Monday, 25 May 2009

Gabriela's recipes - Polvorones

And here is the recipe for the delicious little Mexican cookies that Gabriela served up as part of her dessert. Seen below being enjoyed by Leonie...



225 grams of butter

1 cup of Pecans

2 cups of flour

2 Tablespoons of confectionary sugar

2 Tablespoons of vanilla


Leave the butter out for half an hour, until it’s soft.

Finely chop the pecans

Mix everything together in a bowl with your hands

Once the ingredients have been mixed together thoroughly, put a bit of flour on your hands and form about 25 little dome shaped mounds from the mixture.

Put on a non-stick baking tray or an Exopat, also called a SILPAT (it’s a non-stick baking mat of joy!)

Put in the oven on 360 degrees F/180 degrees C for about 25 minutes.

Once cooked (they do not increase in size much), leave to cool.

Once cooled, roll them in confectionary sugar until they are covered on all sides.

Estan lista para comer! Que bueno.

Gabriela's recipes - Baked Eggs al Forno

Here Gabriela kindly shares her brunch recipe for Eggs Al Forno with Crème Fraiche and Herbs de Provence...

As this is a recipe I made myself, I don’t really have measurements of the ingredients, aside from the number of eggs per person. So, I’ll try my best to explain the recipe as best I can.

It was created through quite a bit of taste testing as on their own, the baked eggs were missing something, and while many baked egg recipes call for milk, I find milk and eggs to be too heavy.

Thus, crème fraiche!

In order to make the baked eggs, you can either use shallow ramekins (if you have them) or fashion your own out of aluminium foil, which is what I did. If you do use ramekins, be sure they are wide enough to allow the two eggs and ingredients to sit about half an inch deep.

If you create your own makeshift foil ramekins, be sure to spray them with non-stick cooking spray (ie PAM or FRY Light Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray) so that you can easily remove them from the foil when they are cooked.


Large Free Range Eggs (I use two eggs per person. If you prefer egg whites, the dish can be made with one egg, both yolk and white, and two egg whites, or even three egg whites and no yolks.)

Parmesan Cheese (About a small handful, grated, per person.)

Reduced Fat Crème Fraiche (About 3 tablespoons per person). You can use regular fat Crème Fraiche, but this variety makes the dish much lighter.

Herbs de Provence

Sea Salt


Cooking Spray

Two sprigs of Chives per person


Crack the eggs into a bowl first, so as to prevent the yolks from breaking, then pour the eggs into the ramekins.

The egg whites should be filled with dollops of crème fraiche, so that when done, the eggs should look like they are floating in a sea of white crème fraiche orbs. (I don’t know how else to describe this.) But, don’t smother the eggs in the crème fraiche. Perhaps I can take a photo to show you what I mean.

Next, sprinkle grated Parmesan over the dish.

Sprinkle Herbs de Provence liberally over the dish.

Sprinkle crushed sea salt and pepper sparingly.

Put the ramekins on an oven tray and pop them into an oven heated to 180/200 degrees C, depending on how powerful your oven is.

Set a timer to 8 minutes and let the eggs bake.

Chop up the chives.

After 8 minutes check the eggs to see how they are coming along, and leave them in for another four minutes or so, depending on how well they are cooked. The egg yolks should not be cooked through but rather quite fragile so that they break when your fork hits them.

At the same time, cut slices of bread (La Brea Multi-Grain bread tastes wondrous with this dish, as would any light grain and seed filled fresh bread) and pop them into the top shelf of the oven to have warm, toasted bread to accompany your eggs. I usually spray the slices with the cooking spray to prevent them from drying out in the oven.

Once the whites look relatively solid (usually this takes about 12 minutes) remove the eggs from the oven. They shouldn’t be completely solid as the crème fraiche and Parmesan should be soft and melted, not overcooked.

If using an aluminium ramekin, press down the sides of the container, and carefully use a spatula to remove the eggs and plate.

Sprinkle with chives and serve with toasted bread. voila!

Friday, 1 May 2009

Gabriela's Brunch!

So, in a genius twist to the formula, Gabriela had the bright idea of hosting a brunch party rather than dinner; more hours of boozing time right?!? Yeah! She was whisking up a storm in the kitchen, while one by one the guests arrived. Greeted by bellini's and the sunday papers...

After a couple of glasses the eagerly awaited first course arrived... French Toast!

With syrup and cinnamon and more bellinis!

Guests all cleaned their plate and then went for a little nose around Gabriela's lovely flat...

Flicking through her New York photobooth snaps and admiring a formidable Marc Jacobs shoe collection...

The main course kicked off with Bloody Mary's. They had a kick too, with tabasco and extra pepper. And extra vodka.

Before long the main course of Eggs Al Forno (baked eggs) arrived...

Then on to the third course of little Mexican cookies called Polvorones and fields of strawberries covered in dark, white and delicious maya gold chocolate!

And knowing the group's penchant for a good cheeseboard, Gabriela had chosen expertly from Neal's Yard and accompanied her selection with Spanish quince jelly.
Scoffing slowed to grazing and the group eventually rolled back onto the sofas to finish reading the papers while the final round of secret scoring took place in the next room.

All our hosts are now dying to find out the results, and we bet you are too! Well, all will be revealed after our results party next week. Before then, look out for Gabriela's recipes and let us know who YOU think should win!