|Garbanzos en Dulce|
|Garbanzos en Dulce, served|
Coming to the page in the cookbook, while proofreading, it occurred to me that the main reason I have not recreated this dessert since returning to the US more than 30 years back, is that in Guatemala I had access to dried garbanzo beans, which had to be cooked, then peeled and then made into the dessert. For anyone who has cooked beans, we know that it takes a while for the cooking process. To ensure the beans would peel easily once cooked, some wood ash was added to the cooking water. Once cooked through, the skins slipped off easily. The dish is really wonderful, but makes a much better presentation and texture if the garbanzos are peeled. Once all this was finally done, it came time to cook the beans into a dessert. Most every Guatemalan recipe seems to ensure the maximum amount of kitchen time possible!
However, in this day and age, garbanzo beans are available in cans. And not only that but with the choice of regular salted beans or unsalted. It occurred to me as I was proofreading that page in the cookbook that I needn't start from dried garbanzo beans. I have cans in the pantry! All I would have to do is peel and make them into dessert. I ran to the kitchen to try it out.
|Bowl of Garbanzos in Syrup|
It does take a little time to peel all the garbanzos, even only from one can. For me, it was not a really big deal-breaker in this case, to spend an extra 15 minutes or so peeling the beans. It must be done carefully, as the dish really presents best if the beans are whole and not all crushed. The only thing left to do was to place the drained and peeled beans into a saucepan with water, sugar and some true cinnamon stick to cook for about half hour and voila! Nearly instant dessert. I understand if this is a little too outre for some people, but if you love garbanzo beans, you just might be surprised!
It is important for correct flavor of this dish to use true cinnamon for the flavoring. True cinnamon, versus the cassia we are generally faced with in the US, has a very different flavor, and even color than cassia. True cinnamon sticks are thin quills, generally rolled together and very easily crumbled if needed, where cassia sticks are thick, single quills, difficult to break. True (soft stick) cinnamon quills are generally found in any Mexican grocery or in the international foods aisle in many grocery stores.
Garbanzos en Dulceserves 3 or 4
1 can (15 - 16 ounces) garbanzo beans, preferable unsalted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, if needed
1 cup water for cooking
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
3 to 4-inches true (soft stick) cinnamon
Drain and rinse the garbanzos. Test peeling them. If they peel easily, skip this step and go on to making the dessert. If they do not peel easily, then first stir the baking soda into the drained and rinsed beans. Pour them into a skillet and heat them through, stirring constantly. Once hot, return them to the colander set over a bowl of cool water and rinse them well, rubbing them gently to loosen the skins. Gently make sure all the skins are loose and removed, changing the water various times during this process.
|skin loosened | bowl of beans peeled | Kuner's brand | gently boiling in sugar water | boiled to syrup|