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!
Crème brûlée is a traditional French dessert that literally means burnt (brûlée ) cream (crème). It is usually served in individual ramekins, which are small oven dishes used for baking. It belongs to the same family as the Spanish burnt cream, crema catalana.
They both are called “burnt creams” because they are desserts that consist of a custard base topped with burnt sugar. This caramelized crust is achieved by sprinkling sugar on the surface and subsequently burning it with a kitchen torch or an iron burner.
So if you want to reach the rich custard and enjoy its flavor, first you’ll need to crack the caramel layer with a spoon! Mmmm…
Crème Brûlée History
The origins of crème brûlée are still uncertain, however, it seems that the crema catalana had a great influence on the creation of this French dessert. The first known recipe for crema catalana appears in a 14th century Catalan cookbook, Llibre de Sent Soví. And it also appears in another medieval recipe book from the 16th century, Llibre de Coch. On the other hand, the origins of the crème brûlée are situated at the end of the 17th century. It is said that the chef François Massialot created this recipe during a meal organized by Philippe d’Orléans, brother of the king Louis XIV of France.
This vanilla cream is one of the most popular desserts in France. Its creamy texture can only be reached by going through the crisp caramelized crust.
Crème Brûlée vs. Crema Catalana
These two creams belong to the same family of custards, but there are certain differences between them.
The first one is the elaboration process. Crema catalana is cooked in a saucepan, where it gets its consistency. In addition, we use cornstarch for thickening. Crème brûlée is a French dessert baked in the oven, thus achieving a creamy texture and a delicate flavor.
Another differences are the ingredients used. Crème brûlée is made with milk and cream and flavored with vanilla, while crema catalana uses only milk and lemon and cinnamon to flavor its custard.
How to Make Crème Brûlée
This creme brulee recipe is made with milk, heavy cream, vanilla beans, egg yolks and granulated sugar. You only need as equipment a saucepan, an oven, a whisk and 4 ramekins.
1st step: Flavor Milk
1. In a saucepan, pour 1 cup of whole milk.
2. Cut two vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Once opened, scrape the seeds inside with a knife and add them into the milk.
3. Add in a lemon peel. It is important that the lemon peel has no white part as it bitters. Tip: use a potato peeler or a vegetable knife when peeling the lemon.
4. Stir for 5 minutes until boiling over medium heat (level 6). When it comes to a boil, remove from heat and set aside. Allow the milk to cool down to room temperature.
2nd Step: Turn On the Oven
5. Preheat the oven to 100ºC (212ºF).
3rd Step: Make the Cream
6. Get 5 medium size eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. In a bowl, add the yolks and, with the help of a whisk, stir very slowly so that the yolks don’t foam.
7. Add 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar into the egg yolk mixture and stir until the sugar dissolves. Keep in mind that the yolks must not froth or become pale.
8. Add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream into the yolks. Stir with the whisk (no beating!) until combined.
9. Pour the milk into the yolk mixture through a sieve. Stir gently with the whisk until blended.
10. Carefully pour the mixture into the ramekins. In this step, I used the strainer again to remove all the lumps. I do this so that the texture of the creme brulee gets smoother and finer.
11. Place the ramekins in the oven and bake for an hour and a half. Remember that these types of creams (crème brulee, Spanish custard, crema catalana) thicken as they cool down, so don’t worry if you see that the cream is not thick enough, or a bit liquid, when you take it out of the oven.
12. Take the cream out of the oven and let it cool to room temperature for about ten minutes. Then, put it to chill in the refrigerator for three hours. Keep in mind this resting time in case you want to serve the cream the same day or overnight.
4th Step: Make the Caramelized Crust
13. It’s time to make the caramelized, crunchy crust that we love so much! Before serving, sprinkle sugar on the surface of each ramekin. With a small kitchen torch, carefully bring the blue flame close to the sugar until it becomes first liquid and subsequently turns golden brown. Et voilà! You have just made one of the most famous French desserts in the world, the creme brulee!
More Traditional Custard Desserts
If you are fond of custard-type desserts, you can also try these delicious traditional custard recipes. These desserts, including creme brulee, are gluten-free.
Crema Catalana: This traditional Spanish burnt cream, which first recipes date back to the 14th century, is distinguished by its citrus and cinnamon aroma and its crunchy caramelized crust.
Spanish Flan:This classic flan is egg custard baked in a water bath and topped with caramel sauce.
Cut two vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Once opened, scrape the seeds inside with a knife and add them into the milk.
Add in a lemon peel.
Put on medium heat (level 6) and stir for 5 minutes until boiling. When it comes to a boil, remove from heat and set aside. Allow the milk to cool down to room temperature.
Turn on the Oven
Preheat the oven to 100ºC (212ºF).
Make the Cream
Separate the yolks from the whites. In a bowl, add the yolks and, with the help of a whisk, stir very slowly so that the yolks don’t foam.
Add the sugar into the yolks and stir until the sugar dissolves. Keep in mind that the yolks must not froth or become pale.
Add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream into the yolks. Stir with the whisk (no beating!) until well combined.
Pour the milk into the yolk mixture through a sieve. Stir gently with the whisk until blended.
Carefully pour the mixture into the ramekins.
Bake for an hour and a half.
Take the cream out of the oven and let it cool to room temperature for about ten minutes. Then, put it to chill in the refrigerator for three hours.
Make the Caramelized Crust
Before serving, sprinkle sugar on the surface of each ramekin. With a small kitchen blowtorch, carefully bring the blue flame close to the sugar until it becomes first liquid and subsequently turns golden brown.
Poached pears in red wine is a classic dessert at home. This recipe belongs to Victor’s mother, who has already shared delicious recipes like this no bake cheesecake.
What Type of Pear to Use?
I use two types of pears to make this recipe: blanquillas (or water pears), which are harvested in summer, or Conference pear, which is harvested in autumn. The former are very watery and juicy, and the latter are sweeter.
Water pears, also known as “blanquillas” are typical Mediterranean. Today you can find them cultivated around the world though. Its most important characteristic is that, as soon as you start to peel it or bite it, it releases water by the pear. Once it is ripe to eat, its meat is very soft and exquisite.
It is in summer time when these pears are really harvested and distributed throughout Spain. If you want to eat a water pear, you can do it from June to December.
The other type is the Conference pear. although they do not release as much water, it does not mean that they are not delicious in flavor, it has a sweet taste and a slight acid touch. The best time to eat it is in autumn.
What Type of Wine to Use?
When making this recipe, I use a young Rioja wine. You don’t need to buy an expensive wine, because it will come out delicious anyway. Wine brands I use for this dessert: San Asensio and Palacio de Beltrus.
Make pears with wine for an elegant dessert! It is a simple and colorful dessert that will impress your guests.
How to Make Poached Pears in Wine
1. In a saucepan, pour a liter of wine, a tablespoon of sugar per pear (8) and 4/5 cup of water. First stir a little with a wooden spoon over low heat (level 4 on vitroceramic) and leave the lid on.
2. Peel 8 pears (blanquillas or conference) using a vegetable peeler, leaving the stalk on.
3. Once they are peeled, drop them into the hot liquid. Leave the pears to cook for an hour and a quarter over low heat (5 level) with the lid on, leaving it slightly ajar.
4. After an hour and a quarter, the pears should be tender and soft. With the help of the wooden spoon, pick them one by one by the stalk and place them in the dish where you are going to serve them. Stand them up for presentation.
5. Drizzle the pears with the wine syrup. If you see that the wine syrup is too liquid, leave it to cook for twenty more minutes to thicken. Et voilà! You have made delicious pears in wine!
You can serve them with whipped or liquid cream. I recommend serving them warm.
Pears in Wine Recipe
Pears are delicious when cooked in red wine. This classic recipe combines the sweet flavor of ripe pears with the rich taste of red wine.
This lemonade recipe is amazingly easy and quick to make. Don’t feel like squeezing lemons? Want to always have a pitcher of lemonade in your fridge? You are in the right place.
This homemade drink is:
Easy and quick to make.
You only need four ingredients to make the best homemade lemonade.
Neither too tart nor too sweet, this recipe has the perfect balance of lemon and sugar. This is a refreshing drink for a summer day!
How to Make Lemonade
It may seem that making this drink is easy (and it is!) , but you have to play with the measurements to get the right proportions.
If you add too much lemon, it can turn out too tart; if you pour too much water, it can turn out too watery. This lemonade recipe is deliciously balanced, so all you have to worry about is enjoying the summer!
Before you start, make sure you have the following equipment: a blender of at least 600 watts, a strainer, a pitcher and a wooden spoon.
Let’s get to it!
1. In the blender, add 5 ice cubes and crush the ice in 2 ten-second batches at maximum speed.
2. Wash 3 lemons and cut off both ends. Then, cut each lemon into four pieces, and toss them in the blender.
3. Add in 100 grams of sugar and one liter of water.
4. In 3 batches, beat at maximum speed for 1 second.
5. Using a strainer, pour the lemonade into a pitcher. And then add 250 ml of water, mint leaves and ice to taste. Stir with a wooden spoon. The mint gives it a touch, even more if possible, of freshness and menthol aroma that combines perfectly with the flavor of the lemonade. Et voilà! Enjoy the summer!
This easy chocolate mousse recipe will become your new favorite staple for those summer dinners!
Mmmm… there’s something about this classic French chocolate dessert. It is light, smooth and delicious. I don’t know if it’s the taste or the texture, or the combination of both, but it always leaves me wanting more. When I finish my portion, I’m satisfied but … I can’t help but look at the others to see if they finish it or need a little help!!
Few desserts leave me with this feeling, so I launch a warning to navigators: this dessert can become addictive!
If you’ve already made more recipes from this blog, you’ll know about my passion for sweet treats and, above all, for chocolate.
Here are some other chocolate desserts to encourage you to try, if you haven’t already!
Will you be able to resist the magic of its texture and intense chocolate flavor?
Once you have made this classic chocolate mousse, you will feel like the chef of any French restaurant in the heart of Paris.
As you savor the mousse, and notice how it melts on your palate, the intensity of the chocolate will conquer your senses and (possibly) take your imagination to visit magical places such as la tour Eiffel or the pedestrian streets of the French capital.
Last summer was another mousse the star dessert on the blog. It was a success because of its simplicity and creaminess. It is another type of mousse with a different texture made with condensed milk.
Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to propose chocolate mousse as this summer’s dessert.
How to Make Chocolate Mousse
This delicious chocolate dessert is made with only 4 ingredients, so it is important that they are of high quality and at room temperature.
Butter at room temperature
Eggs at room temperature
Although chocolate mousse is a dessert that is eaten throughout the year, this time we are going to put it in the freezer for 60 minutes so that it has a refreshing touch, without losing the intensity of the chocolate.
Chocolate Mousse Recipe: Step by Step
1. In a bowl, add 200 grams of dark chocolate and 40 grams of butter, both in small pieces, and melt in a bain-marie or in the microwave for 1 minute. If there are any lumps in the mixture, stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve them. Chocolate can burn in the microwave, so it is best not to overdo it and just stir until the chocolate and butter small pieces are dissolved. Let the mixture sit cool at room temperature.
2. Separate 2 egg whites from 2 egg yolks. Remember that eggs must be at room temperature.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed for one minute until soft peaks form. Then, with the mixer running, add one teaspoon of granutaled sugar. Continue beating on high speed for 4 minutes until stiff peaks form.
4. Add the egg yolks into the chocolate, which is already at room temperature, one by one. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined and no yolk traces remain.
This next step is very important to make the light and airy texture of the chocolate mousse.
5.Add the meringue to the chocolate in 3 phases. In the first phase, add 1/3 of the meringue and stir quickly with the wooden spoon until combined. Once integrated, add in another third of meringue and stir more slowly until combined. Then, fold the remaining meringue into the mixture until no white streaks remain. How? Gently mix with folding movements ( a bottom-to-top and top-to-bottom motion ) until well combined.
6. Pour the mixture into small glasses, cover them with cling film and put them to chill in the freezer for 1 hour.
7. Take them out of the freezer and sprinkle chocolate on top to decorate and give a crunchy touch to the dessert. Et voilà! You have made a delicious chocolate mousse.
Chocolate Mousse Recipe
This delicious chocolate mousse is made with only 4 ingredients. Its texture and flavor makes this French dessert addictive!
In a bowl, add dark chocolate and butter in small pieces, and melt in a bain-marie or in the microwave for 1 minute.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand held mixer until soft peaks form, add one teaspoon of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Add the egg yolks into the chocolate one by one.
Add 1/3 of the meringue and stir, with the wooden spoon, quickly and in circles until integrated. Once integrated, add in another third of meringue and stir more slowly until combined. Then, fold the remaining meringue into the mixture until no white streaks remain.
Pour the mixture into small glasses, cover them with cling film and put them to chill in the freezer for 1 hour.
Take them out of the freezer and sprinkle chocolate on top to decorate and give a crunchy touch to the dessert. Et voilà! You have made a delicious chocolate mousse.
This recipe for fried plantains with orange sauce, or platanos fritos, won´t leave you indifferent!
What I like about our grandmothers’ desserts is that they were made with basic products. Who doesn’t have sugar, bananas and oranges at home? You only need these three ingredients to make a real delicacy.
This is another recipe from Victor’s grandmother, Nona, who is delighted to be able to contribute her bit to this blog. Thanks Nona! Another of her famous recipes is this recipe for chocolate cake.
How to Make Fried Plantains with Orange Sauce
1. Make an orange juice with 2 oranges.
2. Grease a frying pan with a tablespoon of butter and put it over medium-low heat (level 4 on glass-ceramic). Tip: Use a frying pan in which the plantains fit. For this dessert I use a 9.5 inch pan.
3. Slice 2 bananas lengthwise.
4. When the butter starts to foam and sizzle a little, put the plantains with the cut side down. Let them cook for 12 minutes.
5. When the 12 minutes are up (it starts to smell good!), add orange juice until it covers half of the bananas. Then add 1 tablespoon of sugar per banana, and soak the banana loin with the juice from the pan. Let the sauce cook for 25 minutes over medium heat.
6. The sauce that is being made is like a kind of syrup. You can shake the pan a little so that the sauce is well distributed. When you see that it has thickened during this time, without caramelizing, it´s time to remove it from the heat. Et voilà… and in a very simple way you have just made delicious fried plantains with orange sauce.
The texture of the sauce is thicker than syrup and less thick than caramel. If you see that it caramelizes too soon in the pan, add a little more orange juice.
The texture of the banana at the end should not be hard, but soft as shown in the photo above. If you see that it is hard it needs to be cooked a little more in the pan.
These platanos fritos are served warm and with just the sauce taste delicious. However, you can add either whipped or liquid cream as an accompaniment if you want.
I love this recipe for fried bananas, it’s super easy to make and you don’t need a lot of time. I hope you enjoy it savouring it´s incredible texture and flavour!
Grease a frying pan with a tablespoon of butter and put it over medium-low heat.
Slice 2 bananas lengthwise
When the butter starts to foam and sizzle a little, put the plantains with the cut side down. Let them cook for 12 minutes.
When the 12 minutes are up (it starts to smell good!), add orange juice until it covers half of the bananas. Then add 1 tablespoon of sugar per banana, and soak the banana loin with the juice from the pan. Let the sauce cook for 25 minutes over medium heat.
When you see that the sauce has thickened , it´s time to remove it from the heat. Et voilà! You have just made delicious fried plantains with orange sauce.