjoyed year-round in the Dominican Republic. Many local bakeries and restaurants offer them as part of their regular menu.
- Shared culinary art: The preparation of sheet cakes is an activity that is often carried out in a community. Families and friends gather to make large quantities of cakes, which becomes a social and festive event.
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Sheet Cake Recipe
Yield: 10 cakes
Preparation time: 3 hours
For the mass:
- 6 medium green bananas
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup melted lard
- 1 tablespoon of annatto
- Salt to taste
For the filling:
- 1 kg of pork, beef or chicken (can be a mix of meats)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup of water
- Banana or bijao leaves, previously cleaned and softened in hot water
How to make sheet cakes
- Mix the peeled bananas, oil, lard, annatto and salt in the processor until you obtain a homogeneous mass. It should have a soft and malleable texture.
- In a large skillet with a little oil over medium heat, brown the meat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté until tender.
- Add the olives, capers, raisins, bay leaves, cumin powder, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes until everything is well mixed.
- Add the water, reduce the heat to low and cook until the liquid has reduced. Let cool.
- Take a sheet and place a portion of dough in the center. Spread it into a rectangular shape and add a portion of filling in the center.
- Fold the sides of the sheet toward the center and then the ends, forming a rectangular package. Secure with kitchen twine.
- Place the sheet cakes in a large pot of boiling water. Cover with more leaves and cook over low heat for 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove from the pot and let them cool slightly before serving.