Bunyols de vent – Mallorquin sweet puffs

In Mallorca, this time of the year we celebrate St. Ursula (21st October) or mostly known as the Virgins’ Day. The story behind is quite gruesome, involving St. Ursula and 11000 virgins’ pilgrimage to Rome through Germany, where they were killed by the huns as they didn’t accept their sexual advances. The current tradition, however, is much nicer. A girl can receive a carnation and a serenade from a boy who shows interest in her, and in return she’ll invite him to these traditional puffs or fritters.

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This is one of those recipes that everyone’s grandmother knows how to make, and of course everyone’s grandmother makes the best without a shred of doubt. It is fortunately a simple enough recipe, just quite messy and slightly time consuming. But once you pop just one of these into your mouth and it dissolves into sugary goodness, all the work is well worth it, I promise you this much.

  • 2 eggs
  • 500g / 2 cups boiled potatoes, mashed
  • 250g / 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • a few tbsp water
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • powder sugar (you can also use normal sugar)
  1. Mix the yeast with the water and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well until it forms a soft dough, and allow to rise for at least half an hour.
  3. Put a deep pot on medium heat and add enough oil for deep frying.
  4. This is the tricky part. You’ll need to have wet hands for this, the bowl with the dough on one side and the pot with the hot oil on the other. Wet your hand, take a small amount of dough and poke it to make a small hole. Then the wet hand drops the dough into the oil. Do only a few puffs at a time so you don’t overcrowd the pot.
  5. Allow each puff to brown on one side, then use a skimmer to gently flip the puff to cook on the other side. Once brown on both sides, scoop out and onto a serving plate with some absorbent paper on it.
  6. Sprinkle some sugar on the puffs and enjoy! Don’t forget to breathe in between helpings, these are so good I won’t be held responsible for anyone choking up on too many!

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BONUS TIPS:

  • You can also make them with sweet potato. You can either substitute the entire amount of potato for sweet potato, or do half and half.

Salted caramel mulled cider

Here in Germany you can hear Christmas around the corner (I won’t mention the fact that all the stores carry the typical seasonal crap since already weeks ago…). It’s beautifully autumnal right now, the yellow and red leaves are scattered everywhere and it just feels so cozy that all I want to do is curl up with a book, a nice blanket and a hot drink. So I believe the season of warm alcoholic drinks should be officially inaugurated!

This recipe is perfect to give you all the autumn feels:

  • 2l / 8 1/2 cups cider
  • 250ml / 1 cup cloudy apple juice
  • 4 tbsp salted caramel sauce
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  1. Mix salted caramel together with cider and reserve.
  2. Put a tall pot on low heat, and pour the apple juice, vanilla pod and cinnamon. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add cider to the simmering pot and allow to bring to a boil. Take off the heat immediately and serve.

BONUS TIPS:

  • Top with whipped cream and some more salted caramel.
  • Add a scoop of ice cream: vanilla, salted caramel, cheesecake… the possibilities are endless!
  • Obviously you can also use salted caramel from a different source than my own recipe, I just think that most homemade things are much better.

Fruit & nut chocolates

As you may already know, I’m part british (although many people can’t tell due to my mish-mash of an accent) which automatically makes me a Cadbury lover. And it is no secret that my all-time favourite chocolate is their Fruit & Nut – followed closely by Toblerone, because who better than the Swiss, right? -.

That together with the fact that recently I’ve had this huge craving, and that I’ve had a brand new chocolate mold that was waiting for me to free it from its box (yes, it hadn’t been used, ergo, not opened, since I got it from my bestie for my birthday in July, I know, shame on me)… I had a lightbulb moment! Not that I’m claiming this is the best thing since sliced bread, or am I?

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  • 200g / 3/4 cups good quality chocolate
  • 50g / 3 tbsp whole almonds
  • 50g / 3 tbsp whole raisins
  1. Start by tempering the chocolate in a medium bowl. If you’re wondering, this is how I learned. This will allow the chocolate to hold back its shape once it’s hardened.
  2. Add the almonds and the raisins. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Pour carefully onto the chocolate mold and let it cool.

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BONUS TIPS:

  • This might be the most simple recipe in my website so far! Feel free to mix things up, add other nuts or dried fruit of your choice.
  • It should go without saying that you don’t need an actual chocolate mold. An ice tray will also do the trick.

Chicken mayonnaise

 

Another family treasure: the chicken mayonnaise or leftover mayonnaise. Or the how-to-make-leftovers-into-another-meal base recipe.

My dad used to make this a lot when I was little, and before him my grandmother, and before that my great grandmother. This is another one of those recipes that I’ve taken over by now. It’s perfect for the day after a chicken roast or a fish dinner. It’s also quite a fuss-free meal – my favourite!-. The face my brother and me would make when dad said we were having this for dinner said it all! It’s easy to make, perfect for hot weather, but still hearty enough for a winter meal as well. And the best is that you can put it together with a wide variety of side dishes, depending on how healthy you want to be.

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That seasoning tho… Here I used garlic powder, sweet paprika, salt and pepper and a dash of lemon juice

You’ll start this recipe with the basic mayonnaise recipe that you can find here.

  • Homemade mayonnaise
  • Leftover chicken or fish, clean and without bones
  • Some olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, herbs and spices to taste
  1. Shred the leftovers by pulsing them in a food processor. Alternatively you can chop them up really small.
  2. Once you have a mince of sorts, pour one or two tablespoons of oil and mix well.
  3. Add the mayonnaise and mix together until it has a paste consistency, sort of a spread. I tend to add the mayonnaise a few tablespoons at a time, to make sure I get the right consistency instead of adding it all at once. It depends on how big the amount of leftovers is.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste, and any other herbs or spices you like.

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BONUS TIPS:

  • This is where you get creative. Curry and dijon mustard are two favourites of mine (not together though!). Basil, rosemary, cilantro, sundried tomatoes… Feel free to experiment, I’ll be happy to read your comments telling me what you discovered!

 

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Homemade mayonnaise

Mayonnaise, I find that there’s nothing like it – if it’s self made. For me, homemade mayonnaise is a comfort food. One of those things that I could always count on either my grandmother or my mum to be able to whip up in no time. I was passed on this torch when I was 14.

While my mum taught me the recipe over the phone, I very carefully whipped an egg yolk with some olive oil and made my very first batch of mayo ever.

One weekend, we were having some friends and family over at my dad’s, and one of my aunties mentioned my grandmother’s famous homemade mayonnaise. Everyone went “Ohhhhh yummmm” at unison. My dad asked me if my mum had taught me, and when my answer was no he shoved the phone on my ear to get cracking.
While my mum taught me the recipe over the phone, I very carefully whipped an egg yolk with some olive oil and made my very first batch of mayo ever. Everyone who was there that day said it was great, but the best compliment came from my uncle Jorge. He said it tasted exactly like his grandmother’s. And so the story goes: my great grandmother taught it to her daughter, my grandmother, who in turn taught it to her daughter-in-law, my mum, and thus the recipe was passed onto myself. I feel very proud to have been trusted with it, and ever so slightly reluctant to share it like this, but I won’t be selfish. It’s too good not to share and spread the love!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • one egg
  • olive oil (or any other good quality oil such as sunflower or rapeseed)
  • some salt and pepper, and lemon juice
  • garlic, fresh or powdered (optional)
  • a deep plate and a fork, and a kitchen towel
  1. Place the towel on the countertop, and the plate on top so it won’t slide.
  2. Separate the yolk from the white, and reserve the white in the fridge (see step 7).
  3. With the yolk in the plate sprinkle some salt and add one tablespoon of olive oil, and thoroughly mix with the fork in a circling motion. Make sure the yolk and the oil have mixed well before you continue each step.
  4. Continue adding one tablespoon oil each time, again making sure it’s completely mixed before adding anymore.
  5. If you add too much oil at once, tilt the plate to the side and try and scrape off the oil to use later. Don’t mix too much oil with the egg all at once or your mayo will separate. It can be hard to get it to mix again once it’s separated, it usually means starting all over.
  6. Repeat step 4 as many times as you can (there’s only so much oil one egg will mix with). If you see that it’s getting too oily, that’s your clue that the mayo is done. Eventually your mayo will get thicker, that’s another way to know that your doing it right.
  7. This is an optional step: retrieve the reserved egg white, and pour one tablespoon at a time, mixing it well with the mayo. This will soften the consistency and make it runnier. I like it more on the thick side, but my mum prefers it runnier. It’s just a matter of taste!
  8. Finally add salt and pepper to taste, and I personally love to add a dash of lemon juice – gives it a nice tangy kick-. Mix well and serve.

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Ready to eat up! It’s great with french fries, the way the Germans and Dutch eat them, with different types of salad, or you can use it to make one of my famous leftover mayo meals.

BONUS TIPS:

  • For those garlic lovers out there, join the club! If you have fresh garlic, you can mash it using a mortar and pestle, a garlic crusher, or just a sharp knife, and add it to the mayo to give it an allioli flavour. If you have powdered garlic, just add as much as you like directly to the mix.
  • If you want to make a bigger batch, you’ll need more eggs and oil. Just follow the recipe as is, and once you’ve finished a one-egg mayo, add more egg yolks and continue adding oil until your batch is big enough.

*Note: Some people might find homemade mayonnaise too “eggy”, and to those people I would say that they probably don’t really like eggs and should therefore stay away from real mayonnaise. Stick to the store-bought or whichever floats your boat!