Thursday 14 May 2015

Buen Camino to Santiago

 Pastel de Santiago
 Sharing a meal with pilgrims on their way to Santiago has to be one of the most enjoyable experiences in Northern rural Spain and even better when there was a new cake to taste. Here's Rocio's recipe for a wonderful Santiago Cake called 'Pastel de Santiago' in Spanish. 
Pastel de Santiago
250g caster sugar
250g ground almonds
1 tps cinnamon
5 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Mark 4. Mix the sugar with the ground almonds and cinnamon. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating them into the mixture. Pour the mixture into a greased and lined 23cm/9 inch flan dish or cake tin. Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before turning out onto a cooling rack. Place a Santiago cross or cut-out (see photo below) in the centre to act as a stencil. Then sprinkle with sieved icing sugar and remove the stencil to leave an outline of the Santiago cross.

 Rocio runs the beautiful Hotel Rural las Aguedas  in a small village called Ventosa in the region of La Rioja, on one of the Caminos de Santiago (traditional pilgrimage pathways to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela - St. James). 
On our last evening, we were in the company of 3 pilgrims who were walking to Santiago, Klaus from Munich, Pierre from Poitiers and Sunny, originally from Korea but now living in Los Angeles. Since it was Sunny's birthday, Rocio had made the special Santiago Cake for us all to share. It is a scrumptious cake and was the perfect end to a glorious meal with our new friends. We all sang 'Happy Birthday' and wished her 'Buen Camino'. 
Santiago de Compostela