These rice cakes date back to the 1800’s when African-American women would carry baskets of them piping hot, wrapped in a clean towel through the streets. They strolled through the French Quarter yelling, “Belles calas, tout chauds! Calas!” and for a small price you had a warm tasty breakfast a la street food.
It’s also a great way to use up that leftover boiled rice during the week. Make sure you enjoy some café au lait with your calas this morning!
Sweet Rice Cakes
(Belles Calas Tout Chauds – this is the old recipe)
From: Louisiana Keepsake
½ cup rice
½ cake dissolved yeast
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups boiling water
3 eggs, well beaten
1 heaping Tablespoon flour
(In Louisiana almost everything gets doused and drowned in powdered sugar!)
Directions: Cook a half cup of rice in the boiling water until mushy. When cold, mash well and mix in a half-cake of dissolved yeast. Set to rise overnight.
The next morning, add the eggs, continue beating, and add the sugar and spoonful of flour. Beat into a thick batter. Let it rise for 15 minutes then add ½ teaspoon nutmeg.
From a large spoon, drop the batter a spoonful at a time into hot lard to fry (peanut oil these days is smarter), hot oil should be 400-degrees F. When brown, take out, drain, and wrap in cloth to keep hot.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with café au lait for breakfast!