A very famous american cook by the name of James Beard once said, "Food is our common ground, a universal experience." I do believe food brings people together and allows us to get to know other cultures and traditions in a fun, exciting way.
Halloween is one of the biggest celebrations in the U.S. and the whole western world has kinda got into it. As most of the times, we have the haters, the lovers and the party mates who just want to celebrate anything that falls on their plate. Everyone has their own opinion on how to go about this holiday, but that's not what matters here: is this event a trying-new-food opportunity? The answer is yes and here you have a good one.
Halloween is not a traditional festivity in Spain, but they do celebrate All Saints Day on November 1st. In Catalonia (the autonomous community of which Barcelona is the capital) they call it Castanyada and eating chestnuts and panellets—literally “little bread” in Catalan—is one of the best parts of it!
I live in Barcelona at the moment and the whole city goes crazy with these treats. Every local patisserie sells them, kids at school prepare them and families get together to have fun cooking afternoons.
Whoever said catalans are not nice wasn't having a good day. I must say they are not only friendly and welcoming people, but they also love their holidays and they have some amazing food to share with everyone, like everywhere around Spain.
One of my catalan friends invited me to prepare panellets with her 3-year-old son. And oh! what an experience it was. Kids are pretty cool when you are not the one cleaning after them. How cute are those little chef hands?
The best part of this recipe is that the star of the show is sweet potato, and trust me, at the end of the day you won't remember that an actual vegetable transformed into that sweet candy.
- Prep Time:3 mins
- Cook Time:1 hr
- Total Time:1 hr 3 mins
- 150 gram 5 1/3 ounce sweet potato
- 180 gram 6 1/3 ounce almond flour
- 130 gram 4 1/2 ounce sugar any kind will do
- 2 eggs
- 200 gram 7 ounce pinenuts or cocoa or grated coconut
Boil the sweet potatoes in a saucepan with water and cook until it's tender (feel it with a fork).
Mash the sweet potatoes and let them cool. Set in a bowl and add the almond flour.
Add the 2 eggs white and don't throw away the yolk.
Add the sugar (in this picture: icing sugar). Don't panic, remember you can chose which sugar to use and you can actually add the amount you want (more or less, it will only affect the sweetness).
Mix all the ingredients together with your hands until you get a consistent dough.
Form little balls and roll them in the pine nuts, cocoa or grated coconut. Set them on the parchment paper and into the oven for 3-4 minutes (yes, only 3-4 minutes because the sweet potatoe is already cooked).
Separate the egg yolk from the white egg and brush the top of each pine nut panellet with the egg yolk. Serve them beautifully and share with love.
Getting to know other countries culinary traditions is a great way to expand our minds and our palates. Try this new recipe and offer your friends and family a different and heavenly sweet treat this Halloween season!