Bolivian Tawa Tawas, Desserts Around the World

Imagine eating a fried waffle, crispy and just sweet enough, with fruit and other toppings strewn across the top. Mmmm, makes my mouth water. This taste, is very similar to the one of Bolivian Tawa-Tawas, which, I made the other day as part of our second challenge this year, Desserts Around the World!

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As you can probably guess from the title, in the ‘Desserts Around the World’ challenge, I’ll be making desserts from many different places around the world. Or, I guess, from twelve places around the world, since there will be twelve editions to this challenge. I, Karenna, will be in charge of this challenge, while Lucy is in charge of another challenge! (Check out our last blog post!) To kick off the ‘Desserts Around the World’ challenge, I made a classic dessert from Bolivia, Tawa-Tawas.

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Tawa-tawas are basically just another from of fried bread (like beignets). According to boliviabella.com, “Tawa” is the Quechua word for the number four. Since it requires four cuts to give a tawa-tawa their rhombus shape, the name was assigned!

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The actual tawa-tawa dough doesn’t have too much added flavor, so you have to rely on add ons to make this dessert truly delicious. Most commonly, people use powdered sugar and honey. However, since I was out of powdered sugar, I used regular sugar as well as honey and strawberries (an idea I had myself that I thought really tied this dessert together.). Traditionally, tawa-tawas are made on three kings day, however as they are so easy to make they are typically made and eaten year round.

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I was pleasantly surprised with how easy these tawa-tawas were to make! I’ve watched my dad make bread countless times and am aware of how long it takes for dough to rise. I was worried that, since the dough for tawa-tawas is a lot like bread dough, making the tawa-tawas would require many hours of waiting for the dough to rise. This was not the case at all! In total, these tawa-tawas required around fifteen minutes of rising time, which made me very happy because I hate waiting. Every ingredient required for the dough was an ingredient most families typically have on hand, or, ingredients that are located at practically every grocery store. This was super nice because it meant I didn’t have to plan to far ahead of time. Finally, I was worried about frying these. The recipe recommended using a deep fryer, something I’ve been just a little afraid of since I watched a lady almost burn her hand off using one in an episode of ‘Doc Martin.’ So, instead, I used put just a bit of oil in a frying pan and it worked perfectly well. Each tawa-tawa only took a few minutes at most to cook, so make sure you’re watching these carefully!

As I mentioned in the beginning, these tasted like a deep fried waffle. (Not that I’ve ever had one.) I love waffles, so this was in no way a bad thing. Since they were hollow on the inside, they weren’t very filling, so it was easy to eat a lot in one sitting! By themselves however, I didn’t find these something to brag about. They certainly weren’t bad, they were just a bit bland. However, as soon as you added the toppings, the whole dessert was transformed. It was just sweet enough and super pretty! I would highly recommend adding fruit, as that was my favorite part. It would also be fun to experiment with toppings, as I’m sure that there are many other things that would make these delicious.

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Fun Fact! Many indigenous Bolivian women set up little tables by bus stations, where they sell their tawa-tawas!

The Recipe:

Ingredients-

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • canola oil (for frying)
  • honey
  • powdered sugar
  • fruit and other toppings (optional)

Procedure-

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add the butter and mix well with a spatula.
  3. Add the eggs and a drizzle of water. Continue mixing, and add more water as you do so. (You may need to add a bit more than half a cup.) Continue mixing until everything is incorporated.
  4. Knead the dough on a floured surface until everything is smooth, about two minutes. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
  5. After resting, roll the dough into a thin layer (about 1/10 of an inch.).
  6. Use the tip of a pairing knife to cut the dough into rhombus shaped pieces. Cover again and allow to rest for about five minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, heat oil in a deep fryer or in a thin layer (no more than halfway up the sides) on a frying pan.
  8. Fry five or six dough pieces at a time until all of the dough has been fried. They should puff up and become golden brown. Don’t forget to turn them and cook both sides.
  9. Drain on a paper towel and top with honey, powdered sugar, and other toppings.
  10. Serve immediately after adding toppings and enjoy!

Recipe from theslowcook.com.

Other sources: boliviabella.com.

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2 thoughts on “Bolivian Tawa Tawas, Desserts Around the World

  1. Julie says:

    Karenna, You have made me very hungry this afternoon! I need to try this recipe. Thank you for introducing me to goodies from Bolivia! Julie Sawyer

    Like

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