Gorditas de Nata: Part 1

It’s been a bit rainy here in Vancouver for the past few days. Not that I can really complain all that much since we had a beautiful, sunny weekend. But, when the weather turns cold and rainy like this, there’s one thing I truly start craving: gorditas de nata. Soft, fluffy, delicious gorditas de nata.

If you’ve never had gorditas de nata before, they are somewhere between soft sweet bread and pancakes. They are slightly sweet, light and fluffy. They go great with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and are a beloved street dessert/snack in Mexico.

Now, what is so good for your tastebuds and so bad for your body about these gorditas de nata is the nata component. Nata is the fat you get from raw milk. In Mexico, it is very easy to find. Unfortunately for us nata lovers in Canada, nata is hard to come by up here as it is illegal to sell raw milk to the public in most provinces – let alone the fat from such milk. The diary industry is just a bit more regulated here. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your very own nata at home. It won’t be exactly the same, but it’ll be close enough to the real thing.

Making your own nata at home is super simple. You only need is whipping cream (33% fat)! In a small sauce pan, gently bring your whipping cream to a slow boil while constantly stirring so that it doesn’t burn. Once it has boiled for 3-5 mins, remove from the heat. Allow it to cool down in the pan for about 20 minutes. Transfer it over to a small container with a lid and put it in the fridge. Let it rest in the fridge for a couple of hours for it to thicken and you’ve got yourself some fresh nata.

I was looking for a recipe that would give me that fresh-gordita-de-nata-by-the-side-of-the-road-in-Mexico experience without leaving the house. I came across A LOT of recipes. The Internet is a wonderful thing sometimes. Most of them were very similar, though. So, I picked one with high ratings and gave it a try. Here’s what happened: they turned out more cookie-like than what I was expecting. I was looking for something a tiny bit more…bread-y. Don’t get me wrong, though, these were de-li-cious. I actually ate like 3 before they even had a chance to cool down. They were that good. That’s why I decided to share this recipe with you anyway. So, if you’re looking for a unique, extremely easy to make, melt-in-your-mouth gordita made with delicious homemade nata that does not require any baking, this recipe is for you!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 500g flour
  • 10g baking powder
  • 200g sugar
  • 100g butter, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 200g nata (you’ll need 250ml whipping cream to make this)
  1. Combine: Place all ingredients in a medium bowl. With your hands, bring everything together until a soft dough forms. The heat from your hands will help you get a smoother, softer dough. If you feel like your dough is too dry and not coming together, add a bit more nata. If your dough is too sticky, add a bit of flour.
  2. Rest: Cover your dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 mins.
  3. Preheat your griddle, pan or comal over low heat.
  4. Cut: On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to a thickness of about 1 cm. With a round cookie cutter, cut as many rounds as you can. Re-roll your dough and cut out more rounds. Repeat until all your dough is gone. Don’t make your rounds thicker than 1cm as they will not cook all the way through if they’re too thick.
  5. Cook: Place rounds on griddle and cook on LOW heat until light brown (about 6 minutes). Flip. Cook again until golden brown, about another 6 minutes. Make sure to not overcook them as they may dry out if you do. Keep them covered with a cloth after they come off the griddle or comal.
  6. Enjoy!

I know some of you got a chance to try baking for the first time over the past few pandemic months. Some of you loved it and some of you got discouraged by the results. Please, don’t get give up just yet! It just takes a tiny bit of patience and a whole lot of practice to get baking right. This gordita de nata recipe is proof of that. You won’t always get the results you were hoping for first time around. Keep trying! Trust me, nobody will complain about eating some tasty attempts. Si, se puede!

I’ll be attempting another round of gorditas de nata soon with a different recipe. I found one that calls for yeast rather than baking powder as leaving agent. Hopefully, that one gives me the bread-like gorditas de nata I’m looking for. We shall see. Wish me luck!

As always, you can find me on Instagram as @metatebakeshop and as Metate Bake Shop on Facebook. See you soon with more gordita de nata attempts!

UPDATE! Check out Gorditas de Nata: Part 2 for my second attempt at making these delicias.

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