The sweet pamonhas (Pamonha doce)

The pamonhas doce are part of the larger tamal family, a dish frequently encountered in South America and Mexico; but this version is a typical brazilian dessert dish cooked a bit like tamales but with a totally different outcome... When cooking something with sugar that will get boiled after, such as is the case here, do not be afraid to add enough sugar, as much of it will end wasted in the water.

brazilian dessert pamonhas

The Sweet Pamonhas

* 12 ears of corn
* 1/2 cup corn masa flour (Maseca)
* 2 cups coconut milk
* 3 cups white sugar
* 3 tablespoons melted butter
* 1 cup (80 g) grated coconut, to taste
* 1/2 teaspoons salt
* corn straw or kitchen string to tie up the pamonhas
* the fresh corn husks to wrap the pamonhas


1) Peel the husks from the ears of corn, wash and place in a saucepan. Add water to cover and bring to a boil; cook, simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the hot water, drain and set aside.

2) Remove the grains of corn from the cobs by cutting them with a knife; place the corn in a blender and blend with 1 cup of coconut milk for long enough to liquefy completely the corn. Add the corn masa, the baking powder, the remaining milk, sugar, butter, coconut and salt then blend again until mixture is smooth. Reserve.

3) Take two corn husks then taking the widest part use three fingers on the inside and wrap, shaping the leaves like a pouch, using three fingers to hold the part that runs through. With the other hand, bend the tip of the bottom to shape like a cup with opening facing up; fill with some corn dough we have made earlier until about half full.

4) Repeat with two more corn husks and make another bag like the first one and fit over the opening that is filled, forming a package. In a bowl, support the pamonha and tie with strips of corn husk fiber, without squeezing too tightly. Finish all the Pamonhas with all the remaining dough.

5) In a large saucepan with enough boiling water, place the pamonhas and cover and simmer in boiling water for about 45 minutes. They will be ready when the corn husks start to turn yellowish. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon, allow to cool down, then serve the pamonhas.

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