Desserts and Sweets

Rhubarb almond cake, Mama ía blog

Rhubarb Almond Cake, and Preparing for Thanksgiving

Rhubarb almond tart, Mama ía blogI made this rhubarb almond cake a while ago, and I was hesitating whether this was the right time to post the recipe, given that rhubarb is not in season, at least where I live. I decided that this was perfect timing: with Thanksgiving next week, pie and cake are words that are dancing in my head, and this rhubarb almond cake is so versatile, you could swap the fruit and obtain the same wonderful result. The traditional ones, pumpkin, apple, and pecan pies, will be on many tables next Thursday, but alongside those, I always like to have something different. My friend Shelby makes coconut cream pie, and I absolutely love it. This rhubarb almond cake could become a pear almond cake, or a plum almond cake, and be a new addition to your Thanksgiving menu. I love it with rhubarb, so if you can find it, by all means, make it! Rhubarb gives the cake a certain tartness that I love, much like I think plums would.

Rhubarb almond cake, Mama ía blog (more…)

Pear tart, Mama ía blog

Pear Tart, Fruit Trees, and Bougainvilleas

Pear tart, Mama ía blogA pear tree grows in the woods next to my house, and I made a pear tart (actually two!) with its fruit. This pear tree is just one of the wonderful discoveries in my garden this summer and fall. Another one, that I’ve mentioned before, was the “resurrection” of the fig tree I planted last year. And it came out in force. It’s now almost taller than me! The weather is still summer-like, we are having a beautiful, beautiful autumn, but I start to worry about how I will protect it for the winter. I think replanting it in a pot and bringing it indoors is out of the question, the tree is too big. What should I do? Do you have any suggestions? If you do, please tell me! I’d love to see the tree alive and well next spring, and I’m afraid much of it will depend on the kind of winter, less or more harsh, that we have. If there’s a special way of wrapping the tree that will protect it better, I’d love to know.

Pear tart, Mama ía blogPorche del Taron, Mama ía blog (more…)

Monjavina, Mama ía blog

Monjavina, for “La Merienda”

Monjavina, Mama ía blogMonjavina is a sweet of arab origin, typical of the region of Játiva and of La Vall d’Albaida, where Onteniente, my hometown, is located. You can find it by other names like almoixàvena or monxàvena, but you will very rarely find it in any other regions of Spain other than the ones I just mentioned. My mom, in fact, never made it, as she comes from Seville, and I grew up eating it at the homes of friends. You could say that every household in Onteniente makes it.

The recipe is simple, with few ingredients, and that can mislead as to its result, which is a delicious, light, sugary cake that is best eaten on the day it’s made. My favorite time to have it is mid afternoon, with a glass of horchata (*) if I am in Spain, or an espresso if I am in America. This mid-afternoon snack is usually referred to as la merienda in Spain, a meal that is meant to stave off hunger between lunch and the late Spanish dinner. La merienda is most often also referred to as this meal in the context of children: the meal they eat right after they get home from school.

La Vila, Onteniente, Mama ía blog

La Vila and Carmelites Convent, Onteniente

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Strawberry sponge cake with strawberry frosting, Mama ía blog

Strawberry Sponge Layer Cake with Strawberry Cream Frosting, for Mother’s Day

Strawberry sponge cake with strawberry cream frosting, Mama ía blogIf you subscribe to this blog, or follow it regularly, you’ve noticed it has taken me a few extra days to post. I have not been procrastinating! In fact, this is the third recipe that I cooked and photographed for this week’s post. I kept changing my mind about it, and suddenly, I realized this Sunday is Mother’s Day in Spain, and I will (more…)

Plum blackberry crumble pie, Mama ía blog

Plum and Blackberry Crumble Pie, ahead of Spring break

Plum blackberry crumble pie, Mama ía blogThe farmers markets haven’t opened in Fort Wayne, and yet, I can find almost every fruit that I can think of at the store. They are obviously not local, but I’m having a hard time staying away from them. And plums have a sweet spot in my heart (check this post, where I explain it in more detail), so I couldn’t help but get some. I was thinking (more…)

Apple tart, Mama ía blog

Apple Tart, and Rafael Guastavino

Apple tart, Mama ía blogI am mesmerized by the person of Rafael Guastavino, and I’ve been wanting to write about him for a while. This apple tart made me think of him.

Rafael Guastavino Moreno was a Valencian architect that lived between the 19th and 20th century, and whom, upon his death, the Herald Tribune baptized as “New York’s Architect”, a testament to the more than (more…)

Passionfruit and berry cake with mascarpone icing, Mama ía

Passionfruit and Berry Cake with Mascarpone Icing, for St. Valentine’s Day

Passionfruit and berry cake with mascarpone icing, Mama íaTo be perfectly honest, this wasn’t going to be this week’s blog post. But life catches up with me every day, and St. Valentine’s Day caught up with me. Passionfruit and berry cake with mascarpone icing seemed very appropriate for the occasion. A day of love, a day of passion, right? So even though I don’t like posting two desserts in a (more…)

Lemon meringue tart, Mama ía

Lemon Meringue Tart, and the thermal baths turned school

Lemon meringue tart, Mama íaTraveling back to Spain every year is an aspect of what living in North America entails for me and my family. Keeping connected with our family, our culture and our roots is very important to us no matter how long we may live or may have lived on this side of the Atlantic. I keep up with the politics, both national, local, and European, as well as (more…)

Spanish nougat mousse, Mousse de turrón, Mama ía

Spanish Nougat Mousse, Mousse de Turrón —or the Spanish habit of conservation

Spanish nougat mousse, Mousse de Turrón, Mama ÍaIt happens every year around Christmas time: I buy too much turrón, Spanish nougat. And every year I tell myself that next year I won’t buy as much, but invariably, I do it again. Not that I don’t buy many other Christmas sweets, and make them, too, of course. But turrón is closest to my heart. I talked about Christmas nostalgia in other (more…)