When someone says Alfajor, or Rogel [roʊ héɛl ], southamerica comes to my mind. ( I must admit that I incline towards Buenos Aires/ Argentina a little bit more, but just because I swear on dulce de leche, LOL) and i think we own Dulce de leche… ( and yes, I will say this: our Uruguayan neighbors -at Conaprole have done a pretty good job at it, too) but my favourite is still homemade, and yes at home.
Rogel has maybe 8 layers of puff pastry, that in my particular case, I would go in a latin supermarket, and get the pastry to make empanadas, roll them thinner and larger about 6 in (15 cm) with a wood rolling pin don’t forget to prickle the dough with a fork before you put them in the oven one by one untl they look tanned and crunchy, but be aware that this will take 5 to 6 minutes.
Then grab a pretty plater (like this one -very much on sale too) and spread Dulce de Leche (ideally home made) on the first layer, and place a second pastry layer on top and do it again. you can go up to 10 layers if you want them taller. Once finished cover with meringue.
Its a perfect cake, actually for tea, or also as a dessert. I loose it with this cake, and regret it a little bit the next morning. But hey, life is only one!
If you want to go all the way and make the puff pastry from scratch here is a recipe:
- 2 cups flour
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- 50 gr butter
- a pinch of salt
I like them salty.
For the meringue: My sister in law makes this amazing one:
- 6 egg whites
- 6 table spoons of sugar
- ½ teaspoon white vinegar (or a halved lemon)
For Rogel layers
- Blend the butter/ flour/ salt combo together in the processor until crumbly. Add egg yolks and continue blending them until the mixture becomes homogeneous.Take out the dough and let it rest in the refrigerator for half an hour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
- Spread some flour on the bench, roll out the dough to a very thin layer and cut out 8 circles (6 inches/15 cm in diameter). Place baking paper on a tray and distribute the circles leaving a little space between them, pricking the pastry all over with a fork. Bake them for 5-6 minutes until they begin to take a little color. Let them cool
- Spread dulce de leche on a rogel layer and place a second rogel layer on top. Continue with all your rogel layers. You can have 6,8 or maximum 10 rogel layers, depends on how tall you want your torts to be.
- Combine egg whites and white vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer (this one is on sale!!) fitted with a whisk attachment; alternatively, wipe the mixer bowl with cut side of ½ lemon before adding egg whites. Set mixer to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form (when lifted, the head of the mixer should form gentle peaks in the egg whites that very slowly collapse back into themselves), about 2 minutes.
- With the mixer running, carefully and slowly drizzle in sugar. Increase speed to high and whip until desired stiffness is achieved.
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A little story about this cake
Here there’s little story about this dessert, I read on Wikipedia (re: alfajor)
In 712, the Arab general Musa ibn Nusair arrived in Algeciras with an army of 18,000 soldiers to undertake the conquest of Medina Sidonia, Alcalá de Guadaira and Carmona. A similar sweet called alajú is found in the Arabic-Hispanic cookbook Kitab al-Tabikh, by an anonymous author. The Spanish grammarian Nebrija appointed the word for the first time in his Latin-Spanish Dictionary (1492) as: alfaxor or alaxur. In the 12th century, Raimundo Martin describes in his book Vocabulista another possible etymology of the Hispano-Arabic fasur, meaning “nectar”.The presence of this sweet is evident in the area of southern Peru during the 12th and 13th centuries, being developed in Andalusia since the days of Al-Andalus until today. Due to the popularity of this food, they already were in the warehouses of the first ships of the Spaniards on their way to America. The earliest references to its presence in Latin America referred to Venezuela and Peru, where they were given as rations to the Spanish troops. The popularity of this sweet in the 16th century is reflected in literary works such as Guzman Alfarache.