Vibrant Spain

The sweet taste of a Spanish Easter

Spanish Easter sweets worth gathering over

From creamy custards to caramel-filled pastries, Spanish desserts are a place of sweet, sweet joy. This Easter, whether you do brunch, lunch, or dinner, here’s your chance to celebrate one of our favourite holidays with one especially delicious hero: the sweets.

1. Torrijas

For many Spaniards, torrijas is the one Easter treat to hunt down in pastry shops, restaurants and bars all over the country during this feasting period. With recipes dating back to the 1600s, torrijas is quite similar to French toast and pain perdu. Made by soaking slices of stale bread in sweetened milk or wine, it’s flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla, then bathed in an egg wash, fried in oil and sprinkled with a mixture of sugar and powdered cinnamon.

If you aren’t able to make it to Spain over Easter, don’t fret as we have a recipe you can enjoy any time of the year.
 

Makes 6

Ingredients:
 

1 loaf of crusty Spanish bread or baguette, sliced into 1-inch (2.5cm) thickness

2 cups milk or Campo Viejo Tempranillo

3 tsp ground cinnamon

1 orange, zested

½ cup sugar

3 eggs, beaten

Olive oil for frying
 

For topping:

1 tsp ground cinnamon mixed with 2 tbsp sugar

Honey (optional)
 

Method:

  1. In a medium saucepan mix wine (or milk), cinnamon, orange zest, and sugar. Heat on low until the wine begins to simmer and the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, to steep.
  2. Meanwhile, pour the beaten eggs into a shallow bowl.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 365°F (185°C).
  4. When you’re ready to make the torrijas, add the sliced bread to the wine mixture and let soak briefly, until evenly moistened (about 5 seconds on each side).
  5. Carefully remove the bread from the wine mixture. Draining well, add to the eggs, and turn to coat on both sides.
  6. Fry bread in the hot oil for 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden. Remove from the pan and set the torrijas on a paper towel to draw out excess oil. Continue with the remaining bread slices.
  7. To serve, top with cinnamon sugar or honey. Enjoy!

 

2. Flan

There’s nothing like a silky-smooth serving of flan to end a great meal. Spanish flan is a caramel pudding made from a simple mixture of milk, sugar and eggs. This decadent dessert is usually placed into a metal mould and then cooked to perfection in a water bath. Once the custard has set, it’s turned upside down on a plate so that the sweet caramel sauce oozes down the sides.

Makes 6
 

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups white sugar

4 large eggs

2 cups milk 

2 tsp vanilla extract
 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Place six 1-cup-sized ramekins in a 9x13" (23x33cm) baking dish. Fill up with warm water until the ramekins stand about 1/2 inches (1.5 cm) water. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, cook 1 cup sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved with a golden-brown colour. Stir constantly and be careful not to cook it too long as sugar can burn very quickly. Immediately spoon into warmed ramekins equally. If the sugar gets to firm while spooning into the ramekins, place back on the heat in-between for a few seconds to liquify again. Let stand until you are done with the filling.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl whisk eggs and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar for about 2-3 minutes until creamy. Add milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
  4. Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove almost all air bubbles. Divide flan mixture into ramekins equally. Cover each ramekin with foil separately and seal edges.
  5. Bake for about 60-70 minutes. Check consistency after 60 minutes by looking under the foil of one ramekin. The flan should wobble like jelly.
  6. Remove from water bath and let flans cool down to room temperature. Place in fridge to set for minimum of 3 hours.
  7. To serve, remove foil and run a knife around the sides of the flan. Flip over the ramekins onto plates and watch the sugar syrup run over the flan. Enjoy!

 

3. Churros

Spanish churros are fluted fritter pastries that are eaten plain or covered with cinnamon and sugar. In most towns in Spain, there can be a found a ‘churreria’ – a cafe that specially prepares fresh churros for breakfast, along with other traditional Spanish delicacies. Churros are quick to make and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. If you make them yourself, you will enjoy them at their best freshly cooked, warm, and crispy on the outside.
 

Ingredients

For churro batter:

1 cup milk

¼ cup unsalted butter

2 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups canola oil (for frying)

 

For cinnamon sugar:

1 cup sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

 

For chocolate dipping sauce:

½ cup milk or dark chocolate chips

½ cup thickened cream

 

Method:

  1. Bring milk, butter, salt, vanilla, sugar, and ½ cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Using a wooden spoon, add flour in one go, and vigorously mix until dough comes together. (about 1 minute). Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl and allow the batter cool slightly.
  2. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Continue beating until smooth, shiny, sticky paste forms. Cover and let stand at room temperature.
  3. Heat oil in a large, dutch oven or pot over medium heat to 350°F (185°C).
  4. Working in batches, spoon batter into pastry bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe batter into hot oil in 4-inch-long (10cm) ribbons. Fry churros until brown and cooked through in centre, about 2 minutes per side.
  5. To make chocolate sauce, combine chocolate chips and cream in a heatproof bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until smooth.
  6. Transfer to paper towels and let churros cool for about 5 minutes, then toss in cinnamon sugar or dip in melted chocolate. Enjoy!