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!
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