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!
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.
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!
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.