These golden, crusty, cheesy fritters are on the salty side. But when with a served warm, dark mahogany-colored, cinnamon and clove-scented simple syrup, they make for a wonderfully sweet and savory end to a meal.
This recipe requires yuca root, found in the produce section—don't use frozen yuca. Queso duro (literally, "hard cheese") is a firm, crumbly, salty, cow's milk cheese eaten in several Latin American countries. Variations exist from country to country, but the overall characteristics of the cheese are the same. This cheese can be found in the specialty cheese or Latin American dairy section of many supermarkets. Should you not be able to find queso duro, substitute haloumi, a Cypriot cheese made with goat's and/or sheep's milk.
- Yield:Makes 20 to 24 buñuelos
- Active time: 1 hour
- Total time:1 hour
- For the buñuelos:
- 8 cups vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 pounds yuca root (See Notes)
- 8 ounces queso duro or haloumi (See Notes), finely grated
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the syrup:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 200°F. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until temperature registers 350°F (oil should be about 1 1/2 inches deep). Line a large baking sheet with two layers of paper towels.
Peel yuca with a standard peeler. Using the small holes of a box grater, grate yuca into a large bowl. Add cheese, eggs, baking powder, and salt and stir until thoroughly combined.
Drop yuca mixture into oil by heaping tablespoonfuls—4 to 5 at a time—and fry until puffed and golden, 3 to 5 minutes. With a spider or slotted spoon, transfer buñuelos to prepared baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Repeat frying procedure with remaining yuca mixture, allowing oil to return to 350°F between batches.
To make the syrup, combine sugar, dark brown sugar, water, cinnamon stick, and cloves in a small saucepan until sugars are completely dissolved. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, then, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon and cloves.
Serve buñuelos immediately with warm syrup.