Pigs in Blankets


St. Patty’s Matcha Kasutera

This cake is a wonderful bright green color, which makes it great for celebrating Saint Patrick's day. Matcha Kasutera is a Matcha tea japanese sponge cake. There are different types of kasutera, including honey and chocolate, and matcha tea kasutera is just one of the many variations. Kasutera is the japanese transcription of the word Castella. This term comes from the portuguese pão de Castela or bread from Castilla, which is a region in Spain (historically called reino de Castilla or kingdom of Castilla).


25 g ground matcha tea
175 plus 65 g sugar
13 g cornstarch
5 egg whites
4 egg yolks
50 g flour
30 g milk
5 eggs


Sift flour, cornstarch and tea and reserve.

Beat the five eggs, four egg yolks and 175 grams of sugar until foamy.

Meanwhile beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until the whisk leaves marks. Add 65 grams of sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites with with yolks. Add sifted flour mixture and keep mixing until combined, working gently but fast to prevent the whites from deflating.

Add milk, mix and pour into the pan. The cake is so soft and moist that it will stick to a metallic pan even though it is well greased. People usually line the pan with parchment paper to make unmolding easier.

Bake at 200 ºC (392 F) for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. The top should be golden brown. To prevent de cake from drying, unmold while still warm, insert into a plastic bag and pkace in the refrigerator for a couple hours.

Source: Roger Ortuño's Comer Japonés and Just Hungry

Filed under: Dessert, Japanese 18 Comments

Wind Buñuelos

Wind buñuelos are typical in Spain during easter. They are hollow dough balls made with pâte à choux or choux pastry, which is the dough used to make profiteroles, eclaires and croquembouches. Choux pastry is usually baked, but for buñuelos it is fried. As they are hollow, they can be filled with pastry cream, whipped cream, chocolate or even gianduja and lemon curd, you choose!


125 ml. water
125 ml. milk
110 g butter
3 or 4 eggs
140 g flour
5 g sugar
3 g salt


Mix water, milk, salt sugar and butter on a cooking pot and place over medium heat, until it starts to boil. Remove from heat, add flour and mix well with a wooden spatula. At first, the dough will look coarse and with lumps, as seen on the following image.

Keep mixing with the spatula until the dough stops sticking to the pan, as seen below. The dough will form humid ball. At this point, you can either reduce the dough's humidity over low heat with the wooden spatula or transfer it to an electric mixer and mix until dry. The drying process will take a couple minutes, until water vapour stops coming out from the dough.

Add beaten eggs one by one and mix well after each addition. You must add enough eggs until the dough forms what is referred to as a duck's beak. This will mean that the dough is soft enough to make light buñuelos. The way to check if the dough is ready is to grab a big scoop with the spatula and let it rest on top of the bowl. Eventually, a blob of dough will fall, leaving on the spatula a fine, almost translucent triangle called duck's beak.

Place dough into a piping bag. Heat sunflower oil in a pan until it reaches 160 ºC (320 F). Cut the tip of a piping bag and pipe batter onto the hot oil, cutting every couple of centimetres with a knife, so as to form small balls.

The small dough balls will puff up, yielding round, hollow balls.

When the buñuelos are lightly golden, remove them from the oil and let them drain over a wire rack. You can line the rack with absorbent paper towels to eliminate the excess oil.

Drizzle with anise liquor and let rest until fully absorbed. Fill buñuelos with a piping bag, with the filling of your choice.

Coat with sugar and serve!

Filed under: Dessert, Spanish 12 Comments

Lent Buñuelos

Buñuelos are a typical dessert found in almost every bakery in Spain during lent. They look like mini-doughnuts and taste like cinnamon, lemon, and anise.


Zest of one lemon
30 g fresh yeast
5 g anise seeds
Sunflower oil
3 egg yolks
35 g butter
250 g flour
100 g milk
35 g sugar
20 g water
5 g salt


Mix all dry ingredients in an electric mixer. Mix water and milk and add little by little while kneading the dough. Keep kneading for at least ten minutes. Add butter in cold chunks, one by one until fully incorporated into the dough. Remove from mixer and knead by hand (it will be very sticky) on a countertop (preferably marble so the dough doesn't heat up). Knead until the dough stops sticking to the counter. Wet your hands with sunflower oil, and make a ball with the dough.

Wrap a tray with Saran wrap and spread a thin layer or sunflower oil over it. With sunflower oil on your hands, weigh 20 g pieces of dough, round them and place them on the tray. Make sure the balls are round and the surface is smooth. Let them rest for 15 minutes.

Heat a frying pan with sunflower oil until it reaches 160 ºC. Pick up a ball, tear a hole in the middle and place it in the hot oil. Let it gold on one side, turn and let the other side turn golden too. Remove from oil, drain on top of a wire rack and drizzle with anise liquor, and let the buñuelos rest for a minute, until the liquor is absorbed. Coat the buñuelos with granulated sugar and let them cool. Repeat process with the remaining boils, making sure not to fry many of them at one time (to prevent the heat from cooling) and making sure the temperature doesn't rise too much.

Hofmann cooking school recipe book

Filed under: Dessert, Spanish 9 Comments

Daring Baker’s Challenge: Tiramisu

The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.


75 g (6 tbsp.) granulated sugar
Confectioner's sugar
95 g (3/4 cup) flour)
3 eggs, separated


Beat the egg whites using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Add granulate sugar and continue beating until glossy and smooth. Add beaten egg yolks and mix them for a couple seconds. Add the flour, sifted, and incorporate into the egg white mixture with a folding motion. Be sure to fold the mixture gently, maxing sure the whites don't deflate.

Fit a pastry bag with a plain tip and fill with the batter. Pipe the batter into circles, working in a spiral motion from the center towards the outside. Sprinkle confectioner's sugar over the savoiardi, let rest for five minutes and sprinkle again.

Bake the savoiardi at 175 ºC (350 F) until lightly golden brown but still soft. Cool on a wire rack and reserve. This recipe makes 25 6 cm diameter round savoiardi cookies.

Mascarpone Cheese

500 ml (2 cups) whipping cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice


Heat cream in a double boiler, stirring often until it reaches 88 ºC (190 F). Add the lemon juice, and maintain the temperature until the cream thickens. Let cream cool for twenty minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheesecloth or press on its surface. Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. This recipe makes 12oz/ 340gm of mascarpone cheese

From left to rigth, savoiardi, mascarpone cheese and mascarpone cream


60 ml (1/4 cup) Marsala wine
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
50 g (3 tbsp.) sugar
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
2 egg yolks


Mix together the egg yolks, sugar, the Marsala, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Whisk together until the mixture looks smooth. Heat on a double boiler and cook, stirring constantly until it thickens. Let cool and reserve.

Vanilla Pastry Cream

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tbsp. flour 1 egg yolk
55 g (1/4 cup) sugar
175 g whole milk
1 vanilla bean


Mix together the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract with the egg yolk and half the milk. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling. Add the remaining milk a little at a time, stirring constantly until thickened. Cool cream and reserve.

Whipped Cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar


Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.


5 tbsp. cocoa powder
100 g sugar
100 g water

Boil water and sugar and set aside to cool. Add one tablespoon of cocoa and reserve. In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon zabaglione and pastry cream, and gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.

Dip one savoiardi in the cocoa syrup and fill the bottom of the mold. Cover with the cream mixture with a pastry bag. Repeat, finishing with cream. Level with a spatula and freeze. Remove from freezer, sprinkle with cocoa powder, unmold and serve when completely thawed.


Tiramisu: The Washington Post

Savoiardi: Cordon Bleu At Home

Mascarpone: Baking Obsession

Acknowledgements: I have to thank Silvia, my food stylist and sister and Sol, my food photographer and mom. I wouldn't have been able to get these beautiful results without them.


Chocolate Love Cake


This wonderful three textured chocolate cake will make any chocoholic fall in love. It's extremely rich, so a tiny portion is more than enough for all of you with a sweet tooth. The outer layer is so shiny I had trouble taking pictures without my camera showing up on the surface (hence the weird angle). Anyway, less talking, more baking. Here's the recipe.

Chocolate Brownie

70 g (2.5 oz) chocolate (70 % cocoa)
60 g (2.1 oz) walnuts
100 g (3.5 oz) sugar
115 g (4.1 oz) butter
60 g (2.1 oz) flour
2 eggs


Beat the eggs with the sugar until whitened. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate with the butter. Combine the chocolate mix with the eggs. This cake should be baked in an ungreased bottomless pan directly on top of the oven tray in order to obtain best results. The mixture should be between 35 and 40 ºC (95 and 104 F) when poured into the pan. If the mixture is colder, the cake will turn out too hard, whereas a hotter mixture will seep trough the bottom of the pan, creating a big chocolate mess. Pour half of the mixture into the pan, place the chopped walnuts and pour the rest of the mixture. Bake at 180 ºC (356 F) for about five minutes (until the cake starts to rise and loses its shine). The brownie should be half the height of the pan. (The recipe is intended for a 16 cm diameter [about 6 in] round pan)

Chocolate Cream

100 g chocolate (70 % cocoa)
250 g (8.8 oz) cream
40 g (1.4 oz) sugar
1 gelatin leaf
3 egg yolks


Hydrate gelatin in cold water for ten minutes and meanwhile beat egg yolks and sugar until foamy. Heat the cream and add the egg and sugar mixture. Heat until the mixture reaches 84 ºC  (183 F). Pour on top of the chocolate in order to melt it and add the gelatin leaves. Cover the brownie with the chocolate cream (this is why we needed the brownie to be half the height of the pan) and level the surface. Wait for the cake to chill and put it in the freezer until thoroughly frozen.

Chocolate 'Gelée'

60 g (2.1 oz) pure cocoa
120 g (4.2 oz) cream
140 g (4.9 oz) water
180 g (6.3 oz) sugar
4 gelatin leaves


Hydrate the gelatin leaves for then minutes in cold water. Heat water, sugar and cream. Add cocoa and bring to a boil. Let the mixture simmer for about a minute. Pat the gelatin leaves dry with paper towels, as any water will make the gelée lose shine. Add the gelatin to the chocolate mixture, strain it through a fine sieve to prevent lumps and reserve. Final Touches When the cake is frozen, remove from freezer and unmold it with the help of a knife. Smooth out the cake with a spatula and place it on a rack (the cake should still be completely frozen. If you are a slow worker like me, you may have to reintroduce it in the freezer after smoothing it out). Place a container under the rack to collect the chocolate that will drip off the cake when we bathe it in chocolate. Bring the gelée to a temperature of 20 ºC (77 F) and pour it over the cake until totally covered. Place the cake on the serving plate and reserve. Do not put the cake in the fridge, because the gelée will lose its shine. Take into account that the cake is frozen, so even though you will want to eat it right away, you will have to wait a couple of hours until it is completely thawed. The gelée is delicate and will lose shine as time passes, so you can prepare the cake in advance and bathe it the same day you intend to eat it. Also, it never solidifies completely, so any sneaky fingers trying to touch the cake will leave an ugly mark. That's about it. Sounds time consuming, but it is not as hard as it sounds. Try it and enjoy!

Source: Hofmann cooking school recipe book

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