On the third Monday of July, Puerto Ricans celebrate the birthday of Luis Muñoz Rivera, a prominent journalist, poet and politician who advocated for the island’s independence from Spain and later from the United States. To commemorate the holiday, El Mensajero Católico Staff Writer Ketsia Rodríguez created a video demonstrating Recetas de Puerto Rico’s recipes for Puerto Rican Cake (http://recetaspuertorico.com/eng/puerto-rican-cake) with pineapple syrup (http://recetaspuertorico.com/eng/puerto-rican-pineapple-syrup).
Puerto Rican Pineapple Syrup
• 2 cups of pineapple juice
• 1 cup of white, granulated sugar
Add two cups of pineapple juice to a saucepan over medium heat.
When the juice is hot or has lightly reduced, add the sugar gradually while moving the juice using a wooden spoon.
After adding the sugar, lower the heat to low or medium-low.
The syrup should be very thin so that it can penetrate the cake. If you leave the heat too high, the syrup will begin to thicken and/or crystallize and won’t penetrate the cake properly.
Once the syrup has reached the desired consistency, remove the saucepan from the heat and use as intended.
Puerto Rican Cake
• ¾ cup egg whites
• 1 cup of sugar
• 1 ¾ cups flour
• ½ cup egg yolks
• 1 ¼ cups butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
• pineapple syrup
Note: This recipe yields an 8- to 9-inch mold, depending on its depth. If you use flour with yeast (self-rising flour), suggestion is to skip the baking powder.
Place the baking rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Beat egg whites well. When they turn into meringue, add ½ cup sugar and continue beating until white peaks start forming.
Using a bowl, sift the flour while mixing with the baking powder. (If using flour with yeast, do not add baking soda.)
In another bowl, mix and soften the butter. When it turns creamy, add ½ cup sugar and egg yolk (one by one) and continue mixing.
When the butter is mixed with the sugar and egg yolks, gradually add the flour and baking powder mixture while still mixing.
After adding the flour, add the vanilla and egg white you previously mixed with sugar and beat until everything is well mixed and there are no visible lumps.
Lightly grease the mold that will you will use.
Add the mixture to the mold and bake in the center oven rack for about 45 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
When the cake is done, remove it from oven and add pineapple syrup. Let it soak for 20 minutes.
Using a butter knife or very thin icing spatula, very carefully separate the cake from the sides of the mold and turn over onto a cake plate or stand.
Decorate with icing of your choice (optional).