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Today we are going to delve into the similarities between Dominican and Haitian cake.
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People from Haiti and the Dominican Republic will often argue over who has the best recipes – Tostones or ?
They may speak two different languages, however they share the same island so it is no wonder their foods are very similar. In a way, I am a child of both sides of the island of Hispaniola as I am half Haitian and my best friend since I am 8 years old is Dominican. I am kind of an honorary Dominican in her family. Since in a way I am part of both cultures, I am lucky to have intimate knowledge of both cuisines, having grown up with both.
One thing that both sides of the island are known for is cake. If you live in a city with either a large Haitian or a large Dominican population, people will often refer to these bakeries for their birthday cakes, even if they are not part of either of these cultures.
This basic cake recipe is used for all occasions – simple and elaborate. It is often just had plain with a cup of or decorated beautifully for any special occasion. When filled, the most common fillings on both sides of the island are pineapple and guava. Sometimes, in the Dominican version, they might also fill it with dulce de leche.
On both sides of the island, this cake is made in two ways. It is usually flavored with orange, although sometimes for the simple homestyle cakes, the orange juice will be replaced with evaporated milk. The Haitian version is usually more heavily spiced with nutmeg, vanilla extract and/or almond essence.
When decorated for special occasions, a light and airy merengue frosting is made called suspiro on the Dominican side of the island.
In both the Haitian and the Dominican version, it is also flavored with a little rum. However, Haitians take their rum a little more seriously than Dominicans and will only ever use Rhum Batancourt.
My birthday was yesterday and I decided to share this delicious Haitian Orange Cake recipe with you. I am celebrating at home this year as I am on lockdown like everyone else.
I am not a big frosting person, so instead of filling the cake with guava, I decorated it with a simple guava glaze.
The cake crumbled a bit on top because I brushed the glaze on, instead of pouring it on. If you watched my IGTV last week, you will know this was an experiment that didn’t work. You can catch to see all the details.