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piloncillo--now what?

I picked up a couple of piloncillo cones, and am now at a loss about what to do with them. Any suggestions?

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  1. IIRC I bought one to be 'authentic' when preparing chiles en nogada:
    http://www.chow.com/recipes/12904
    Any recipe where unrefined sugar is preferred would be good - in Indian cooking the term is 'jaggery'.

    Now to the Real issue - how do you Break off and Pulverize pieces of piloncillo? My cone is literally rock hard.

    1. They are good in homemade barbeque sauce, it will take a while to melt though. One should be enough for approx. a qt.

      1. Shave with a paring knife or use a fine toothed grater to remove the amount of sugar you want/need.

        1. A simple starter - put one or more cones in a small sauce pan, half cover with water, and simmer till the cone dissolves. I also like to add some spice, such cinnamon stick and cloves. The result is a syrup, 'miel de panella' (brown sugar honey), that can be used a number of ways:
          - on pancakes
          - to sweeten coffee
          - as the main liquid in a bread pudding
          - as a dip for pastries
          etc.
          In 'cafe de olla', 'pot coffee', the sugar is dissolved with spices in more water, and then coffee is brewed in that water.

          For small amounts, grating or shaving. It is hard. One name (in South America) for this kind of sugar is 'raspadura' - 'hard-grating-stuff'.

          1. If you Google "piloncillo recipes," you'll find all sorts of things to do with it. Have fun.

            1. Thanks for all the suggestions! I found an ice cream recipe digging through all my cookbooks, though that miel de panella sounds wonderful. I supposed I'll just have to do both!

              1. Here are instructions for capirotada, a bread pudding using a piloncillo syrup
                http://rollybrook.com/capirotada.htm

                In Ecuador, green figs and pumpkin are stewed in this syrup. Pinnapple trimmings are cooked with it to make a drink. It also helps flavor a goat stew (seco de chivo) (along with tart tropical fruits). These are from an Ecuadorian blogger,laylita.

                http://laylita.com/recipes/?s=miel&am...

                1. I love the burnt caramel smell of this stuff, but it is HARD. I tried grating and gave up. A few days ago I put the cone in a bag, wrapped it in a towel and took it outside. Set it on concrete and bashed it with my kitchen mallet. I then put it in a pan with just a bit of water and let it simmer, swirling now and again. I let it get to an almost honey thickness. It was used in place of caramel water to marinade pork in a Vietnamese recipe prior to grilling. I see lots of experimentation in the future.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: torty

                    "on concrete and bashed it with my kitchen mallet" Wow, that's my technique!

                  2. This site has everything you could ever want to know about piloncillo (alternate names, uses, guiness world records) and a bunch of Latin American recipes, that are especially great for the holiday season....

                    http://issuu.com/semeantoja/docs/decj...