When Abuela is in town (aka my mom), she always treats us to this Venezuelan delight. Quesillo. Think silky smooth caramel flavors covered in… you guessed it… more caramel. This time with a slight perfect hint of coffee. Bizzy Coffee Quesillo is an easy dessert that will WOW anyone!
I grew up away from my extended family. Wait I don’t actually know what extended means. Does that mean grandparents and aunts and cousins too? I should probably look it up, but its 530am and I’m lazy. I should probably know the answer to this, but technically I’m not from here.
When we moved to the US and A, at age 11, it was just my mom, dad, sis and moi. All my other family was in Venezuela. Since then it’s just been our little small family unit. The 4 Musketeers. It’s a new movie, you should go see it.
For the most part, I never felt any different than other families. My parents did such an amazing job of keeping us together, making us feel loved, making celebrating holiday, and making all the small moments special. We were able to see our family but this was very few and far between. Looking back, that is probably why were able to travel so much too I think. In the absence, big family gatherings or reunions, traveling on holidays was always an option.
I did miss my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins but for the most part I didn’t know any different. Our few close friends became our family and I personally learned to not need people very much. That is how I grew up and honestly it was a pretty great childhood.
My hubs on the other hand, grew up living in the same city and/or state as his family. Spending holidays or summers together, seeing extended family on a regular basis.
Now I’m a mama. A mama with a little family unit of 3. And baby Poppy is so lucky to have so many people that love her. Some family lives in town literally in the same city and state. And some family lives out of town.
I want her to grow up knowing that no matter where you live and where your family lives, you can always be close. I have always been so close to my immediate little family unit whether I was studying in a different state, living in France or now miles and miles away. And no matter how far away we are, we are close. In addition to trips, Skype, FaceTime, videos, photos, there are so many ways to stay connected.
When it gets tough, and there are tears at the airport, I think to myself, all in all we are so lucky. We have family. Family we can see and visit. Family that is healthy. Family that is always there for us. That is all that matters. And if I teach my baby anything, I want it to be that: Family is the most important thing in life. All else comes second.
In this case, second to me is good food. C’mon did you really think I was going to leave out food. NEVER!
My grandmother, or Poppy’s “Muy Abuela” as the hubs calls her (in his broken/incorrect Spanish) has always made amazing Quesillos, or so I hear. Lucky for us, she passed down this recipe and skill to my mom.
When my parents met Jason (the hubs has a name) for the first time, in the dating phase, my mom made him a quesillo. He fell in love. Since then, it has become his favorite dessert made by my mom.
So here goes, my mom’s FAMOUS QUESILLO. Today, we made a coffee version which taste like sweet creamy caramel with a kissed by coffee. But have no fear, if you wanna go sans-coffee, an original Quesillo, simply swap the coffee for milk and Ta-Da.
From my mom’s Venezuelan kitchen to yours, Bizzy Coffee Quesillo. The best most exotic dessert to wow your next party, date night dinner or holiday get together.
Bizzy Coffee Quesillo
Makes a 6 or 8 inch round cookie tin. A 6 inch will be thicker and require the full 40-50 minutes baking time; an 8 inch will take about 35 minutes and be thinner.
Necessary equipment: 6 or 8 inch round cookie tin with lid.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 eggs
- 14 ounces milk (whole milk preferably) or strong coffee*
- 1 teaspoon brandy (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 375º F. Place oven rack in the middle of oven and one directly on top.
Start by making the caramel: Add the sugar and water in a pot or pan over medium low heat, stirring constantly to prevent any burnt spots. If your caramel looks very lumpy and grainy, don’t worry. Just lower the heat and keep stirring until sugar dissolves and syrup become dark amber color.
Once caramel is done, immediately pour caramel into the tin container. Make sure to use oven mitts and carefully tilt the tin container to coat the sides. Set aside and let it cool.
Meanwhile put the rest of the ingredients into a blender and blend until combined.
Pour the custard into the container with the caramel. Cover with the lid.
Fill a large roasting pan or 9×13 container with about an inch of water. Place the tin with custard in the center. Carefully place tin in the middle of the 2 oven racks, making sure one is directly on top of the tin lid to prevent it from opening. Bake for 40-45 minutes. The quesillo will be ready. Set aside and let it cool on a rack for about 45min.
To unmold, run a knife around edges and invert onto a large rimmed serving platter.