Luckily with both Supremo Food Market, a Latin grocery and H-Mart(also know as Han Ah Rheum) a Korean grocery; we can get fresh frozen Achira/Dasheen/Yautia/Taro leaves easily enough.
I will let you know how they turn out - based on Edison's reaction - tomorrow night or so.
In translating a few Equadorian recipes, variations called for toasted corn flour, anise, cream cheese as well as Chihuahua and even Parmesan cheese. A few also had a yeast option and after researching a few recipes, I chose the more common flour or corn flour and cornstarch based versions that used baking powder as a leavener. So here is a recipe that I put together:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
pinch of salt
pinch of cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
6 ounces Chihuahua, mozzarella, muenster cheese or parmesan cheese grated.
1/2 cup masa harina (or cornmeal)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
Grated lemon zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon anise seeds crushed (optional)
2 tablespoons brandy or rum from soaking the raisins
Pinch of salt
One 1 pound bag of banana leaves cut into10 x 12 pieces
Let the butter soften at room temperature. In a mixing bowl combine the butter and sugar until it becomes light and fluffy cream, add the yolks and beat until light and well mixed then add rum.
In another container place the flour, masa harina, cornstarch and baking powder , gradually add to butter mixture.
Beat egg whites with pinch of salt until foamy, then add cream of tartar and beat to soft peaks.
Then add one tablespoon of sugar at a time and beat to glossy, stiff peaks.
Take 1/3 of egg whites and incorporate into butter mixture until lightened and then fold in remaining 2/3 egg whites until batter is well mixed and fluffy. Take care to not over mix.
(How to fold the quimbolitos)
Place a banana leaf down with the grain running left to right
Spread 3 heaping tablespoons of mixture in center of leaf about 3.4 to 1 inch thick
Place 3 or 4 raisins on top of batter
Bring sides of leaf together over filling
Fold other ends under and place on a cookie tray until ready to steam.
Place quimbolitos in steamer, top loosely with leaf pieces and cook 30 - 40 minutes.