Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tronco de Navidad - Christmas Log

One of the the things I remember most vividly about childhood Christmas is the...waiting!  Waiting for Santa, waiting for food, waiting for all the visitors to pop by, waiting for presents!!  My brother and I used to sit quietly hoping that if we were really really good... waiting time would quicken!  But Mum was always there with a little fruit mince pie or an alfajor to make the time pass in absolute joy!

Our journey through Christmas treats continues - and what Christmas isn't complete without a chocolate dish!

Tronco de Navidad - Christmas Log

  • 6 eggs
  • 4 level tablespoons of plain flour
  • 300g of dulce de leche
  • 300g of  icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 4 bars of chocolate
Beat the eggs for about 4 minutes, adding 4 spoonfuls of sugar and continue beating until light and frothy.  Add the vanilla essence and the flour.  Fold through until mixed well.

On a flat rectangular tray (lined with baking paper)  tip the mixture and flatten.  Place in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees.  After 8-10 minutes remove from the tray and place on a damp tea towel.  Sprinkle with some sugar and spread the dulce de leche.  Proceed to roll.

Cut one slice off the end.  Cut the slice in half and place on top of the roll like knots on a tree trunk.

In a bain marie melt the chocolate.  Once melted place over the roll - simulating a pattern like a tree trunk (fork works well!) .

Cocinar, comer y sey feliz!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bizcocho de Naranja - Orange Cake

Christmas is coming!
My mum used to make Christmas one of the most magical times of the year - and to this day I can close my eyes and remember her bustling in the kitchen preparing all the amazing food that would be either baked for presents for people or made so we could eat for weeks!!  She would start thinking about what to make at least a month in advance so she could always prepare a magical Christmas Eve surrounded by her small family in Australia..remembering the rest of the family afar in Argentina... somehow the food was always a connection to a far away land that was never that far from our thoughts and hearts...

I'm going to publish some Christmas favourites over the next few weeks to give you some ideas of great Christmas dishes you can make!

 Bizcocho de Naranja - Orange Cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 100 grams of plain flour
  • 125 grams of cornflour
  • 200 grams of butter (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 250 grams of apricot marmalade
  • 3 oranges
  • 200 grams of powdered sugar
 In a bowl place the flour, cornflour and baking powder.  In a separate bowl place the eggs and sugar and bet until frothy.  Scrape the rind of one orange.  Place all these ingredients together and mix well with the melted butter.

Place in square mould which has been well lined and place in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees).  Bake for approximately 40 minutes - until a knife comes out clean.

Whilst the cake is baking place the apricot jam through a sieve. Take the juice and place a teaspoon of sugar and mix through.  In a pan heat up the jam and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and leave it to cool.

Cut the cake in half.  Place the juice of one orange on one half of the cake.  With the rest of the jam which was left in the sieve spread over the other half of the cake.

To make the glaze:
Take the powdered sugar, the juice of half an orange, two tablespoons of water.  On a soft heat without boiling, stir the mixture.  Once stirred through place the mixture over the cake with a spatula.  Take a few slices of orange and place as decoration on top.  Leave the cake to settle overnight.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pancitos de Leche - Little Milk Rolls

Pancitos de Leche - Little Milk Rolls

Whenever I travel to Argentina I have the utter delight of being greeted at my Mum's aunt house with a large mug of milky coffee and little hot breads which warm up the heart as much as the stomach! It is such a lovely ritual and such a lovely welcoming moment...and always makes me feel like I've finally come home...They are a great breakfast bread with lashings of jam or butter, or a nice afternoon tea treat.


  • 1/2 kilo plain flour
  • 150g of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of warm milk
  • 25 g of beer yeast
  • 50g of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Take 1/4 of the flour and place in a bowl.  Take the yeast and mix with half of the warm milk.  Mix with the flour and and make a loose dough.  Leave to rise doubling it's volume (placing the bowl over warm water or near a warm stove)

Place the rest of the flour in a bowl, make a hole in the centre and mix in the salt, sugar and eggs.  Mix well and add to the other dough once risen.  Fold the dough and stretch out letting it absorb air until it easily comes off your hands.

Add the butter bit by bit until the dough absorbs it all.

When the dough is smooth and soft put it in a bowl and cover it with a cloth until it rises.  Once it rises knead quickly and stretch out.

Pre-heat the over to 180 degrees.  On a well buttered flat baking tray place strips of the dough (7cm long and 3 cm thick) on the pan leaving space between each strip.  Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Beat the egg and brush over the strips before they are fully cooked and cut small gashes into the top and return to the oven until done.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,
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