I've been trying to make more of the traditional dishes and desserts from my mother's country the Dominican Republic. I grew up eating both Arina de Maiz (Corn Meal pudding) and Arepa (Corn Meal & Coconut Cake). Both are essentially the same recipe with the latter having the addition of coconut milk and the added step of baking it in the oven. When I made this recently, I was very tempted to just eat the whole pot as hot pudding but after several spoonfuls I decided to go through with making this into a proper Arepa.
Arepa is difficult to describe. Different ways I could describe it include: congealed sweet corn pudding; a really moist coconut/corn cake; bread-pudding like corn meal cake; a slice of heaven. Don't confuse this Arepa with the traditional arepas of Mexico and South America. Those are savory flat cornbreads that look a bit like English muffins. Dominican Arepa is a dessert!
The recipe for this comes from the wonderful website Dominican Cooking.
Ingredients & Materials:
Butter for greasing
2 cups of corn flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1-1/2 cups of sugar
4 whole cinammon sticks
1/4 cup of raisins
3 cups of evaporated milk (2 -12.5 oz cans)
1 cup of coconut milk
3 cups of water
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Add dry ingredients and wet ingredients to a big pot and stir thoroughly. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring constantly so the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom, or worse BURN!
When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat and stir until the mixture is gloopy and thick. It should coat your spoon and have the consistency of cream of wheat or thick pudding. Turn off the heat and remove the cinammon sticks.
Butter your baking dish/cake pan.
Add mixture to the pan and smooth the surface with a spoon. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes until the top is brown and a knife or toothpick comes out clean.
Let it rest for a few hours so the cake sets. Cut into wedges and serve. You can make your own caramel sauce to drizzle over the top if so desired. Enjoy!