Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Fruit Mince Pies - A Merry Christmas to you all!

And our last Christmas recipe for the year!

I just wanted to wish you all a wonderful Christmas...however you celebrate, whatever you choose to cook up, whoever you spend it happy and enjoy the moments you have with those you love - be it family, friends or your lovely pooch...

Thank you for reading my little blog and watching the videos of the all started with a little blog to remember my mum and all her stories of family and feasts and to share all the wonderful recipes she passed on over time...always made with love. I hope you have enjoyed some of the treats as much as we all did!

See you in 2012 for more delicious recipes and as always I love hearing from you so please write in with your recipes and stories or requests...(

Much Love, Leticia xx

This is a classic I like to share every year.  It's something about the smell of the fruit mince as it wafts from the oven and the delicious flavours as you bite into a huge fruit mince pie that just delivers me into the hands of Christmas festivities!

You can see the live recipe on Cocina de Mama's YouTube channel.

Christmas Fruit Mince Pies

  • 1 cup of butter at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup of castor sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Beat the butter and sugar until creamy.
Add the egg yolk and vanilla essence and beat well.
Add in the sifted flour and salt and mix together.
Wrap dough in grease proof paper or cling wrap and place in fridge for at least 15mins or until required.

If you want to make your own fruit mince you can! Robertsons Fruit Mince is a great alternative to making your own and is what my mum always used for her yummy Christmas fruit mince pies! (A traditional recipe for fruit mince given to me by a neighbour, who made her own every year, is below if you prefer to keep it all home made...)

Roll out the dough to about 3cm thick and use a round cookie cutter to cut out rounds. You can use a star shape for the tops of the fruit mince pies, but for the sake of keeping with tradition I will go with mum's round shapes all the way through!

Place one round in a patty tin and place spoon full of mince in the centre. Place another round on top to cover the mince and unite on the side gentle .
Once you fill all the patty tin rounds place in the over for 15mins or until golden brown.

If you want to make your own mince you'll need to do it a few days before you want to bake the pies.

Fruit Mince:
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs brandy
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, coarsely grated
  • 85g raisins, coarsely chopped
  • 85g currants
  • 85g sultanas
  • 60g glace cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 115g (1/3 cup) breakfast marmalade
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice

In a bowl put in the brown sugar, raisins, currants, apple, sultanas, cherries, marmalade, brandy and mixed spice in a bowl. Set aside, covered, stirring occasionally, leave for 1-2 days to macerate.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Shortbread Biscuit

On the the 12th day of Christmas we make and consume delicious buttery shortbread!  For Christmas there's nothing nicer than a cup of tea at the end of the day and a delicious shortbread to dunk and then melt in your mouth!  This is a truly simple recipe and one that can be used for any time of the year when you need some shortbread goodness!


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup cornflour
  • 250g butter (at room temperature).

Mix all the ingredients into one bowl until a dough is formed.

Place the dough in between two sheets of baking paper and roll out to 1cm thickness.

Cut out into Christmas shapes or a traditional rectangular short bread biscuit size and place in a moderate oven until golden (but not burnt!).

You can sprinkle granulated sugar on top of the short bread if you like a little extra sweetness.

Watch the live recipe on Cocina de Mama's Youtube channel!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Friday, December 16, 2011

White Crusty Loaves - Pan Casero - 12 Days of Christmas Special

One of the most delightful moments in a Christmas kitchen is opening the oven door and wafting through is an incredible aroma of baked bread!   On our 11th Day of of Christmas Recipes we have White Crusty Loaves!

This year for Christmas Eve I'm going to make a tapas style meal to counter act the big menu that I'm preparing for Christmas Day! is the classic white crusty loaf...I might serve this with some virgin olive oils, a plate of salami and some pate...mmm...

White Crusty Loaves

  • 6 cups of plain flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 7g sachet of dry yeast
  • 2 cups luke warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of oil or lukewarm water

Put into a large bowl the flour, salt, sugar and yeast.  Make a well in the centre.  Combine the lukewarm water and oil, pour into the dry ingredients.

Beat well with a wooden spoon until most of the flour has combined, then mix with your hands to form a dough.  Knead on a lightly floured surface for 5-8 minutes, or until dough is smooth.

Put the dough into a lightly greased bowl, turn dough once so that top is greased.  Cover with a warm damp cloth, or greased plastic film, or enclose the bowl in a plastic bag.  Leave in a warm place until dough has doubled in bulk.

Punch your fist in centre of the risen dough and draw edges to the centre, to form a ball.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about a minute.

Divide into halves and shape as desired - rounds, ovals etc and place on a greased oven tray.  Or, put each half into a greased tin.

Brush top of each with a little warm water and leave in a warm place to rise again.  Brush top of each with warm water or mil and bake in a very hot oven for 30-35 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on base and sides.

Pair with some scrumptious food accessories such as butter and jam, fresh prosciutto, cheese and on an on! Straight from the oven.... Too delicious!

Don't forget to watch all the live recipes from Cocina de Mama on YouTube!  

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Alfajores - 12 Days of Christmas Special

You knew it was coming!  On the 10th day of our Christmas Recipe Special I had to include the classic, most requested of all my baking treats handed down by my mum...Alfajores!

You've seen the recipe before on this blog - but having just made 200 for my Christmas gifts to friends and family...and having seen them being devoured with glee and abandon...I thought it was time to remind the world of one of the most simplest, joyous pleasures of all!  

And a big thanks to my Mum who started the tradition of giving Alfajores at Christmas!

You can watch the live recipe on Cocina de Mama's YouTube channel.



For Biscuit:

  • 100g of butter
  • 3/4 cups of white sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of lemon rind
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of cornflour
  • 1/2 cup of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Dulce de Leche (Make the Dulce de Leche the day before):

See previous blog entry under Dulce de Leche for how to make the famous Argentine caramel)

  • Condensed Milk
  • Dessicated coconut

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. If you have pre-made the Dulce de Leche, take out of the fridge before you start cooking to help soften the caramel for later use in compiling of the Alfajore)

To make the biscuit:
In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar into a bowl until creamy.

Add the egg yolk and then the whole egg and beat some more until the whole mixture is creamy and mixed in.

Place in a small amount of the lemon rind and mix.

In another bowl mix the flour, cornflour and baking powder. Once mixed place in the mixture above and slowly mix through making a dough.

Roll part of the dough onto a floured surface (makesit easier to manage if you do it a little at a time until about 1/2 cm thick.

Use a round cookie cutter to cut out circular biscuits and place on a well greased baking tray (for Christmas I have used other shapes too - but the traditional alfajore is round).

Place in the oven and cook. The alfajore shouldn't take colour - this is very much a recipe which will require you to look at the biscuits and assess if they are ready ... you can tell when the dough is cooked and it takes a biscuit like shape and texture. Once they are ready take the tray out of the oven. Once the bisucuits have cooled down a little, pile the biscuits carefully on the plate. Continue making more biscuits until the dough is finished.

Compiling the Alfajore:

Place some dessicated coconut into a bowl.

Open a can of Dulce de Leche.

Take a biscuit andplace a generous helping of dulce de lecheover the whole biscuit. Take another biscuit and place on top. On the outside edges of the two biscuits gently place some dulce de leche with a butter knife covering from the top to bottom of the sides. Take the biscuit edge and pass through the dessicated coconut so that it sticks to the edge of the biscuit.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Wreath - 12 Days of Christmas Special

It's our 9th day of Christmas Recipes!

No Christmas is complete without a lovely Christmas wreath hanging on the door...but why stop there! I love a shining fruit glazed edible Christmas Wreath on the table as well :)  This is a delicious recipe and a nice alternative to the pudding.

Christmas Wreath

  • 250g dessert dates
  • 125g glace pineapple
  • 125g glace apricots
  • 125g red glace cherries
  • 125 green glace cherries
  • 125g whole blanched almonds
  • 250g shelled brazil nuts
  • 125g seeded raisins
  • 125g halved stoned prunes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 90g butter
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt

Stone the dates, then chop the pineapple and apricots into fairly large pieces and leave the remaining fruits and nuts whole.  Mix all these fruits, reserving 1/2 cup combined nuts and glace fruits for the topping.

Beat the eggs until light and fluffy, then add the sugar, vanilla essence, rum and softened butter.  Continue beating until well blended.  Sift the flour with baking powder and salt and add with the fruit and nuts, mix thoroughly.

Grease a 20cm ring tin and line the base.  Spoon mixture evenly into the tin, arrange reserved fruit and nuts over the top, pressing down gently.  Bake in a slow oven for about 1 1/2 hours, or until cake is firm to touch.  Allow to cool for 10mins in the tin before turning out.  Store in an airtight container wrapped in foil.

Don't forget to watch all your favourite recipes on Cocina de Mama's YouTube channel.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Great Yorkshire Spice Cake - 12 Days of Christmas Special

Bronte Parsonage where Charlotte baked her
Great Yorkshire Spice Cake!
On the Eighth day of our Christmas special I am taking you to a very special place in my life...Haworth.  Being a huge Bronte fan and always dreaming of a white Christmas in the beautiful North of England..well... I just couldn't resist an old Yorkshire classic!

Charlotte Bronte used to take this cake to the homes of her fathers parishioners and later her husbands.  It was served with a slice of cheese and no home would be without it!

This recipe dates from the early 1900s which is similar to the one Charlotte use to prepare. I've kept it in pounds and ounces for the sake of good old fashioned nostalgia!

Great Yorkshire Spice Cake

  • 2 pounds flour (907 grams)
  • 1/2 pound butter (226 grams)
  • 1 pound currants (453 grams)
  • 1/2 pound sultanas  (226 grams)
  • 1/2 pound demerara sugar  (226 grams)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 pound mixed peel (113 grams)
  • 1 oz yeast (28 grams)
  • half a nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Crumble the yeast into a little warmed milk.  Cover and let rise until frothy.  Meanwhile put the flour and two teaspoons salt into a warm bowl.  Rub in the butter, then add the risen yeast mix, and the rest of the warm milk and mix.

Cover in a clean cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for 20mins.

Once risen knead the dough like you would knead normal bread dough.  The longer you knead the mix the lighter it will be so try and give it a good kneading!  Rest for an hour longer letting it rise.

Mix the dried fruit and eggs and add to the mixture.  Mix it well through with your hands.  Cover and leave to rise for another hour.

Line 2 baking tins and fill two thirds of the way up with the mixture.  If you don't want the middle to peak, hollow the mixture a little in the centre to achieve a level top.  Bake for 1 hour (or until a knife comes out clean) in a moderate oven (around 160 degrees).

Let the cake cool and remove from the tin...Then consume to your hearts delight!

Don't forget to watch some of your favourite recipes on Cocina de Mama's YouTube Channel!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fruited Tea Ring - 12 Days of Christmas Special

On the 7th day of our Christmas special we have a delicious Fruited Tea Ring cake.  It's perfect for those who find the classic fruit cake a little too heavy...but still has all that fruity flavour!

Fruited Tea Ring


  • 2 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Grated peel 1 lemon
  • 1 cup chopped mixed candied fruits
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup butter
  • 226 grams of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Confectioners sugar

Stir together flour and baking powder; set aside.  Combine lemon peel, candied fruits, currants, raisins and pecans; set aside.  In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs two at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.  At low speed add flour mixture gradually and mix until blended. Fold in fruits and pecans.  Turn into greased 12 cup fluted tube pan (non-stick).  Bake in a preheated oven 180 degrees for 1 hour, or until pick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Cool pan on rack for 10mins, then invert cake on rack and cool thoroughly. Sprinkle some Christmas snow with confectioners sugar on the top!

Don't forget to watch all your favourite recipes on Cocina de Mama's YouTube page.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Spiced Pickled Pears - 12 Days of Christmas Special

On the 6th day we had Pickled Pears! I love those Christmas feasts with Roast meats on the table.  This recipe is a perfect addition. Spicy pickled pears are wonderful with cold meats or poultry and you can substitute apples in this recipe if you prefer.

Spiced Pickled Pears


  • 1.4kg of cooking pears
  • Slightly salted cold water
  • 1 pint distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1.4kg of granulated sugar
  • Peel of 1/2 lemon

Peel, halve (or quarter) and core the pears and place in the salty water to stop them going brown.

Mix a little of the vinegar with the spices and put the remaining vinegar and the sugar into a pan with the lemon rind.

Heat gently until the sugar dissolves completely, then add the spice mixture and bring to the boil.

Rinse the pears and place in the pan.  Simmer gently until the pears look clear and are tender, but you don't want them to break.

Remove the pears using a perforated spoon and place in a warm serilised jar,  Take out the lemon peel from the pan and let the liquid boil until it is thickened and syrup like.  Pour the syrup over the pears to cover them completely and seal the jars straight away.

Don't forget to watch all the live recipes on Cocina de Mama's YouTube channel.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

English Plum Pudding - 12 Days of Christmas Special

On the fifth day of our Christmas recipe special you can't go past a traditional steamed English Pudding!

English Plum Pudding


  • 115 grams of maraschino cherries
  • 8 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1 2/3 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 455 grams currants
  • 425 grams seedless raisins
  • 28 grams of suet, finally chopped
  • 28 grams of pitted dates, quartered
  • 28 grams dried figs, quartered
  • 6 cups of soft bread crumbs
  • Grated rind of 1 orange
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 113 grams of candied orange peel, diced

Drain cherries, reserving juice; cut cherries in half.  Combine eggs, reserved cherry juice and next 3 ingredients.  Mix flour and sugar in very large bowl.  Add egg mixture and mix well.  Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Pack loosely into 2 greased 2 quart heat proof bowls.  Cover with clean cloth and tie with string.  Place bowl on a rack in deep kettle and fill half way up sides of bowl with hot water.  Bring to the boil, cover and steam, adding more water as necessary, steam for 4 1/2 hours.  Eat warm!

Don't forget to watch your favourite recipes on the Cocina de Mama YouTube channel!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fruity Biscuit Log - 12 Days of Christmas Special

On the fourth day of our Christmas special...we have Chocolate goodness!  Sometimes you need to forego the traditional Christmas pudding or fruit cake for chocolate!  Here's a great Christmassy, chocolatey log for your eating pleasure!

For the Fruity Biscuit log you should make it at least 1 day before you want to serve it.  

Fruity Biscuit Log


  • 1 1/2 cups chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 250g packet cream cheese
  • 125g butter
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 x 250g packets of Arnotts brand 'Nice' biscuits (or equivalent)
  • 185g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 90g butter
  • 2 tablespoons rum, extra

Combine apricots and rum in pan, cover, heat gently 3 minutes or until rum is absorbed, cool.

Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth, beat in sugar and sour cream.  Divide mixture in half, add apricot mixture and walnuts to one half and lemon rind and juice to remaining half.  Arrange biscuits in 3 rows of 3 on a piece of foil measuring 40cm square.  Spread with half the lemon mixture.

Cover with 9 more biscuits.  Spread with remaining lemon mixture, top with further 9 biscuits.  Spoon the apricot mixture down the centre line of the biscuits.

Pinch long edges of foil together, refrigerate over night.  Remove foil, place on serving dish.

Melt chocolate and extra butter together over hot water, add extra rum, cool until mixture is thick and spreadable, stirring occasionally.  Spread evenly over log, refrigerate until set.  Decorate with a sprig of holly, if desired.

Serve cut into slices with cream or ice cream!

Watch all your favourite recipes on Cocina de Mama's YouTube channel!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lavender Chutney - 12 Days of Christmas Special

Mums incredible Christmas Tree
It's the third day of our 12 days of Christmas Special!

Christmas always brings strong memories of my mum and all the preparations and joy she would have getting ready for the big day... she would adorn the house and build the most spectacular tree every year filled with decades of collected ornaments and special ones she made herself...added to this she would cook up a storm (more-so than usual!).

The other trigger for intense memories of my Mum is lavender.  She had an incredible bush in the garden were we grew up and she would always litter the corners of the house with freshly picked lavender which would spread a lovely aroma...I can't help smelling lavender and being transported back into her arms...

Mums lavender bush

This little Lavender Chutney recipe marries the delicious aroma of Lavender and the sweet memories of Christmas...It's an unusual spicy chutney which goes well with cold meats and cheeses.  I'm going to be using it for my tapas style Christmas Eve!

Lavender Chutney


  • 20 lavender flowers, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 3 lemons, scrubbed and chopped
  • Salt
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 56 grams sultanas
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • Sugar to taste
  • White wine vinegar

Be sure to use lavender blooms which are free from insecticides.  Shake gently to dislodge any insects and wash in cold water.  Dry the flowers straight away so you retain the aroma.

Chop the lemons into small pieces, place in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt

Cover the lemons with white vinegar and cover the bowl. Leave for 24 hours.

Place the mixture in a large pan and add the rest of the ingredients, stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Place pan on heat and bring to the boil.  Reduce the hear and gently simmer until the mixture becomes thick and the vinegar is absorbed.  Remove the cinnamon stick and pour into a warm sterilised jar and seal tightly until you're ready to use!

Don't forget to watch all your favourite recipes on Cocina de Mama's YouTube Channel.

Cocinar, comer, y ser feliz.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Candied Fruit Cake - 12 days of Christmas Special

On the second day of our 12 days of  Christmas Special we have the much loved fruit cake!  There are many variations and I'll share some of the classics over the next few days...

Candied Fruit Cake

  • 340 grams pitted dates cut in half crosswise
  • 225 grams mixed candied green and yellow pineapple cut in coarse pieces 
  • 225 grams whole candied cherries
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 455 grams of pecan halves
Grease 9 inch tube pan well; line the bottom with baking paper and grease again and set aside.

Combine dates, pineapple and cherries in large mixing bowl.  Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; sprinkle over fruit and mix well with fingers, separating pieces of fruit to coat well.  

Beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.  Pour over fruit and mix well with spoon.  Add pecans and mix with hands until pecans are evenly distributed and coated with batter.  

Pack mixture in the pan, pressing down with hands moistened in cold water.  If necessary, rearrange fruit and nuts to distribute evenly. 

Bake in 130 degree (low heat) oven for 1 1/4 hours (Top of the cake should look dry but not brown.  Cool pan on the rack for 5 minutes.  Loosen edges around the pan with spatula, then invert on rack.  Peel off paper and turn cake top side up.  Cool thoroughly. Wrap in an airtight container and store in cool place (cake improves with storing).  Decorate if you like just before serving. 

Don't forget to watch all your favourite recipes live on Cocina de Mama's YouTube Channel!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Miniature Cherry Tarts - Tartas de Cereza 12 Days of Christmas Special

Christmas is almost upon us...and I thought I'd collect some special recipes for a 12 days of Christmas Special which will include traditional puddings, tarts, jams, cakes and shortbreads for your Christmas pleasure!

We continue on with our Tart Treats!  I love the colour of big red juicey cherries in most recipes...but when presented with a mini tart of delicious redness who could resist! Perfect for the Christmas table with the addition of a green glazed candied fruit in the centre!

Miniature Cherry Tarts

  • 2 1/4 sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 6 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 16 ounce can tart cherries in water, drained (liquid reserved)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to high (200 degrees) Lightly butter 12 muffin tin cups.  

Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in shortening until mixture is coarse and crumbly.  Set 2/3 of dough aside.  Add ice water to remaining 1/3 and blend well.  Return reserved dough to bowl and mix well.  

Roll out pastry on lightly floured surface to thickness of 1 inch.  Cut out 12 circles using a 3 1/2 inch round cutter.  Place pastry in muffin moulds.  Prick pastry shells with fork.  Bake until lightly browned for about 25mins.  Cool crusts briefly on cups, then carefully transfer to rack to cool.

Heat reserved liquid from cherries in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add sugar, corn starch and salt.  Cook just until thickened, clear and smooth.  4 to 5mins.  Remove from heat.  Add cherries and butter and mix well.  Cool to room temperature.  Spoon into crusts.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream for a delicious treat!

Don't forget to watch all the live recipes on Cocina de Mama's YouTube channel.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Walnut Tarts - Tartas de Nuez

I loved the surprise of opening my lunchbox
and seeing what yummy treat mum included!

When I used to go to pre-school I always had the most enviable lunchbox in the pack!  I always had my apple, fruit juice, sandwich with no crusts and cut into 4 squares and...[drum roll please] a special treat!  One of my favourites was the little tarts.  In the next few blog posts I'll give you the recipes of some of the simplest and yummiest little tarts! To treat tummies small or large!

Walnuts Tarts

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 155g butter
  • 1/4 cup icy water
  • 60g butter softened
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup maple flavoured syrup
  • 1 cup walnut halves

Pastry: Combine flour and salt.  Rub in butter until coarsely crumbed.  Gradually add enough of the water, forking mixture, until dough forms a ball.  Divide into 3 portions; wrap separately and chill.

Filling: Beat together butter and brown sugar until creamy.  Beat in next 4 ingredients, then blend in the maple syrup.  Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, thinly roll out pastry, a portion at a time.  Cut into 9cm rounds with a fluted or scalloped cutter to fit 8cm tart tins.

Place 3 walnut halves in each shell, then fill with the syrup mixture.  Bake at 190 degree oven (high) until pastry is golden and filling is set; about 20mins.

Cool slightly in tins; remove to wire rack and cool completely.  Brew a cup of tea or whip out a spoonful of ice cream and enjoy!

Don't forget to watch all the live recipes on Cocina de Mama's YouTube channel.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cinnamon Crisps

On a trip through Venice once I discovered these little gems at the breakfast offerings of my little home away from home.  It was the perfect start to the day as I lazily traipsed along the narrow winding streets, meeting interesting locals, the many hawkers and a myriad of tourists all flocking to the treasures of the canal city.  Amongst the Palazzo Ducale, Basilica, Old Jewish Quarter I discovered Cinnamon Crisps and using my best (and worst!) mix of Italo-Spanish I could muster, I managed to purloin this recipe from the chef!

Cinnamon Crisps

  • 3 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 7g sachet of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter melted

Cinnamon filling:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cinnamon Topping:

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

To make cinnamon filling. Combine 1/4 melted butter, the brown sugar, the 1/2 cup caster sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.  Mix well.

To make cinnamon topping. Combine 1 cup caster sugar, the nuts and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix well.

In a large bowl combine 2 cups of flour and yeast.  Heat milk, sugar, the 1/4 cup of butter and salt until butter melts.  Add to yeast mixture; add egg.  Beat at low speed for 1/2 minute.  Then at high for 3 minutes. Stir in enough of the flour to make a soft dough.  Placed in a greased bowl, cover and let the dough rise until doubled.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide the dough in half.  Roll out one half at a time to a 30cm square.  Spread with half the cinnamon filling.  Roll up, pinching the end to seal.  Cut roll into equal 12 pieces. Placed each on a lined baking tray at least 8 cm apart.  Flatten each one to about 8 cm in diameter.  Allow to rise about 30 mins.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Cover with baking paper and with a rolling pin roll over the tops and flatten to about 4mm.  Remove the baking paper and brush tops with 1/4 cup melted butter.  Sprinkle with cinnamon topping.  Bake in a pre-heated oven on high (200 degrees) for 10-12 minutes.  Place in a rack to cool.


Don't forget to watch all the live recipes on Cocina de Mama's YouTube channel.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Maple Pumpkin Pie

With my Holly Hobby doll Mariana
I grew up watching those old classic American programmes with my mum... The Waltons, Little House on a Prairie, Eight is enough... and we used to stare in awe at the wonderful Quilts (which my mum used to make so beautifully and still sit on my bed and sofa's at home) and the wonderful pies!

With Thanksgiving coming up I thought it was time to pull out the  old Walton classic my mum learnt to make - Maple Pumpkin Pie!  Thanks Jim Bob ;)

Maple Pumpkin Pie

  • 750g fresh pumpkin seeded, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of ground nutmeg and ginger
  • pinch of salt

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 155g cold butter, cut small
  • 3-4 tablespoons col water
  • 1 beaten egg for glazing
  • Whipped cream for serving

For filling:
Steam pumpkin over simmering water until tender.  Drain and cool and puree.  Place in a bowl with, whisk in milk, eggs, maple syrup, flour, spices and salt until blended.  Set to the side whilst you make the pastry.

For pastry:
In a bowl mix flour, caster sugar and salt, rub in the butter until crumbly.  Mix in water, then knead dough in a bowl.  Wrap and chill 15mins.  On a floured surface roll out 2/3 of the dough to about a 28cm circle.  Ease the dough carefully onto a pie plate that is about 23cm in diameter.  Trim as needed. With the remaining dough roll out and cut out maple leaf shapes that will sit on the rim of the pie dish to create a fancy edging to your pie!  Lightly brush shell rim with beaten eggs and arrange leaves on edge, slightly overlapping.

With remaining dough make one or two larger maple leaf shapes, place on a baking tray and brush with egg glaze.  In a high oven (200 degrees) until pale golden set aside and cool.

Pour the filling into the shell.  Brush leaf edge only with remaining egg glaze. Put in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for about 40-45mins or until knife comes out clean when inserted in centre.  If the pastry browns to quickly - cover the leaf edges with a foil collar.  Slightly cool pie on wire rack.  Arrange the pre-cooked maple leaves in the centre to decorate.  Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream!


Don't forget to watch all the live recipes on Cocina de Mama's YouTube channel.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Philadelphia Sticky Buns

**Apologies for the funny text alignment in this post - looks like blogger is having a 'moment' ...

Maggie from London wrote in recently with an amazing sticky bun recipe!  I had the pleasure of making these and they are incredibly delicious!!

"My mum Estella used to work very hard during the week and we all ate in front of the TV most days and hurriedly ate some simple meat and a few steamed vegetables on a plate.  But every Sunday  she would put her hair up in a bun, turn the oven on and make a special treat that we all stayed at home for every Sunday night!!  My absolute favourite was her Philadelphia Sticky Bun.  If this recipe is made and warms your tummy the way it used to warm ours - then you'll have a small understanding of the joy and love we shared on those Sunday afternoons all sitting around the fire, chatting and devouring our  Sunday specials!"

Estella's Philadelphia Sticky Buns

  • Butter
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3 1/2 all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup very warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Melt 1 cup of butter in saucepan. Add 1 cup brown sugar and simmer, stirring until mixture boils and 
sugar melts. Pour into two 9" squares pans, making sure to coat the bottom and sprinkle each equally with pecans. Set aside.

Combine 1 cup flour, the granulated sugar, yeast and salt into a large bowl. Stir well and add 1/4 cup  softened butter and the water. Beat at low speed. Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour. Beat for another 2mins.With a spoon stir in enough flour to make a soft dough that leaves side of the bowl.

Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for a 5-10mins until smooth and elastic. Put in a greased bowl and let it rise for 1.5 - 2 hours or until doubled.

Divide the dough in half. Roll out each half to 12" x 9" rectangles. Brush each with melted butter. Put the rest of the brown sugar, currants and cinnamon and sprinkle half on each rectangle. Roll tightly, 
starting at the short end and pinch the ends to seal. Cut each roll in to nine 1" slices. Place flat side 
down in pans you prepared before. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled. Bake in a 
preheated oven on high 190 degrees for about 25mins. If you can resist wait for them to cool down :) 
for 10mins let them cool then eat eat eat!

Maggie - thank you so much for the great recipe.  If you have a favourite family recipe you'd like to share I'd love to hear from you!  Email your recipe and story to

Don't forget to watch all the live Cocina de Mama recipes on YouTube.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tosca Cake - Torta de Tosca

Esteban and I at Maroubra Beach!
As a little girl, I used to love our special outings to Maroubra beach, the zoo or a walk around the harbour with my mum, dad and brother.  Rather than buying food from icky over priced fast food places, mum would have a special pack filled with such delights as chicken schnitzel sandwiches, thermos of coffee, apple juice and yummy cake for a treat!  The Tosca cake was one of those cakes that was easy to make and pack!

Tosca Cake

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 60g butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup dry crumbs


  • 60g butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 90g blanched, slivered almonds

For the base of the cake, beat eggs and sugar together until thick and creamy.  Melt butter, then stir in milk and vanilla.  Add to egg mixture and beat in thoroughly.  Sift flour and baking powder together and stir into mixture.

Sprinkle breadcrumbs into a greased, 23cm springform tin, shake off excess and turn mixture into prepared tin.  Bake in a moderate oven for 25mins.  

Meanwhile prepare the topping.  Melt butter in a saucepan and stir in sugar, flour and milk.  Add almonds and stir until mixture is hot but not boiling.  Remove cake from the oven after 25mins and spread topping evenly over the cake.  Return to the oven for 10mins or until top is golden and cake is cooked when tested with a  skewer. 

Cool on a wire rack before removing side of springform tin.  Then grab a spoon and delight in the tastiness!

Don't forget to watch all the live recipes on Cocina de Mama's YouTube channel!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Coffee Cheescake - Cheesecake de Café

Continuing our delightful run of cheesecake recipes!  In a busy household coffee was always brewing... after dinner dad would always prepare some coffee and mum would turn out a lovely dessert!  They made a great team - in so many ways ... This little cheesecake combines the best of both worlds.

Coffee Cheesecake


  • 90g of plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 90g of butter or margarine
  • 1 lightly beaten egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
  • 750g cream cheese, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 90g brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs
Walnut Sauce:
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 30g butter
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces
Caramel Fans:
  • 125g sugar
  • finely chopped walnuts

For crust, stir together flour and brown sugar.  Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.  Stir in egg yolk and vanilla.  Pat 1/3 of mixture onto the base of a 20cm springform tin with sides removed.  Bake in a preheated oven at high for five minutes (200 degrees).  Let it cool.  Grease the sides of the tin and attach to base.  Pat remaining dough onto the sides of the tin to the height of about 4cm.  Set aside.

For filling, combine milk and instant coffee and let stand until powder dissolves, stirring occasionally.  In a large bowl beat together cream cheese, caster sugar, brown sugar, flour and vanilla essence until smooth.  Add eggs, beat until just mixed through.  Don't over beat it!  Stir in coffee/milk mixture.  Pour into the springform tin.  Preheat the oven to high at 190 degrees and bake for 40mins or until centre appears set.  Cool cheesecake on a wire rack.  Chll before setting.

For walnut sauce, in a heavy based saucepan cook sugar over medium-low heat until golden, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat.  Add hot water and cocoa.  Return pan to heat and stir until sugar and cocoa dissolve.  Mix two tablespoons of cold water and cornflour together, stir into sugar mixture.  Cook, stirring until the mixture comes to the boil and bubbles form.  Cook for two minutes more.  Stir in the butter and walnut pieces.

For caramel fans in a heavy based pan cook 125 sugar over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture is golden.  Remove from the heat and let cool one minute.  Drizzle from a teaspoon onto a lightly oiled sheet of foil, forming loops into fan shapes.  Sprinkle with finely chopped walnuts.  Cool completely and peel away foil.

When the cheesecake is ready to serve drizzle with walnut sauce.  Decorate with swirls of whipped cream and place the caramel fans on top.

Heaven on a plate!

Don't forget to catch the live recipes on the Cocina de Mama YouTube channel:

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cheesecake with Coffee Pecan Sauce

Before we dive into the next cheesecake recipe I want to thank all my lovely blog readers out there who have written in to say how much they have been loving the cheesecake recipes!

Today we have another variation using the most popular of the recipes I have made by adding pecans and coffee! This time turning the humble cheesecake into a delicious dessert with the incredible addition of the coffee pecan sauce...

Cheesecake with Coffee Pecan Sauce

  • 1 3/4 cup finely crushed plain wheatmeal biscuits
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecan nuts
  • 125g of butter melted
  • 500g of cream cheese softened
  • 220g of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 x 250g cartons of sour cream
  • 90g brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 15g butter
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans

Combine biscuit crumbs and finely chopped pecans; stir in butter. Set aside 1/4 of the mixture. Press 
remaining crumb mixture onto the base and 5cm up sides of a 23cm sprinform tin. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Beat in eggs but do not overbeat. Beat 
sour cream and stir into cheese mixture. Pour into tin. Sprinkle the crumb mixture we put aside on top.  
Pre-heat the oven on high to 190 degrees and bake for 50-55mins or until nearly set. Cool on wire rack and then chill for four to five hours.

In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, cornflour and instant coffee. Stir in water. Cook, stirring for 
5mins, until mixture is bubbling. Cook, stirring for a further two minutes. Add butter and stir until 
melted. Add roughly chopped pecans. Serve warm over cheesecake.


PS. Don't forget to watch all the live recipes on 

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cheesecake Supreme - Cheesecake Supremo

Mum at her communion
One of those enduring memories is a child's First Communion...the mini brides of Christ... regardless of your religious leanings, one of the most spectacular parts of the communion celebration - was  the after party!  It seemed all the women of the family would out do themselves to produce spectacular feasts to celebrate the day!

One of those amazing cakes was what we termed the Cheesecake Supreme!  And once you make and taste this you wont disagree!!

Cheesecake Supreme

  • 2 cups plain sweet biscuit crumbs
  • 125g of butter or margarine melted
  • 3 x 250g cream cheese packets
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of Cointreau
  • Strawberries
  • Red currant Jelly
  • Whipped Cream

Put crumbs into a bowl, add the melted butter and mic in thoroughly.  Press over base and up sides of a springform tin which has been greased.  Chill thoroughly.

Have the cream cheese softened at room temperature, beat until smooth.  Gradually beat in the sugar, add the eggs, beat in thoroughly.  Mix in the liqueur and pour into the crumb crust.

Bake in a slow oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, leave in oven, heat turned off, door open, until cold, then chill.  Wash and hull the strawberries, pat dry.  Gently heat red currant jelly with liqueur, stirring constantly, until melted (for 1/4 cup jelly use 3 teaspoons liqueur).

Chill melted jelly until beginning to set, then dip each strawberry, coating all over.  Arrange them on a a wire rack covered with baking paper, stem down, let set.  Decorate the top of the cheesecake with piped whipped cream and the glazed strawberries.

Eat with abandon!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

PS. Don't forget to watch all the live recipes on

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Caramel Pecan Cheescake

One of my favourite childhood treats was cheesecake!  We always had the classic cheesecake but growing up I discovered so many variations and delicious flavours which can be added!  In the next few posts I'll share some of mum's classics which graced the table of many a party in the 1980s and made big smiles on friends birthdays when they would drop in for treats from mama's kitchen!

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

  • 1 cup crushed plain wheatmeal biscuits
  • 90g ground pecan nuts
  • 60g sugar
  • 60g butter
  • 375g of cream cheese (softened)
  • 3/4 cup dulce de leche
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 3/4 sour cream
  • Pecan halves

Combine crushed biscuits, ground pecans, sugar and butter in a bowl.  Press onto the bottom and 3.5cm up sides of a 20cm springform tin.

In a large bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in half the dulce de leche.  Add eggs and milk and beat until just mixed through.  Place this mixture into the crust lined tin.  Bake in a preheated oven at medium heat (180 degrees) for 40-45 minutes until the centre is set.  Cool in the tin for 15mins.

Beat together the sour cream and remaining dulce de leche.  Spoon over the cheesecake.  Loosen the side of the tin and cool for 30mins.  When completely cool, chill in the fridge.  Garnish with pecan halves to taste.

So delicious!!!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

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