Tarta de queso
Can't decide between cheese or dessert? The Cantabria-hailing Tarta de Queso is a good compromise. A far cry from a New York cheesecake, it's light, fluffy, with a strong cheesy bite. It has a more cookie-like base than a regular cheesecake's, while the top is often torched until caramelised.
The amount of pork lard that goes into a real ensaimada makes Ottolenghi's version seem as wholesome as a kale salad (*fake news). Don’t be fooled though; this is a luxurious treat you can serve warm (it heats up well) at the end of a meal, alongside lightly sweetened Greek yoghurt with some grated orange zest folded through.
Flavoured with aniseed and finished in a cheesy filling of cream, cottage and goat's, this is the king of desserts in Ibiza and you won't leave the island without having eaten a few servings of this moreish emblematic cheesecake.
Tortas de Aceite
These crisp olive oil wafers can be orange or lemon-scented or scattered with pinenuts. Hailing from Seville, the tortas are infused with an anise liquor, like Pernod, and dusted liberally with sugar.
This sophisticated flan has a hint of almond extract, which pairs really well with the orange. It’s simple to make, but it’s worth starting the day before and letting it set overnight in the fridge, to mellow out the eggy flavour.
There's a long-fought tussle for ownership rights to this burnt custard cream, and Catalonia near the French border of Spain is a contender. A traditional Catalana is not as rich as a crème brûlée and the Spanish use cinnamon rather than vanilla to flavour the custard. A big spoon is definitely a must!
Spaniards are no strangers to the deep-fryer, so we’re not so surprised that this recipe sees custard dipped in an egg and flour wash, then dunked in oil to crisp up. We're more wondering why we didn't think of it first.
Cute jam-drop biscuits filled with your favourite jam is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee.
Iberia's answer to French toast is bordering on pudding: slices of bread dipped in sweetened milk, flavoured with cinnamon or vanilla, bathed in a beaten egg and fried. It's sometimes made with sweet wine instead of milk, while others prefer to douse theirs in syrup. Traditionally eaten as a sweet, this recipe offers a savoury twist to a Spanish classic that is perfect for either an entrée or to be served as canapés.
Filled with dark chocolate custard and sporting a handsome coat of cinnamon sugar, these doughnut-like fritters are an idyllic end to that tapas or pintxos-style dinner party you've always wanted to host. Serve them hot for extra kudos.
Miguelitos, or Miguelitos de la Roda, are flaky, cream-centred pastries famous all over the province of Albacete. The pastry is a rough puff, meaning it’s fairly laborious, but the cream keeps things nice and simple.
This Spanish hot chocolate dates back to the 17th century, where it was served at banquets, known as agasajos. Saffron, cinnamon, rosewater and orange zest try on hot chocolate and have never looked back.
This amazing Spanish bread is reminiscent of the croissant. Typically layered with lard (although this one is made with butter), this brioche-like bread has a wonderful flakiness and rich buttery flavour. Originally from the Isle of Mallorca, it’s traditionally served at Easter, however, these days, it’s often eaten at breakfast too.
“Olive oil is the hero of this dessert so make sure you use a really good quality oil in the ice-cream and the sherry cake – preferably Spanish. And don’t be put off by all the elements in this recipe – most of them can be done ahead of time, so all you have to do when it comes time to serve is to plate up.” Shane Delia, Shane Delia’s Moorish Spice Journey
With dulce de leche cream, toasted almonds, chocolate custard, shortbread and a Spanish sherry jelly, we’re bringing sexy back to the festive trifle.