“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” is a famous quote that summarizes the very essence of desserts. But how did desserts come to have such an important place on our tables? Well, man has always been known to relish sweet food. This is the reason sweets can be traced back to some of the earliest civilizations where people enjoyed fruits and nuts candied with honey. However, sweets became extremely popular in the middle ages when sugar began to be manufactured. Its high cost made sweets a preserve of the privileged. However, increased mechanization made sugar affordable, making it possible to experiment with a variety of flavored sweets. Desserts also leave the mouth sweetly refreshed by removing the aftertaste of certain foods. Most countries have a large smorgasbord of desserts. Spain is no different. Spaniards boast of a wide variety of desserts, amalgamated into their cuisine from the Roman to the Arab influences. For instance, the Moors introduced refined sugar to Spain, and the Aztecs chocolate. Hence, the vibrancy of its culture reflects in its desserts too. While the Spanish tend to savor sumptuous desserts on special occasions, they do like to finish their meals typically with something sweet to please their palate even on ordinary days. Dessert for them can simply be prepared with fruits or dairy items. Read on for some easy Spanish dessert recipes.
Top Spanish Desserts
Spanish Oil Cakes
- 1 tbsp Dry Yeast
- 6 tbsp Spanish Virgin Olive Oil
- 12 tbsp Warm Water
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2.1/3 cups Unbleached White Flour
- Granulated Sugar for topping
- Anise seeds for topping
- Mix warm water, yeast, salt and olive oil in a large mixing bowl until the yeast dissolves completely.
- Gradually add flour and sprinkle water till the dough has a smooth consistency. Use a kitchen towel to cover the bowl. Leave it in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Grease 2 cookie sheets with oil. Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Pinch off a small amount of dough and use your hands to roll into a ball about 1½ times the size of a golf ball.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the ball of dough out until very thin. Roll out the dough into approximately 8-inch circles. Carefully transfer each one from the cutting board on to the cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar and anise seeds.
- Place cookie sheets in the pre-heated oven and bake. After approximately 10 to 12 minutes, if the edges are turning brown, remove them from the oven and cool slightly. Serve warm as a light dessert.
- 4 Bananas
- Grated rind and juice of 1 Orange
- 2 tbsp Dark Rum
- 50g Brown Sugar
- 30g Butter
- Peel and slice the bananas. Place the slices in a heat proof serving dish.
- Pour the orange juice and rum over the sliced bananas, then sprinkle with the sugar and grated rind of the orange.
- Cut the butter into small cubes and place on top of the bananas.
- Cover with foil and place in a 180 degrees F preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Serve warm with fresh cream or vanilla ice cream.
- 1 cup White Flour
- ¼ tsp Baking powder
- 1 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Granulated Sugar
- Oil for frying
- Several tbsp Granulated sugar to sprinkle or Honey
- Pour vegetable oil into a large heavy bottomed frying pan. Make sure there is about 2 inches of oil in the pan so that the churros float freely while frying. Set pan aside.
- In a medium sauce pan, pour 1 cup water. Add oil, salt, sugar and stir. Bring water to a boil.
- While waiting for water to boil, dry the cup used to measure the water and use it to measure flour, since it is necessary to have equal parts of flour and water. Pour flour into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add baking powder and stir.
- Once water boils, remove saucepan and begin heating oil in frying pan.
- Slowly pour boiling water from saucepan into flour mixture - stirring constantly with a fork until the dough becomes lump-free.
- Spoon dough into a large cookie press or pastry bag.
- Carefully squeeze dough into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spatula or long-handled fork. Place on a paper towel to drain.
- Once drained, cut into manageable lengths. Sprinkle with sugar or drizzle with honey and serve.
Spanish Hot Chocolate
- ½ cup Unsweetened powdered Cocoa
- 1 cup Sugar
- 7 tsp Corn flour
- ½ cup Water
- 4 cup Milk
- Mix the cocoa and sugar together.
- Dissolve the corn flour in the water and combine with the cocoa-sugar mixture in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir until it is a smooth paste.
- Begin heating this mixture, continuously stirring it with a whisk. Gradually pour in the milk. Continue stirring as you bring it to a simmer.
- Simmer, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. The cocoa is ready when it thickens and is glossy and smooth.