Piloncillo is a block or cone shaped piece of unrefined sugar used in Mexico. It has been around for hundreds of years and is found in many recipes. One of these recipes is Capirotada, a traditional bread pudding made around the hoidays. The piloncillo is used for making the syrup, panocha syrup, that is drizzled over the bread pudding. It is also used in preparing Cafe de Olla, Mexican coffee. In this recipe, the piloncillo is mixed in with dark roasted coffee, cinammon, and maybe some anise seeds.
Piloncillo has a very high molasses content, therefore the color varies from light to dark brown. To produce it, sugar cane is crushed and the liquid boiled and poured into molds. These molds are either block shape or cone shape. When it dries, the cones are packaged and sold as Piloncillo. These are hard molds of sugar. To use it, you must either chisel it or grate it. But the taste is divine.
I woke up with a craving for Piloncillo bread that I used to buy at the Bowie Bakery, El Paso's finest in Mexican pastries. But alas, I couldn't get down there. But I did have some piloncillo on hand and decided to incorporate it into some brown sugar pound cake. Well, I just made myself a cup of coffee and sliced off a big old chunk of my Piloncillo bread. Life is good.
Brown Sugar Pound Cake
(Inspired by Martha Stewart recipes)
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cone piloncillo, chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Prepare 2 (8 x 4 inch) loaf pans by greasing and flouring.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time until well combined. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk to butter/sugar/eggs mixture. Combine well. Fold in piloncillo pieces. Pour into two prepared pans. Bake for about an hour. Cool 10 minutes then turn out onto rack to cool completely.
I drizzled mine with a little powdered sugar/ milk combination. But you can leave yours plain if you like. Now make yourself a cup of coffe and enjoy.
Please check out my new chocolate blog: Mexican Chocolate Lore and More. Let me know what you think about it and how I can make it even better for you. Muchas gracias mis amigos y amigas.