Cook N Bake Spanish Series: Bunyols de Carabassa

Cook N Bake Spanish Series Buñuelo

Dear Reader,

If last week you were anxiously waiting for a brand new Spanish recipe, we apologize for having skipped our Cook N Bake blog! Rometti decided at the last minute to take time off for Thanksgiving, but to make up for it we will soon have reviews of some great places that we experienced during this past holiday weekend.

This week we are making the last stop of our trip throughout Spain, and for the occasion we are going to order dessert: some cheerful, crispy Bunyols.

Bunyols, also known as Buñuelos, are a typical sweet from the Valencian region, located on the Spanish East coast. Built around one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean, Valencia, this region couldn’t help but being in contact with foreign populations and cultures, and its cuisine was influenced in some part by Arabian traditions, Moorish to be specific.
As a matter of fact, the first traces of Bunyols recipes date back to the XVI century, when the Moorish apparently introduced them to Spain. Bunyols were also popular in Italy though, as documented by a recipe written by a roman gastronome in the I century a.C!
Bunyols are fried dough-balls covered with sugar, often associated with Las Fallas, a traditional celebration of Saint Joseph which takes place in Valencia in March. You can find Bunyols also around the month of November, when they are cooked in occasion of the All-Saints holiday. So yes, they are perfect for this holiday season!
Although Bunyols have become a traditional treat throughout Spain, Valencia’s most typical Bunyol is the Bunyol de Carabassa, with the addition of pumpkin in the dough. These Bunyols are simply delicious if savored with a cup of hot chocolate on the side.


2 kg (about 4.5 lb) of pumpkin
10 g (3.5 oz) of yeast
1 kg (2.2 lb) of flour
1 litre of water (34 oz)
Olive oil
250 g (9 oz) of sugar

Roast the pumpkin and puree it until it becomes a soft paste.
Take the flour and add water, sugar and yeast. Don’t forget that yeast works better if you mix it with some warm water until it starts foaming! Finally, add the pumpking paste to it and work it until you get a consistent dough.

Let the dough rest for a while in a warm corner, covered with a wet towel.

After about two hours, or until the dough has doubled in size, start forming little balls which you will then fry into a frying pan with hot oil. They need to stay in the oil for about 30 seconds, until they are gold.
Decorate the Bunyols by sprinkling some sugar on top of them. Consume them alone or with some hot chocolate.



Cook N Bake French Series: French Macaron

Dear Reader,

sadly this week we say goodbye to our French series. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did while researching and picking some of the most interesting recipes of the French cuisine. To conclude this journey and to reward you from being such a great supporter and follower, we would like to present you a little treat, the French Macarons.

French Macarons are smooth, egg based, almond flavored, cookie-shaped meringues filled with jams, buttercream or ganache. The shells are incredibly soft and airy that melt in your mouth, while the cream makes it chewy and..yes, quite addicting!

The origin of macarons seems to be contended between France and Italy, where they appeared in the 18th century, probably forwarded by a French Carmelite monastery during the revolution. Someone attributes their origin to Catherine de Medici. It’s even told that her granddaughter in Nancy, France, survived starvation thanks to the macarons. Later they were also served in the Versaille Court in Paris to the royalty, a fact probably contributed to make them popular in the 1830s. Today they are famous thanks to the patisserie Laduree, known all around the world for their delicious treats. Each season they create a new flavor, as they use different ingredients for their filling based on the availability of the season.

If you wish you were in Paris but cannot afford the trip, then bring Paris into your home with this delicious macarons recipe!

Ingredients (for about 16):

for the meringue:

1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioner sugar

1 cup finely ground sliced, blanched almonds

6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

for the filling:

3 large egg whites

1 cup sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and ground almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners’ sugar mixture until completely incorporated.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macaroons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.

Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macaroons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macaroons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macaroons from the parchment. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

While baking, you can make the filling.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and sugar. Set mixer bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and heat mixture, whisking often, until it feels warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until mixture is stiff and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes. Add butter, one piece at a time, and continue mixing until butter is thoroughly incorporated. The filling can be kept, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before stirring. You can add finely ground fruit to it or mix in some flavored jam.

Fill a pastry bag with the filling. Turn macaroons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. Sandwich these with the remaining macaroons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

(Recipe by Martha Stewart Recipes)