Hot chocolate is a traditional hot drink that helps us warm up on the coldest days of autumn and winter.
In my memory I associate this comforting drink with moments of happiness and comfort on winter days. If I close my eyes and think of a cup of hot chocolate, the following images come to mind: blanket, fireplace, snow, churros, buñuelos, Spanish Kings´ Cake (Roscón de Reyes), Christmas… what about you?
Homemade Spanish Hot Chocolate
Spanish hot chocolate is especially thick and delicious. Not only is a drink on it´s own, but also you can dip delicious homemade churros, buñuelos (Spanish doughnuts) or Roscón de Reyes in it for breakfast or afternoon snack.
There are three days according to Spanish tradition to eat these sweet treats with hot chocolate: buñuelos on Christmas, churros con chocolate on New Year’s Day and Roscón de Reyes on Three Kings´ Day (January 6). But now that you have these recipes in our blog, you can eat them whenever you want!
You can find ready-to-make Spanish hot chocolate in any supermarket, but it is worth making it at home for its authentic flavor and ease of preparation.
This hot chocolate recipe contains cornstarch to give the chocolate that special thick texture that makes you can’t wait to take the next sip.
How to Make Homemade Spanish Hot Chocolate
1. In a saucepan, add 2 cups of whole milk and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar over medium-high heat until boiling. Stir a little so that the sugar dissolves.
2. In a separate saucepan or bowl, add 1¼ cup of whole milk and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch dissolves.
3. As soon as you see the first bubbles, add 200 grams of dark chocolate (52% cocoa) into the sweetened milk. Stir with a wooden spoon so that the chocolate doesn´t stick and melts completely.
4. Once the chocolate has melt, pour in the cold milk with cornstarch and continue stirring with the spoon. You will see that the chocolate is getting thicker.
5. As soon as you see the chocolate mixture boiling, remove it from the heat and keep stirring for 3 minutes or until all the lumps have disappeared and you have achieved the desired thickness. Et voilà… you have just made a delicious homemeade Spanish hot chocolate to enjoy on winter evenings! It is the perfect partner to homemade churros or buñuelos.
If you want to reduce the thickness of the chocolate, you can add just one tablespoon of cornstarch, instead of two, or add a little more milk.
In a saucepan, add 2 cups of whole milk and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar over medium-high heat until boiling. Stir a little so that the sugar dissolves.
In a separate saucepan or a glass, add 1¼ cup of whole milk and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch dissolves.
As soon as you see the first bubbles, add 200 grams of dark chocolate (52% cocoa) into the sweetened milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until chocolate melts.
Pour in the cold milk with cornstarch and keep stirring.
As soon as you see the chocolate boiling, remove it from the heat and continue stirring for 3 minutes or until all the lumps have disappeared. Et voilà… you have just made a delicious homemeade Spanish hot chocolate to enjoy on winter evenings!
In my family, we’ve been eating buñuelos for as long as I can remember!
Blanca, isn’t the shape of buñuelos round? Buñuelos is a traditional dessert that is prepared in different ways both in Spain and in Latin American countries. However, this buñuelos recipe come from southern Spain, and they are characterized by having a hole in the middle.
These crispy fritters are known in some places as the Spanish doughnuts.
This traditional dish is part of our family customs. When Christmas arrives, we all get together in Arcos de la Frontera to celebrate the beginning of the holidays.
My great aunt Chari invites us all to go to her house in Arcos, which has a very large patio, and that is where they fry buñuelos to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas holidays. We call this la buñuelada.
As soon as the buñuelos are removed from the boiling oil, they are drained and dusted with sugar. Then, they pass them around on trays and, we all chat about on how the year has gone and their new resolutions for the coming year, while eating these sweet treats.
The magic touch is to eat them with hot chocolate, as it is a bit chilly outside in the patio at this time of the year.
This is a tradition similar to that of churros, but here in Arcos it is made with buñuelos.
The way of making the batter and frying these fritters is a real art. However, it is a traditional dessert that is prepared in different ways both in Spain and in Latin American countries.
I share with you this original buñuelos recipe from the south of Spain so that you can live, in the best possible way, the incredible experience that we all spend together in la buñuelada at Christmas time.
How to Make Buñuelos
Buñuelos is a Spanish classic dessert made from basic ingredients such as flour, water, salt and yeast. In the elaboration process, it is very important to follow this recipe instructions to make the batter well and to fry them so that they come out fluffy, light, not too fatty and well done inside.
1. In a large bowl, add 250 ml of warm (not boiling) water, a teaspoon of salt and 50 grams of fresh yeast. Dissolve.
2. Add in 250 grams of flour and integrate by hand.
3. Add in the remaining water (750 ml) and flour (750 ml) and integrate by hand.
How to Make the Batter?
According to this old buñuelos recipe, preparation of batter is key to get fluffy and light buñuelos. The texture of the batter is neither solid nor very liquid, it is rather sticky. The way you mix the batter is very important: with an open hand, you pat the batter until well combined, without flattening or kneading. You mix with an open hand until all the flour is integrated. Plus. you will notice that it sticks to your hand as you mix.
4. When the mixture is free of flour lumps, cover it with a cloth and let it rest for an hour to rise. Do not cover it with cling film since it is important that air enters. Then, place the bowl near a heat source. I place it in the oven turned off for an hour. When the hour has passed you will see that the dough is bubbling and higher, so much so that it may be touching the cloth. Keep in mind that the dough will rise.
Now you have the buñuelos batter ready to fry!
5. Pour plenty of sunflower oil in a saucepan, and put it over high heat (level 8 on glass-ceramic).
6. Place a small bowl filled with water and salt next to the saucepan. This is to wet your hands so that the batter does not stick to your hand before frying it.
7. When the oil is hot, with both hands moistened, grab and stretch the batter and with your thumbs make a hole in the middle. Once you have made the hole in the center carefully drop it into the hot oil.
8. Fry buñuelos one at a time until golden brown on both sides. When one side is browned, after about 45 seconds, flip it over to brown the other side. In total, one buñuelo fries in a minute and a half. Use a skimmer to turn them over.
9. When you take them out, leave them on paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Then, sprinkle sugar on top and serve them. Et voilà! You have just made delicious buñuelos in the traditional style!
No two buñuelos are alike, each one has its own shape!
This recipe for Spanish cupcakes, also known as magdalenas or Spanish muffins, will surprise you with its fluffiness and taste.
I usually write about desserts that have the power to take us back to our childhood, as that was the main reason to create this blog, but there are also breakfasts and afternoon snacks that have the same effect on us as is the case of these cupcakes!
What´s the difference between French madeleines and Spanish magdalenas ? Basically the main difference is that the French madeleines, and American cupcakes, are made with butter, while these Spanish cupcakes are made with olive oil.
The Spanish magdalena stands out for its combination of simplicity and exquisiteness at the same time.
I remember when I was little, I used to eat them at breakfast or snack time, dipping them in milk or spreading butter on one half. How much I enjoyed eating this delicacy!
If you have never tried it before, I recommend you do so, and if you haven’t done it for a long time, now you have the opportunity to make a homemade magdalena. Don’t you feel like having a freshly baked Spanish muffin for a snack?
How to Make Spanish Cupcakes (Magdalenas)
1. In a bowl, sift 250 grams of flour and 8 grams of baking powder with a sieve.
2. In a separate bowl, add 2 large size eggs and 200 grams of sugar. Beat with a hand held mixer on high speed for 2 minutes until the mixture turns a pale color. It is preferable that the eggs are at room temperature.
3. Gradually, with the help of a spoon, add the dry ingredients into the eggs mixture. Keep beating on medium speed.
4. Add in 150 ml of olive oil and keep whisking until combined. Do not worry if the mixture is too oily at the beginning, the olive oil will be fully integrated into the batter as you whisk.
5. Add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract and keep beating until integrated. In this step, instead of adding vanilla, you can use lemon zest to make traditional lemony spanish cupcakes.
6. Pour 130 ml of whole milk into the mixture and beat on high speed for three minutes until combined. The milk should also be at room temperature.
The batter is ready!
7. Preheat the oven to 356°F ( 180°C ).
8. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Then spoon the batter evenly into each liner, filling each half the way.
9. Bake for 20 minutes without opening the oven door.
10. When the time is up and cupcakes have browned, remove from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes. Et voilà! You’ve just made delicious Spanish cupcakes!
If you would like to have more ideas for afternoon snacks, you can find them here!
Spanish Cupcakes Recipe
This recipe for Spanish cupcakes, also known as magdalenas or Spanish muffins, will surprise you with its fluffiness and taste.
I always have churros for breakfast whenever I go to my grandmother’s village!
When freshly made, these Spanish treats are deliciously crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Are Churros a Typical Spanish Breakfast?
Here in Spain, we don’t eat them every day for breakfast, we eat them on special occasions or when we suddenly feel like it, either for breakfast or as a snack. I would say that we consider churro a treat.
Churros come in the shape of loops or sticks, and you can eat them plain, coated in sugar, or dipped in coffee for breakfast. We don’t usually dip them in hot chocolate for breakfast because it’s too heavy to begin the day!
However, we love eating churros with hot chocolatewhen we celebrate special occasions such as New Year’s breakfast or special family evenings. On cold winter afternoons, dipping churros in hot chocolate is a dream snack.
What is a Churro?
Churro is a fried dough treat made of flour, water and salt. Also, we add in milk and egg white, and you will see how delicious they turn out!
Where to Buy Spanish Churros?
Freshly made churros can be found in churrerías (churro shops), and ready-to-cook frozen ones can be found in supermarkets. But you can also make them at home, and I’ve got you covered on this one!
Near my house in Madrid, there is a food truck (I guess the new version of churrería) with a huge frying pan inside, ready to make and sell churros. Every morning, long lines of people form to get these sweet treats.
The origin of churros is a bit uncertain. On one hand, the Portuguese are said to have brought them from China to the Iberian Peninsula. On the other hand, legend has it that this popular dish was invented by Spanish shepherds because the dough was easy to make and fry during their long stays in the fields. The name churro may have derived from the churra sheep, a native breed of Castilla y León.
The recipe was passed down from the countryside to small villages where churros were made in churrerías. In my opinion, there is no better smell in the morning than freshly baked bread and churros in the villages.
What is the Difference Between Churro and Porra?
Although many people believe that churros and porras are the same and only differ in size and texture, the truth is that there are 2 main differences:
Porras contain one more ingredient in their dough, a pinch of baking soda.
The amount of water used in the porras dough is greater.
As result, porras are thicker and fluffier, due contain air inside, and made into spiral. They are also known as churros de rueda or calentitos de rueda.
Authentic Spanish Churros Recipe
According to old Spanish recipe books, there are two traditional ways to make a churro. The original recipe calls for nothing more than flour, water and salt. Another traditional recipe includes two additional ingredients: milk and egg white. The latter is the one we’ll be using, and you’ll be surprised what delicious churros come out!
Mild Olive Oil for Frying
I use mild olive oil for frying churros because of its softness and neutral tasting; thus, the flavors of the ingredients are respected and the churro keeps its exquisite taste. This type of oil is obtained from blending refined olive oil and virgin olive oil, and it is ideal for frying and making desserts, pastries and pies.
How to Make Spanish Churros
As a child, I thought these delicious figures were impossible to make; I never imagined I’d learn how to make homemade churros!
Not only churros are surprisingly easy to make, but also I’ve meticulously broken down each step of this homemade recipe to ensure that yours come out perfect the first time.
Do you want to learn how to makeauthentic Spanish churros? Get on board!
Churros Recipe: Step by Step
1. In a saucepan, add 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Put it over medium heat until boil.
2. Sift 1 cup of all-purpose flour into a small bowl, then add into the milk. Cook the flour in the saucepan for one and a half minutes over medium heat. Keep stirring, with a wooden spoon, while preventing the dough from sticking to the sides of the pan.
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and put the dough in a bowl. Then, add one egg white into the mixture and keep stirring. You can knead the dough, but be careful not to burn your hands as the dough is very hot!
Tip for this third step: Knead until the dough absorbs the egg white. You will know the dough is well done when you knead without it sticking to your hands.
4. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, pour plenty of mild olive oil (> 200 ml) in a (9 inch) frying pan and put it over medium heat for 8/9 minutes until it reaches 356°F ( 180°C ). I use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature.
10 minutes later…
6. Once the oil is ready, load the dough into a churro maker. Then, pipe lines about 4″ long.
Tips for this sixth step:
You can pipe the dough either directly into the hot oil or onto a piece of parchment paper before frying.
I recommend using a churro maker to make churros. If you don’t have one, another way to make them is using a piping bag fitted with an open star tip.
7. Fry the churros for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Total time in the pan: 6 minutes approx.
8. Remove the churros from the pan with a skimmer and place them on paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
9. In a small bowl, add ½ cup of sugar and coat your freshly made churros in. Et voilà… you’ve made some delicious Spanish churros for breakfast or snack!
In August 1994, Victor was on a plane to Paris on a mission to learn French with a Parisian family. However, he never expected to learn how to make pain perdu, the authentic French toast.
At that time, the culture of France was totally unknown to him.He didn’t speak the language, he didn’t know any of the family members beforehand, and he felt that at the age of 13, the adventure might be too challenging for him.
The first few days were a bit harsh, but little by little he got used to that situation. Besides he was in a wonderful city!
Oui and non was the only thing he knew to answer when spoken to. He always answered, even if he didn’t understand a word of what was being said.
A few weeks later they took a super-fast train to Lyon, and from there they went by car to a cottage in the French Alps. On that trip he was lucky enough to witness the Tour and see Miguel Indurain ride past in his yellow jersey.
The mother of that family taught him to make two very simple French dishes. The first was to boil an egg for 5 minutes, break the top of the shell and dip buttered bread in the yolk. A real treat. The second recipe was the famous pain perdu recipe, the authentic french toast, which consisted of using the leftover bread from the day before and turning it into a sweet delicacy.
How to Make Pain Perdu
1. The bread you can use to make pain perdu can be loaf bread, ciabatta or baguette, preferably stale bread from the day before.
It is best to use stale bread to prepare this dessert, as it holds the egg-milk mixture better without falling apart.
2. In a bowl, add 2 eggs and a pinch of salt. In another bowl, pour 200 ml of milk.
3 . Cut the bread into 0.5/1 inch slices.
4. Grease the pan with a tablespoon of butter and put it over high heat.
5. Dip a bread slice in the milk for one second on each side.
6. Now dip the same slice in the egg for one second on each side.
7. Place the same slice in the greased pan for one minute on one side, or when it starts to brown, and another minute on the other side. Do the same with the rest of the bread slices.
8. Before serving, sprinkle a little sugar on top of the pain perdu… Et voilà! Enjoy eating pain perdu!
French Toast Recipe
French toast is the pain perdu American version and has become a popular dish for brunch or breakfast. Although french toast recipe is similar to pain perdu´s, both are made differently.
The main difference between French toast and pain perdu is the type of bread used. French toast is usually made with sliced bread and pain perdu is made with stale bread. In addition, the french toast recipe is made with ingredients that aren´t in the pain perdu recipe, such as cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg. The final dressing is accompanied by maple syrup, jam, sugar or red fruits.
How to Make French Toast
1. In a bowl, pour 100 ml of whole milk and add 2 eggs, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of vanilla sugar, or vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and a pinch of nutmeg. Beat with a whisk and set aside.
It is best to use bread from the day before to prepare this dessert, as it holds the egg-milk mixture better without falling apart or becoming soggy. Some people recommend slicing the bread the night before and letting it dry a little overnight.However, it is also fine to use fresh bread when making this french toast recipe.
2. If you use unsliced bread, slice the bread into four 1-inch slices.
You can use either slice sandwich bread (bimbo) or brioche.
3. Grease the pan with a tablespoon of butter and put it over high fire.
4 . Dip one slice of bread in the egg mixture for 6 seconds on each side.
5. Place the same slice in the greased pan for 40 seconds on one side, or when it starts to brown, and another minute on the other side. Do the same with the rest of the slices.
6. Take the toast out of the pan and drain it briefly on kitchen paper.
7. Now it´s time to dress it with whatever you like: maple syrup, jam, berries, sugar… Et voilà! You have made a delicious French toast!
I love this banana bread recipe with chocolate chips. And I´m sure you will too!
This chocolate chip banana bread recipe is, without a doubt, the best way to use up those ripe bananas that are still sitting uneaten in your fruit bowl..
Spoiler! They will eat those ripe bananas, but in a different way 🙂
Many people use lemon juice to make banana bread; instead, I like to use Greek yoghurt to make a very moist banana bread.
Should I use lemon juice or yoghurt to make banana bread?
Since these two ingredients are essential to activate the baking soda, some people rather use lemon juice, and others prefer yoghurt as ingredient for their banana bread.
How do I know when a banana is ripe?
When the bananas start to have a dull yellowish color, with brown and black shades. Then you can consider that it is a banana that is ripening.
The darker the bananas are, the better! That means they are very ripe and the riper the bananas are, the more moist and sweeter the bread will be and more banana flavour it will have!
It’s time to use those ripe bananas!
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe
1. Preheat the oven to 356°F ( 180°C ).
2. Melt 115 grams of butter in the microwave for 45 seconds. Don´t worry if some pieces are still solid when you take it out, it will finish melting when you stir it. I recommend cutting the butter into chunks (3 or 4) so it will melt faster.
3. Pour the melted butter in a bowl and then add three ripe bananas. Mix together with a fork while mashing the bananas.
4. Add two eggs, 75 grams of Greek yogurt and one teaspoon of vanilla extract into your banana mixture. Tip: If you don´t have yogurt, you can use sour cream instead. Continue stirring with a fork until everything is mixed. You can use an electric hand mixer at low speed if desired. Set aside.
5. In a separate bowl, add your dry ingredients: 270 grams of flour, a teaspoon of baking soda (6 grams), a teaspoon of baking powder (6 grams), a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir with a whisk until everything is well combined.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix all together with a spatula until well combined. You will notice the batter getting brownie and more solid.
7. Prepare the 10-inch loaf pan by first spreading butter over all four sides and bottom and then adding flour to the buttered pan. This will help you unmold the bread later.
8. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle some chocolate chips on top of the batter just before baking.
9. Bake for 50 minutes. I recommend you not to open the oven door during this time. When the time is up insert a cake tester (or a knife) into the center of the banana bread to check whether it is done. If the tester comes out clean … Et voilà! You have made a delicious banana bread with chocolate chips!
This banana bread recipe is, without a doubt, the best way to use up those ripe bananas that are still unused in the fruit bowl. If you want to give your banana bread a chocolate flavour, you can sprinkle some chocolate chips on top of the batter just before baking.