viernes, 29 de octubre de 2010

The Panellets

It seems the worls is being conquered these days of the autumn by pumpkins dressed like skulls and the american tradition of Halloween. To be sincere I have always been a bit jealous of the american kids in the movies, going out with their friends to get high with their most appreciated drug (SUGAR!!) and for free! How in hell we dont want that tradition to be spread? Its amazing!

However, in Ceuta (my hometown), All Saints Day we celebrate the Backpack Day. The tradition says that you have to put in your backpack as many dried fruits as you can and go to the mountain to eat them with your friends. Roasted chestnuts, fried almonds, caramelized almonds and other delicatessen have always been done these days at home.

But when in Rome, do like the Romans, and as I am living in the Catalan Countries now, we have to cook Panellets! They are a type of marzipan. Preparing a common base, then there are a number of easy and exquisite variations.

INGREDIENTS (for 30 panellets)
  • 250gr of Almond Flour (finely grained almonds)
  • 250gr of Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1 old potato, boiled and smashed.
  • 1 egg
  • Toppings: 100gr of grained almonds, 100gr of pinenuts, the zest of one lemon, an instant coffee pack, and hot chocolate powder.

  1. Mix the almond flour with the sugar in a bowl.
  2. Dig a whole in the middle and add the smashed potato and the egg. Mix well until getting an homogeneous paste. Let it rest overnight covered in plastic.
  3. Divide the paste in as many parts as flavour you want to make, and start making the panellets. Be patient and try to get help from friends.
    1. For the coffee flavoured: mix the paste with the instant coffee and shape them like coffee grains: an oval with a incision in the middle. Once baked, cover with confentioners’ sugar.
    2. Pinenuts: make balls and dip them in egg white, let it rest for a couple of minutes and when they are sticky pass them with the pinenuts. Be sure they all stick to the ball. Paint each panellet with beaten egg.
    3. Almond: Same than pinenuts changing them for almonds.
    4. Lemon: Mix into the paste the zest of a lemon. Shape them like a ball and then pinch the extremes.
    5. Coconut: Mix some coconut zest with the paste and then cover them with coconut zest. Shape them like little mountains.
    6. Chocolate: add the chocolate powder. Shape them like a small bread loaf with a cross in the middle.
  4. Bake them in the oven for 6-7 min at 210ºC. Be really careful, one extra minute will make them melt. When they come out of the oven they’ll be soft, let them cool and get a bit hard.
Bon profit and Happy Mochila!

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