Thursday, October 30, 2008

Breakfast with Magdalenas (spanish cupcakes)

This week we're really having winterly weather. I've been driving to work three days in a row because of the rain. How can I fix this? With some homemade magdalenas. I think magdalenas are exactly perfect to fight rain and cold back. I soak these bites in warm milk and the wheather doesn't matter anymore. Magdalenas throw me back directly into my childhood; we had them always at home either way for breakfast or after scholl snack.

Since always you can buy them from different brands and also "homemade" from the bakery, now you find them even filled with chocolate and other delights. For me, nothing beats a good real homemade magdalena. Even children can bake them, there's no secret to it. Besides, you can put your personal touch with different aromas like lemon, orange, blueberries... the possibilities are endless.

I don't wanna go on and on. Just in case some absent-minded doesn't know this essential clasic recipe, there it goes.

Homemade Magdalenas
About 18

  • 1 yoghurt (125 ml)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 yoghurt containers flour
  • 2 yoghurt containers caster sugar
  • 1 yoghurt container sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • salt
  • aroma of your taste, zest an juice of a lemon or orange, a hand full blueberries, chocolate chips, vanille...
  1. Combine yoghurt with egg yolks and sugar.
  2. In a separated bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder.
  3. Whisk egg whites until you have soft picks.
  4. Mix flour and yoghurt mixture just enough to combine. Add now sunflower oil. It's time for your personal touch: add aroma of your taste.
  5. Fold in the egg whites.
  6. Fill your greased muffin tins up to 3/4 of the capacity.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 180º C for 20-25 minutes.
It's hard to come out of bed in the mornings. It's so warm and cosy there! Here we have child #2, half asleep, eating a magdalena for breakfast (among other things).

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Monday, October 27, 2008

My favorite Cookie

Once again, I've survived the weekend. Why so melodramatic? Saturday we went out with the gang. I had fun, the food was tasty, the drink afterwards amusing. I missed dancing, we are getting older... We came home rather late, fortunately it was changeover times night so we could "sleep" an extra hour. I was a little bit asleep during tennis class, Sunday morning; but moving did wonders to me and I became alive. I even did some first class points (beginner's luck) until my arm got really tired and I couldn't control the ball any more.

There are plenty of chocolate chip cookies recipes. I guess it's like spanish omelette or paella, there's one in each home, everyone having their special secret. I've tried quite a number of different recipes. This is my favorite, in my opinion, the best. They turn out thick, with plenty chocolate, niether sweet nor bland, not very crunchy but niether soft, just how I like them.

I need cookies to survive this week, chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter... We've just set back the time one hour, the winterly feeling is total. A cold front has come in loaded with water and wind. This is an emergency act. S.O.S.!

I hope you like them as much as we do.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

About 72 cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 200 gr. butter, soft
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanille extract
  • 1 egg, large
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 cups dark chocolate chuncks (about 400 gr. grams)
  • 1 cupo chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. Cream sugars and butter. Add vanille extract.
  3. Add in egg and egg yolk. Stir to combine.
  4. Add flour. Stir.
  5. Now chocolate chunks and walnuts, if you want to.
  6. Make a tube, wrap it up in cligfilm and refrigerate until firm (at least one hour).
  7. Cut the tube in 3/4 cm wide slices, or as thick as you wish.
  8. Bake them in a preheated oven at 190º C for 10 - 12 minutes.
  9. Enjoy in moderation (or not).
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008


There were some cooking books in the house were I stayed over in Lisbon. We spent quite some time inside the house, so I looked them up. Yes, I found some interesting recipes. This is one of them.

These are italian cookies. They were invented by an italian chef: Domenico Rossi. Their name comes from a liquor that was fashionable at the moment in the Piemonte region arround 1800, the Krumiro. They were baked for the first time in 1878 and in 1884 received the bronze medal in the Torino Universal Exhibition. A little lesson in culinary history...

I liked them, they have a different texture and a very nice one for that matter. They're in the cookie category "super easy and quick to make". They're not too sweet or rich at all. I can't find any faults in them...

From Sabores Irresistíveis

  • 125 gr. cornmeal
  • 100 gr. flour
  • 75 gr. sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 75 gr. butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  1. In a bowl, mix both flours, sugar, vanille extract and cinnamon.
  2. Cream butter and egg yolks. Combine with flour mixture.
  3. Put the dough in a pastry bag or in some similar device.
  4. Bake at 220º C in a preheated oven for 10 min. or until they're dry and golden.
We'll see what the rest of the family has to say tomorrow.
Keep reading...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Zwiebel Kuchen

Before I pour out the recipe, I have to make some necessary basic considerations about working with yeast. The ingredients must be at body temperature, so that yeast can work its magic. Yeast doughs don't like drafts or impatiece. We have to cool down and start preparation with enough time ahead.

My mother in law's recipe


For the dough:
  • 500 gr.flour
  • 20 gr. fresh yeast or 15 gr. instant yeast
  • 80 gr oil or malted butter (I use oil olive)
  • 250 ml. tied milk, body temperature
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
For the filling:
  • 1000 grams onions, sliced
  • 200 gr. bacon, cut in small squares
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 500 ml. sour cream
  • Salt, pepper, cumin (optional)
  1. Make the filling: sautée onions with bacon and reserve for later. One this side of the planet, you don't find sour cream in the supermarkets, so you can make it adding a tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice and letting it rest for a couple of minutes. Our sour cream it's ready. Mix then beaten eggs with cream and the species you'd like. I just add salt and a little bit of pepper; cumin we don't like. When the onion - bacon mixture is cold, mix it with eggs - cream batter. Set aside.
  2. Let's make the dough. Mix tepid milk with yeast. In a big bowl put the flour and then push the center down, to make place for the other ingredients. Pour milk mixture in the hole little by little. Mix it with enough flour to obtain a sticky dough.
  3. Make a groove between the bowl's wall and the flour and pour oil in it. Add salt. Now add the sugar over the sticky batter.
  4. Preheat your oven at 50º C , put the bowl in it and let the dough rise for about 15 min. Next, you have to mix everything vigorously, until you have a smooth dough, which doesn't stick to your fingers. Maybe you have to add some more flour or milk, it depends on your flour and the humidity.
  5. Grease a baking sheet. Roll your dough rather fine, it thickets quite a bit. Put it on the baking sheet. Leave a high rim.
  6. Pour the cream - egg- onion - bacon mixture onto the rolled dough. Leave it in the oven at 50º C for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Bake at 200º C for half an hour, until the dough is cooked and the filling golden.

Serve hot, with a nice salad and some white wine, Federweisser (german young wine), if you can find it.
Keep reading...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Impossible Cake

This cake captivates me, it's like magic. It consists of a chocolate cake and a flan, baked at the same time. As the cake bakes the crust separates to the bottom and the custard sets at the top, which makes the cake super-moist. I think it comes originally from Mexico. They haven't only given us chocolate, peppers, corn, tomatoes... but wonderful recipes like this one. I had to research the web, really in-depth to find it. Most of them used a cake box from the supermarket, which is fine, if they sell them. Not yet in Spain. Plus, I don't like pre-cooked meals or mixtures.

The cake turned out all right, however some changes have to be made to improve it, in my opinion. The recipe calls for an egg custard and then it adds a little bit sweetened condensed milk. I'm going to replace it (next time) for sweetened condensed milk flan which is much tastier. Each to his own taste, cooking is like that. The original recipe will be in black while my planned variations will be in blue.

Impossible Cake (8 servings)


For the cake:
  • 100 gr. flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 150 gr. butter
  • 3 beaten eggs, large
  • 200 gr. dark chocolate
  • 150 gr. sugar
For the flan:
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 100 gr. sweetened condensed milk/ 225 ml. sweetened condensed milk
  • 600 ml leche/ 450 ml. whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanille extract
  1. Melt chocolate and butter (I do this in the microwave, but you can do it as well over a water bath).
  2. Add sugar and eggs.
  3. Shift flour with baking soda and salt. Combine with chocolate mixture and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl mix eggs, vanille, sugar and milk. In my versioon you mix eggs and vanille with both milks and no more sugar.
  5. Generously grease a cake pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk in the bottom of the pan. (this step disappears in blue version).
  6. Now spread the chocolate- cake mixture in the pan and then, carefully, the flan mixture.
  7. Cover the pan with foil. Your oven should be already hot at 200º C. Bake the cake for 20 min. Lower the temperature to 180º C, take the foil off and bake for other 30 minutes.
  8. Let rest the cake in the pan some moments. Unmold it to a serving plate. Serve at room temperature.
Bon apetite!
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Thursday, October 9, 2008


My oven broke down. I was devastated, I simply don't understand life without an oven. Thankfully, it's been fixed, it works again... I was beginning to show withdrawal symptoms! I'm crossing my fingers not to expirience this nightmare ever again.

I had no idea these bites existed. Now I have to regret living all these past years without knowing - enjoying them. As I have read, you can fill them with grounded hazelnuts, walnuts, confiture, raisings... whatever you have in your pantry. So I found the recipe here , I had to try them right away. They're perfect for the big celebrations surrounding my birthday. When I try a new recipe, I rather make half the batch just in case something goes wrong, if we don't like it is less of a traumatic expirience, we finish them off in no time and I can quickly bake other kind of cookie... This time around it would had been better to make the whole batch, they are to die for!

Se pueden comer un poco templados o fríos. Lo que no se puede es no comerlos...
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For my bithday: Saint Mark's Tart

This is a layer genoise cake with whipped cream and egg yolk glaze. It's called Saint Mark's tart, I don't know. It taste very delicate, is very light and moist. Fantastic.

Making this tart has been a challege for me. It has cost me time, but it wasn't as difficult as I imagined. I encourage you to try it. The bakery version is delicious. This is even better.

I had lots of fun using my new torch for the first time. I still need to improve though... I'll keep rehearsing. I can't let the boys see it. The danger is too big.

Saint Mark's Tart

Serves 8


Genoise cake:
  • 3 eggs
  • Its weight in sugar
  • Weight of two eggs in flour
  • 100 gr. melted butter
  • 125 gr. sugar
  • 125 ml. water
  • 500 gr. de whipping cream, very cold
  • 16 gr. vanille sugar
  • powdered sugar to taste (I guessed)
Egg yolk glaze:
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 gr. sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water

  1. Whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm.
  2. Add egg yolks, one at a time and the sugar, stirring constantly. Carefully add flour with folding movements so the air doesn't come out of the batter.
  3. Pour melted and cold butter little by little. Grease and flour a round cake pan. Pour in the batter.
  4. Bake it at 170º in a preheated oven for 45 min.
  5. When it is still hot, slice it horizontally in two halves and brush each one with the syrup.
  1. Boil water and sugar for five minutes while the cake is in the oven. Reserve.
  1. Whipp the cream. When it starts to thicken, add vanille sugar and powdered sugar to taste. Whipp until very firm. Put it in the fridge.
  2. Put the bottom layer of the cake on a serving plate. Put the cake ring around. Pour the cold whipping cream on the layer and return it to the fridge to set, a couple of hours. Then put the top cake slice on the cream and put the tart in the fridge again.
Egg yolk Glaze:
  1. Boil sugar and water. It has reach the point whe you get fine threads out of a little bit of the mixture. I don't like putting my fingers in the hot syrup: when the bubbles star to turn white, you've reachede the point.
  2. Beat yolks in a saucepan, it can't be aluminium, that would turn the yolks green.
  3. Slowly pour your syrup over the egg yolks stirring constantly.
  4. bring the pan close to the heat and whisk until it starts to thicken.
  5. Spread the glaze over the cake and smooth it with the spatula.
  6. Caramelize it with the torch (or a couple of minutes under your oven grill)
Et... voilà:
Serve very cold.
Keep reading...

Friday, October 3, 2008


These are tipical christmas german cookies. This time of year is around the corner, snow is in the air, I'm beginning to think what should I get for whom. These are my better half's favorite cookies , when my mother-in-law was full of energy, she used to send us in December a whole batch baked by her. I have to take over now...

The boys and I had a great time make them with the cookie "gun". Most of them wouldn't come out right so we had to keep on trying...It's not as easy as it may look! We also had to try each and every possible form...

We have turrón (nougat) in Spain, so we eat these kind of cookies all year round. So lucky are we...

This time I only wanted to try the cookie "gun", so I divided the quantities, my ratio is in brakets.

Spritzgebäck with egg yolk
Adapted from : Backen macht Freude. Das Original vom Dr. Oetker

  • 250 (85) gr. butter room temperature
  • 250 (85) gr. sugar
  • 16 gr. (12) valline sugar
  • 3 (1) egg yolks
  • a pinch of salt
  • zest of a lemon
  • 500 (170) gr. flour
  • 2 (3/4) teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 (1/2) tablespoon milk
  1. Beat butter until pale.
  2. Add sugar by littles, and then vanille sugar, egg yolk, salt and zest. Keep stirring until sugar disolves (I don't have that kind of patience...)
  3. Sift flour and baking powder toguether.
  4. Combine this and butter toguether with milk.
  5. Put the dough in a cookie gun and pipe the cookies onto a lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake them at 170ºC for 12 minutos give or take. Ideally they should remain pale. I was, as usual, multitasking... that's why they have a little bit of color.
Keep reading...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Spanish Omelette (Tortilla española)

Surely there are so many spanish omelette recipes as homes in Spain. We won't be less and have our way to make it. When it comes to "tortilla" there are variations to suit everyman's taste, for me the important issues are to use olive oil and onion, lots of onions. Also what's important is not to overcook it, it should be moist, almost liquid inside.

Tortilla Española
6 servings

  • 6 eggs
  • 6 to 7 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • olive oil
  • salt
  1. Peel potatoes and wash them. Slice them irregulary, the slices shouldn't be too thin. Salt them and reserve.
  2. Beat eggs in a big bowl and salt to taste. Reserve.
  3. Chop onion.
  4. Put a deep skillet filled with olive oil on the stove. When oil is hot, fry over low heat half the potatoes. We don't want potatoes turning golden, we want them to shimmer in oil.
  5. After five minutes aprox. add half the chopped onions. Put the lid on.
  6. When potatoes are tender, take them out trying to strain as much oil as possible and add them to the beaten egg. Repeat operation until all potatoes are done. Let egg-potato batter rest for five minutes.
  7. Pour almost all the oil out of the skillet. Let just enough to cover the bottom. Heat it up.
  8. Pour the batter over hot oil and make the omelette: when the outersides begin to set, put a big lid or plate over the skillet and turn it. Let the omelette slip back in the skillet and cook for a little while. Turn the heat out and serve.
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Zucchini and cheese cream

This recipe comes from the book: Julius 22 minutos, recetas rápidas y fáciles para jóvenes, solteros y gente con prisa (Julius 22 minutes, quick and easy recipes for young people, singles and hurried people) . My little brother is beginning to test his ability in the kitchen helped by this chef. It is to be understood that you can carry out the recipes in such a sort time whenever it is for two people. It isn't our case. The poor man has to multiply everything by four, the minutes too...

The recipe's originality lays in not peeling the zucchini, which gives the cream kind of a bitter touch. It's different but tasty.

Zucchini and cheese cream
For two people

  • 1 Zucchini
  • 75 gr. butter
  • a bit olive oil
  • 100 gr. cream cheese
  • 1 medium onion
  • 250 ml. vegetable stock
  • a bit whipping cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wash zucchini and slice it. Cut onion in fine rings.
  2. Sautée onions with butter and a little olive oil in the pressure cooker. When it's golden,
  3. add zucchini, cream cheese. Season to taste.
  4. Pour in vegetable stock. Close the pressure cooker.
  5. Let cook for eight minutes. Let cool. When you can open it, ground with a blender.
  6. Strain it.
  7. Add whipping cream, salt and pepper again if necessary and leave on the heat a couple of minutes before serving.
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