Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mothers Day Special: Chocolate Pear Cake

Mother's Day is upon us!

My cousin Franca with her wonderful mum Roxana.
I wanted to start our Mother's Day special recipes with a homage to my mum's cousin Roxana.  Having lost my own mum some time ago, it is always lovely to wander into a room and find a familiar recipe, stories, laughs and affection from someone who was very dear to my mum, and in turn has become very dear to me.  She is a patient, tireless mother, working hard all day and coming home to look after her family. A modern day mother who manages to keep fighting through the chaos whilst still giving light and love to all around her.  Enjoy this wonderful Chocolate Pear Cake Recipe which she makes so well and always brings wonderfully memories of her Argentine feasts and wonderful times spent together.

Just a warning: this delicious cake is so dangerous - you can't possibly stop at one little piece!!

My aunty Roxana did recommend always making double the recipe below... and now I know why!!  This moist, tasty cake will leave people so happily satisfied. The cake is so light you don't feel like you've eaten anything at all...which is why reaching for that second piece is so very easy!

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

Chocolate Pear Cake


  • 120g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 pears with skin on (chop fine)
  • 2/3 cup of chocolate cut fine
  • icing sugar
  • breadcrumbs

Place butter in a saucepan on a medium heat and when the butter bubbles take from the heat.

Beat the eggs until fluffy.  Place the sugar,  salt, flour, butter and baking powder and mix well.  With a spoon gently fold in the chopped pears and chocolate pieces.

Take a cake dish of your choice of size and shape (I normally make this in a square tin).  Line the tin with butter and breadcrumbs (instead of flour).

Cook for 30mins in a moderate oven (180 degrees) or until cooked through. Lightly dust with some icing sugar and devour at will!


Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Empanada Gallega - Tuna Tart

With Mum's Aunty Lemy, learning all the
wonderful family culinary secrets!
Sometimes the simple recipes are the most delicious.  My Aunty Lemy passed on the recipe for the dough my mum used to make for her delicious tarts.   Unfortunately it was never written down and I've been searching for it ever since...and found it placed before me in the form of a delicious tuna tart when  I was recently visiting Argentina over Easter!

What I love about this recipe is you can fill it with any ingredients you like, spinach and fetta, chicken and avocado, ham and cheese...

Empanada Gallega - Tuna Tart

  • 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 1/2 cup self raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 180g tin of tuna in oil
  • 1/2 cup capsicum (red and green) chopped finely
  • 1 tomato (take out seeds) chopped finely
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix the oil and water in a bowl.  Mix in the two flour types slowly making a firm dough. Add more warm water if the dough is too dry.

Leave to rest.

To make the filling, lightly brown the onion, tomato and capsicum in a pan.  Let it cool.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  Use a tablespoon of the oil that is found in the can of tuna to create a moist filling if needed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.The filling should be essentially dry with a light film of oil coating it.

Cut the dough in half.  Roll out one part of the dough to a 1cm thickness and line across a baking dish.  Place the filling in and cover with the rest of the dough.  

Place in a moderate oven for 20mins until the pastry is golden brown.

Serve the tart from the baking dish.  Lovely warm or cold!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mothers Day is coming!

My mum was a very special person in my life...
 cooking her amazing recipes
 is a small way to remember all the love and life
she brought to me every day...
Mothers Day is fast approaching!

I'd love to hear about the dish that brings back those amazing memories of home and mum - was it that wonderful roast on Sunday, unforgettable scones, delicious alfajores, or an incredible yemista recipe...

If you have some time to pay special homage to your mum please email your mum's recipe to leticia@cocina-de-mama with a pic so I can include it in our mothers day recipe specials in May on

Some examples of past Mothers Day recipes from readers Jason and Annie from their mums Rita and Bernadette caused much excitement and pride amongst the special mothers....

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Teresita's Puñaladas - Sweet 'Doughnutty' Bites!

I have just returned from Argentina and brought with me a bundle of new delicious family recipes.  One of my favourites that I had the joy of making in my Aunty Lemy's kitchen was a treat called Puñaladas.  Now... this isn't actually what this dish is called - but no-one knows the real name!! The treats where christened by Aunty Lemy's husband, who, when his sister Teresita had made them - ate so many he said it felt like Teresita had 'punched' him in the stomach...and they forever became known as Teresita's Puñaladas (Teresita's little punches!).

This is one of those - trust me recipes's good!

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


  • 4 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 cup of milk
  • teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 500g self raising flour
  • icing sugar

Beat eggs,sugar and oil.  Add the milk and vanilla essence.  Slowly add flour and make a soft dough.  You may need to add more flour if it is too sticky.  The dough should be soft and moist.

Let the dough rest for an hour.

Roll out the dough and cut out in small shapes.

Traditionally these are made with oval shaped cookie cutters - but you can use round cutters as well.

Heat up a pan of oil.  Once the oil is hot place the Puñaladas in the oil until they are golden brown.  Place in a large bowl and sprinkle liberally with icing sugar....

Eat warm!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz,

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Almond Cheese - Dip/Starter

A cheesecake as a cheese dip - yes indeed!!

I discovered this little beauty on a recent trip and just loved the addition of a sweet dessert as a starter!

Almond Cheese

  • 250g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 60g softened butter
  • 125g of neufchatel cheese (can substitute cream cheese)
  • 2 teaspoons of french mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of brandy
  • Flaked almonds, toasted

Combine the ingredients except the almonds and beat until smooth.  Chill for 30mins, then form into a small round cake or log.

Meanwhile place 2-3 tablespoons of flaked almonds on a tray and under a hot grill for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.

When cool, roll the cheese log in the almonds or pack on top.

Serve with thin crisp crackers, trimmed radishes and celery - yum!

Don't forget to watch more recipes on Cocina de Mama's YouTube channel.

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!
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