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Christmas holidays and a turrón

It’s cold and the turrón wraps itself in some colored marzipan to celebrate the trip.
Tomorrow I’ll be back at Oporto… :)

Chocolate and hazelnut turrón

Serves 10:
400 g hazelnut praliné
400 g dark chocolate
200 g hazelnut, finely chopped

Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie.
Add the hazelnut praliné.
Let it cool down to 26-28ºC (tempering).
Add the hazelnuts.
Pour this mixture into lined moulds and place something heavy on top, or make a roll with the parchment paper, keeping the turrón tightly wrapped.
Reserve at room temperature until thick.
Cut as desired.
Decorate with marzipan.


1 kg almond, powdered
500 g icing sugar
1 kg sugar
450 g corn syrup
350 g water

In a mixer combine well the icing sugar with the powdered almond.
Prepare a syrup with sugar, corn syrup and water until 114-117ºC.
Gently pour the syrup into the almond mixture while mixing.
Grind until desired.

Marzipan may be colored with food coloring.


Someone opens an orange in silence, at the entrance
to fabled nights.
He plunges his thumbs down to where the orange
is rapidly thinking, where it grows, annihilates itself, and then
is born again. Someone is peeling a pear, eating
a bunch of grapes, devoting himself
to fruit. And I fashion a sharp-witted song
so as to understand.
I lean over busy hands, mouths,
tongues that devour their way through attention.
I would like to know how the fable of the nights
grows like this. How silence
swells, or is transformed with things. I write
a song in order to be intelligent about fruit
on the tongue, through subtle channels, unto
a dark emotion.

Herberto Helder, Teoria sentada, 1977

Candied orange peel

250 ml water
220 g sugar

Cut the oranges in quarters and remove all the pulp.
Cut the orange peels in 6-8mm witdth stripes.
Place the orange peels in a pan of cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Drain.
Repeat this process three times, using fresh cold water each time, to remove some of the bitter flavor from the pith.
Set aside.
Bring the water and sugar to boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Reduce to a very low simmer, add the peesa, and poach until translucent (about 1 hour).

To dry the peels, drain them and spread on a wire rack set on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
Allow to dry and crystallize overnight at room temperature. Or place the peels on a parchment-lined sheet pan in a 140ºC convection oven for 1 1/2 hour.

Toss the peels in granulated sugar or dip them in tempered chocolate.

* Lemon, lime or grapefruit may be used in place of the orange peels.

Based on a Culinary Institute of America recipe

Strawberry fields forever

I’ve kidnapped Spring… in a one-bite pleasure…

Strawberry fields

Pâte sablé

Makes 24 (5 cms diameter)
40 g egg yolks
60 g icing sugar
62.5 g butter, softened
84 g wheat flour
5 g baking powder
1.5 g salt

Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC.
Combine butter with sugar until creamy.
Add the egg yolks (one by one).
Gently seive the salt with flour and baking powder into the egg mixture, mixing constantly.
With a pastry bag pour the mixture into small moulds.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Almond jelly:

Makes 24 (4cms diameter):

300 ml milk
75 ml cream
75 g almonds, powdered
75 g sugar
7.5 gelatin sheets (15 g)

Grease (with vegetable oil) 24 small pans (or use silicon pans).
Hydrate the gelatin and dry well.
Combine all the ingredients and bring to heat until cooked.
Remove from heat and add the gelatin, stirring constantly to completely dissolve the gelatin.
Pour this mixture into the pans.
Refrigerate until firm.

Place the jelly over the pâte sablé discs.
Decorate with strawberry and pistachio.
Brush with a neutral glaze.

Meringue coconut custard tarts

These last weeks had been busy… time is devoted to work on fridays’ buffets and the little time I have isn’t enough to get some rest and to keep my blog alive.
When weekend arrives I just want to go home. I don’t want to hear anything. I just want my hot bath and go to sleep without worrying about the next day.
I must try to relax until the sleep brings me the light saturday morning…

Meringue coconut custard tarts

Makes 10 (12 cm diameter):

250 g wheat flour
30 g sugar
125 g butter, softened
2 egg yolks

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
Grease and flour 10 small tart pans.
Combine well all the ingredients.
Roll out the pastry over a lightly floured work surface.
Put on the moulds.
Pinch the pastry’s sides and bottom with a fork, cover with parchment paper or aluminum foil and put on some ceramic pie weights (dried beans would work too).
Bake for 15 minutes.
Take off the paper and bake for 5 minutes more.
Set aside.
Reduce oven to 150ºC.

Coconut custard:
120 g de Wheat flour
160 g grated coconut
160 g sugar
2 egg yolks
500 ml milk

In a pan, combine all the ingredients together and bring to heat to thicken.
Pour the filling over the crust.


4 egg whites
250 g sugar
grated coconut, to sprinkle

Whisk the egg whites and gradually add sugar until stiff peaks form.
Top the filling with meringue and sprinkle some grated coconut.
Bake until meringue is dry. ( 20-30 minutes)

Recycled balls

Between the cake cylinders some leftovers remained…

Re… Create!

Caramel little cakes

Makes 12 (12g each):

90 g caramel cake
25 g toffee
30 g nuts, roasted and finely chopped (almonds, nuts, macadmia nuts, hazelnuts,…)
25 g whole milk
20 g laminated almonds to coat, roasted

Combine together the cake with toffee and nuts and make small balls.
Roll each small ball in the laminated almonds to coat.