Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chilean Dulce de Leche Wafer Torte for September 18th

In Chile, September 18th is a national holiday and festivity called "Dieciocho" or eighteen, that requires posting your flag. It is one of the special dates for celebrating their independence, because in 1810 on that date, the first Junta government began office. September 19th is Army Day.

Torta Chilena, or the Dulce de Leche Wafer Torte, is made up of 8 or more large wafers that are covered with dulce de leche. In 1870, Cristobalina Montero made the Torta Curicana, or Curican Torte for the first time, which is made up of 8 or more large wafers, that can be filled with dulce de leche, orange dulce de leche, jam, almonds, or nuts. Seven years later, the railroad station on the route between Santiago and southern Chile was inaugurated and she opened a shop there. As the Curico station was halfway between both destinations, it was the perfect place for passengers to stop for a snack before getting back to their long ride, so her torte became well-known throughout the country.
Nowadays, this delectable sweet is made and enjoyed along with a cup of coffee in other Latin American countries, such as Costa Rica, Colombia, and El Salvador.

3 1/4 cups of flour
350 grams of butter
10 tablespoons of milk
1 tablespoon of rum
 1 pinch of salt

2 1/2 pounds of dulce de leche, or 3 1/2 cups of dulce de leche

Beat the ingredients together, and add the milk a tablespoon at a time. Roll out eight 9-inch disks with 4 oz. balls of dough, and cook them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet, at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Spread dulce de leche or arequipe on a wafer, and cover it with another. Repeat, until the last wafer is covered with dulce de leche. You can spread the candy on the side of the torte as well, if you like. A whipped cream (Beat 1 cup whipped cream with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar) decoration is optional. Some people add sprinkles or wafer crumbs on top of the cake.
If you choose to make dulce de leche from scratch, and it starts to stick to the bottom of the pot, there is still time to fix it! Here is what you need to do: a. Stop scraping the bottom of the pan immediately. b. Remove the pan from the heat. c. Pour the contents into a bowl (that won't melt) and make sure you don't scrape the bottom at all. d. Get a new pot. e. Strain the candy into the clean pot. Now you are ready to start cooking it again! It is important to remove the burnt pieces. If you remove them quickly, they won't your candy a smoked taste.

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