Dreaming of Majorca

 

In May, I’m flying towards the Balearic Islands. Majorca to be precise. Think ravishing views, turquoise water, picturesque villages and farmhouses, almond groves, vineyards… Think tropical island right with a Mediterranean vibe. It simply is impossible to look at pictures of the bays there and not want to be sailing from one to the other, diving in. I have wonderful dreams of soaking in the sun all day, sitting at the terrace of restaurants in the evening enjoying a sunset and a touch of the vibrant local cuisine.

To me, you see, food is the second local language of any country. But to leaf through the many travel books and start dreaming, I wanted a lovely cup of coffee and cake. People who have a sweet tooth will always be good friends…

I first tried the Gato d’Ametlla, which seemed incredibly rich.  Once you have mixed the yolks, the sugar, the almonds, the mix feels like concrete. But oh, incorporate the whisked white and it becomes light as a cloud. Once cooked it tastes of honey and butter and a little like heaven too.

You will need:
– 8 eggs, separated
– 300g sugar
– a teaspoon of lemon zest
– a teaspoon of cinnamon
– a teaspoon vanilla extract
– 200g ground almond

What to do next:
– In a large bowl, mix the yolks and sugar until foamy. Now add the cinnamon, the vanilla and the lemon zest. I like to leave it pause 10 minutes so it really soaks in the extra flavours… Now add the ground almond.  Yes, this looks incredibly heavy but it’s normal!

– Whisk the egg white until they form peaks – you want them soft, not too stiff. Incorporate them into your yolk/sugar/almond mix slowly (I do in 3 times) with a spatula. The air in the whisked white will make your mix wonderfully lighter. The secret is to do this gently – no tonic mixing here, take your time.

– Pour your batter into your cake mould and bake at 200 deg C for 30 minutes. Leave to rest then serve with a scoop of almond ice-cream…

A little twist:
To make the nuttiness more complez, I have recreated this recipe mixing almonds and hazelnuts, almonds and cashew nuts and even almond and pistachio paste, my favourite!

 

Majorca Flaó cake

Majorca Gato d'Ametlla Flaó cake

Majorca Flaó cake

 

Now imagine enjoying this in Majorca with a view on the sea… Shall we pack straight away?

 

On my list of cakes from Majorca also was the flaó – from the name, I expected a version of a flan but this proved a fantastic baked cheesecake. The secret? Lemon zest and mint make it incredibly moreish and tasty. It simply is impossible to stop at one slice!

You will need:
– 1 roll shortcut pastry
– 66 g sugar
– 3 mint leaves
– 1 teaspoon lemon zest
– juice of half a lemon
– 2 eggs
– 120 g cream cheese

What to do next:
– Line a tart mould with your shortcut pastry

– Put the mint leaves, sugar and lemon zest in a blender. Mix finely then add the lemon juice, cream cheese and mix again.

– Pour into the crust then bake for 30 minutes at 200 deg C. Leave to rest, and serve with a dusting of icing sugar.

A little twist:
Why not replace the mint with basil leaves? Or try grapefruit zest with a touch of fresh ginger instead of lemon zest? Trust me, it’s absolutely divine…

This post is sponsored by Monarch who is compiling a Monarch Island Cookbook – Majorca simply had to be part of it!

 

Majorca Gato d'Ametlla Flaó cake Majorca Flaó cake Majorca Gato d'Ametlla Flaó cake
Majorca Gato d'Ametlla Flaó cake

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