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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Maria's Beloved Corn Pancakes

It's not everyday that you fall in love. I can say whole heartedly that I have fallen into a deep love with Maria's Cachapas Venezolanas, also known as corn pancakes. Five years ago I came to Maria's with a few girlfriends and tried these mouthwateringly sweet, savory cakes. Ever since, I have been scheming up ways to crack the top secret recipe. Owner Maria Hoyas originally from Columbia has been in the restaurant business here in Minneapolis for over 20 years. She and only she holds the recipe. I have been told that she comes into the kitchen after closing to whip up a batter for the pancakes and then hides the ingredients as to not leave a single trace. Corn pancakes are also considered to be an arepa, a corn patty popular all over South America. Maria's pancakes are nothing like the traditional arepa, because the dough is much softer and contains whole corn kernels. The cakes are a beautiful golden color, with a custard like consistency. A critical part of the pancake experience for me has to be the cotija cheese topping. Cotija cheese is a Mexican cow's milk cheese which is dry, firm and salty. The salty cheese pairs fanatically with the sweet and savoy cake. I like to drizzle a tiny bit of syrup over the top to create an even moister bite. Eating these cakes for me is almost a euphoric experience. I normally dine at Maria's with a friend, but when the cake arrives- the chatter shops and all of my attention is then focused onto the beautiful eatable in front of me. Over the years I have tried my best to uncover the recipe. My assumptions are that the cake contains: butter, buttermilk, corn flour, corn kernels, creamed corn, sugar, baking powder and soda. Just want to put it out there to anyone with the recipe: $500 REWARD FOR MARIA'S CACHAPAS RECIPE!! Yup, it's that good. 

Click here for a link to Maria's Cafe 
My foodie bestie, Natalie!

1 comment:

  1. Your guess is the closest I have found for Maria's corn pancakes. Will you post the recipe if you perfect it?