I remember my first bite of polvito like it was yesterday. It was on a calm mid-October evening that a group of guests from The Surf Office gathered in front of a local bar in Las Palmas to have one last meal together. A few of these new friends would be leaving soon, so when the thought came to have one last meal together, we agreed to let the first to depart select a place.
This place is called Bodega Extremeña. The menu promised a selection of locally cured hams, a delightful cheese plate, a tender and tasteful beef cheek stew, beef elbow cooked in onion, and so much more. We ordered all of those things. With each plate of meat our hearts grew braver for the next course, expanding our once tiny stomachs twice their usual size. It was not until we reached the end of the climactic meal full of "oohs" and "aahs," that the word dessert even entered our minds.
The server brought us the menu with a knowing smile and a nod. All eyes scanned the page for the evening's word of destiny. Postres. Desserts. Who ever knew that seven little letters could bring such a rush? We narrowed down our selection to two choices: a warm brownie with walnuts and vanilla ice cream or the mysterious Uruguayan polvito.
Out of our group of eight, only two of us knew any Spanish. For those of you who don't already know, there is more to the word polvito than meets the eye. The menu description had the two of us cracking up with words like, con una cosita.
"Let us have both!" cried the Welshman at the table. And so it was. The first to arrive at the table was the classic American sweet with chocolate sauce and a heaping dollop of vanilla ice cream. The clinking of spoons was unstoppable. After the two brownies were gone the server returned with the mystery cake of the evening... Polvito is served.
The texture of polvito is soft and fluffy, reminiscent of tiramisu with dulce de leche spewing out of the gooey middle.
Polvito Recipe, Inspired by El Pato de Chocolate
Ingredients (2 servings)
1/2 stick of butter, thawed
1/3 can Dulce de Leche
4-6 meringues, crushed
1 can Canarian Ermol* -or- mascarpone
1/2 pack of graham crackers -or- digestives
1. Crush graham crackers in a medium bowl until crumbly but not yet dusty. Add half a stick of butter and mix until the butter has completely blended. We suggest you use your hands for this.
2. Press about 3-4mm of the graham cracker mix to the bottom of your glass container(s).
3. Now take out the Ermol or mascarpone and pile some on top of the cracker base. Spread it around to the corners. Once it looks even, sprinkle the creamy layer with one palm of crushed meringues.
4. Finally it's time for the best part... dulce de leche! Open your can or jar and dip in a dollop of the good stuff. Plop it in the center of your layered polvito and repeat steps 2-4.
5. Refridgerate at least 2 hours before eating. Best if covered to protect flavor and left refrigerated over night.
*Ermol is only available in the Canary islands. We found it in the same isle as condensed milk. The texture of Ermol is pretty buttery, so if you prefer to have a lighter texture we suggest you replace it with mascarpone or your favorite airy cream.