I feel like I’ve talked about our vacation to Paraguay quite a bit already and think it’s time that I finally share some pictures with you. This will be the first installment of probably 3 because our trip had 3 parts to it and I need some time to get organized – and I also don’t want to overload you with too many (food-unrelated) pictures at once.
First things first though – cake that is. This Dulce de Leche filled cake roll is inspired by a little treat that was part of the breakfast buffet at our first hotel in Asuncion (Paraguay’s capital). Baked sweets were a breakfast staple just like cereal, eggs + sausage, or fresh bread.
I can’t believe how long I hadn’t baked with Dulce de Leche. I am so glad South America reminded me of this good stuff which is practically liquid gold!
We bought a container of Dulce de Leche in Paraguay but by the time I got around to baking this cake roll Konrad had used up most of it for his breakfast toast. So I made my own using sweetened condensed milk.
(Naomi from Baker’s Royale has a quick tutorial for 3 ways of making Dulce de Leche from sweetened condensed milk. I was familiar with the method of boiling the can from before, so this time I tried the ‘water bath baking’. It worked out perfectly and it somehow makes me feel better than cooking something in a tin can for many hours.)
Paraguay – Recovery in Asuncion
It took about 25 hours and 4 different flights to get from Calgary to Asuncion, Paraguay’s capital. From Asuncion it is still about a 7 hour bus ride to get to Loma Plata, the small German town where Konrad was born and grew up in – but we both needed a breather and my swollen pregnancy legs some recovery time.
We booked into the Hotel Westfalenhaus and spent a couple days of just relaxing, getting used to the heat, sitting by the pool, getting pampered with mani/pedi and a massage.
Zoo and Botanical Garden
Not far from the hotel are the zoo and botanical garden. Konrad had faint memories of visiting here as a 6-year-old just before moving away from Paraguay. A re-visit was in order.
The zoo houses a variety of native and other animals (not that I could tell one from the other – to me they were all exotic alike).
Rhea – a South American flight-less bird (similar to an ostrich or emu)
Well, hello there!
After a very long and snowy winter in Calgary, it was so refreshing to see everything green and blooming. I wanted to take pictures of every single flower I came across!
No elephants in the zoo but this tree trunk comes pretty close.
Definitely wouldn’t mind hanging out in this blooming gazebo all the time!
Back at the hotel we were also spoiled with fantastic food. We noticed a big love and focus on meat, beef especially – and we had our fair share. All the fresh fruit tasted so intensely delicious since it actually had a chance to ripe before being picked.
Join me for more food and travel pictures from Paraguay later this week.
And this is the breakfast sweet that inspired today’s cake roll recipe. Actual Dulce de Leche is a little darker and thicker than the substitute made from sweetened condensed milk – although both taste amazing.
- 4 eggs, separated
- 3 tablespoons water
- 75 g (1/3 cup) sugar
- pinch of salt
- 75 g (2/3 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 50 g (1/2 cup) cornstarch
- about 1½ cups Dulce de Leche
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet ( approx. 15x12 inches) with parchment paper.
- Separate the eggs. Cream together egg yolks, water and sugar until thick and lighter in colour. In a separate, clean bowl beat the egg whites with salt until stiff. Whisk together flour and cornstarch to combine. Spread egg whites over yolk mixtures. Sift the flour mixture over top and fold in carefully.
- Spread batter onto prepared baking sheet and back for 10 minutes. Generously sprinkle a tea towel with powdered sugar. Turn cake layer onto tea towel and roll up with the towel from the long side. Let fully cool.
- Carefully unroll the cooled cake layer and spread the inside with Dulce de Leche. Roll back up and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let the cake roll firm up and soak in some of the moisture in the filling.
- When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar and slice.