Recipes for Traditional and Typical Sweets in Spain
This week, we have a guest blog post from fellow foodie Craig of CakeJournal, who has recipes for some of the most-loved sweets in Spain!
A Brief History of Spanish Pastries
Spanish pastries and other desserts were almost non-existent before the Romans arrived in the Iberian Peninsula. The Romans brought new idea to the table and implemented the use of wine syrup with honey. After the Romans’ arrival, bread and pastry production in Spain took off.
The next step in developing the typical Spanish pastry was when the Moors brought sugarcane into the country. This created a new market for puddings and sweets and eventually led to the creation of Spanish cakes. Along with sugarcane, the Moors also imported almonds, which redefined the characteristic of nuts in desserts.
When the Americas were discovered, the ingredient list of Spanish pastries and desserts grew longer than ever. Chocolate was one of the major new renovations to the dessert realm and sparked new interest in what was possible for Spanish pastries.
Today, the majority of the desserts are consumed on holidays such as Easter or Christmas and are often found in a store rather than homemade. And in Barcelona, there is a great tour that mixes history, food, and artisan baking in an epic romp around the city! However, these pastries are incredibly easy to make and will maintain their tradition for many years to come.
Two of the Most Common Spanish Pastries and Their Recipes
Churros con Chocolate
1/4 Cup sugar
3 Beaten eggs
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup water
1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup butter or margarine
2 Cups milk
1/4 Cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
4 Ounces of chopped dark chocolate
For the dough, combine the salt, one cup of water, and butter or margarine in a pan. Then, begin to boil in high heat. While heating, stir in the flour with a wooden cooking spoon. Stir continuously until the dough reaches a ball-like shape. Remove the pan from the heat and then beat the eggs into the dough while stirring constantly.
As for the dunking chocolate, dissolve cornstarch in one cup of milk and then set it aside. Take the leftover milk and combine it with the chocolate in a pan. While stirring, melt the chocolate and milk over medium-low heat. Next, whisk the dissolved cornstarch and sugar into the melted chocolate. While whisking constantly, turn the heat to low and continue to cook until the chocolate thickens. After, remove the pan from heat and whisk until a smooth texture is achieved. Store in a warm place.
Now heat two inches-deep of oil in a high-sided and heavy pot until oil temperature reaches 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, mix the cinnamon and sugar on a plate and set aside. Take the churro dough and put it in a pastry page with a large, fitted tip. Use the bag to squeeze a four-inch line of dough into the heated oil. Repeat this process, using three or four strips at at time. Begin to fry them and turn them over once they reach a golden brown color.
Take the fried churros and place them on a plate lined with paper towels. Once the churros are cool enough, take the cinnamon sugar and roll them around in it. Pour the chocolate into bowls and serve with churros once the churros have cooled down slightly.
5 Large eggs
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 Cup sugar
1 Can evaporated milk
1 Package of softened cream cheese
1 Can sweetened condensed milk
In a large saucepan, stir sugar over medium-low heat and cook until golden in color. Next, pour the sugar into a round baking dish and tilt to coat the bottom. Let the result stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Beat the eggs until combined, but start one at a time. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Then proceed to pour this mixture over the golden brown sugar.
Put the dish in a large baking pan and pour boiling water in to a depth of one inch. Bake for around an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the center just begins to set. Remove the dish after cooking and place on a wire rack to cool for one more hour. Then place in the refrigerator overnight. Cut around the edges and serve as slices on dessert plates for a serving size of about 8-10 slices.
My name is Craig and I am an editor at CakeJournal. I spend most of my time finding every excuse test out new baking recipes. I write about everything from cake recipes to fun baking projects to vegan baking. If you can’t get a hold of me I am probably out at a restaurant or in the kitchen!