As in many countries, traditions marked by religious public holidays go hand in hand with food.
With the start of Easter, Spanish culinary delights such as Mona de Pascua, Sopa de Ajo, buñuelos and chocolate eggs, all celebrate the return of eggs and fat back on the table once more. All this after a month of ‘possible’ fasting during Lent! This month’s recipe for Torrijas is just that.’ Torrijas’, eaten in Spain throughout the Easter Holy Week, are made with eggs and bread, but with the help of La Ola Fresca’s former Tapas chef, Alberto Corella, we have made a slightly more ‘fino’ and fluffy version. Incorporating brioche, a jammy caramel topping and a melt-down surprise of coconut vanilla ice cream.
Torrija-Brioche with Coconut Ice Cream
Serves 4 people
Cheats can buy the brioche and the ice cream ready-made, but if you are going to make it from scratch, start the day before!
For the Coconut Ice Cream
80g fine white sugar
30ml of cream minimum 35% fat
5 egg yolks
1 vanilla pod
1 pinch of fresh ginger (grated)
300ml coconut milk
10g of grated coconut
4 green cardamom pods smashed to allow flavour to infuse better
For the brioche
50ml room-temperature milk
10g fresh yeast
300g strong flour, plus extra for dusting
10g fine sea salt, plus extra
20g caster sugar
125g softened butter, plus extra for greasing
2 egg yolks, for glazing
2 white sugar cubes
For the marinade
1 glass of rice milk
1 pinch of cinnamon
A splash of Port wine
1 drop of vanilla
For the caramel
10g of honey
10g of brown sugar
1/2 packet of butter for frying brioche
First make the ice cream.
Bring the milk to the boil for 2 minutes under a moderate heat.
Take off the heat and leave to infuse with the vanilla, ginger, coconut and cardamom.
Leave to cool, then strain. Beat the egg yolks and the sugar and mix together with the milk. Add the cream and return to heat, stirring carefully. Leave to cool. Place in the freezer and stir every 3 hours to avoid water crystals forming.
Meanwhile, make the brioche. Whisk the milk and yeast together in a bowl, and then set aside. Put the flour, salt and sugar into a food mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix to combine. Add the yeast mixture and eggs and mix well until you have a soft, smooth dough. This will take five to six minutes.
Add the softened butter and beat for another five minutes until it is all incorporated and the dough is soft and shiny. Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth.
Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for about two hours, until doubled in size.
To make brioche loaf, lightly flour a work surface then tip the dough out onto it and gently knock the air out.
Place in a buttered 23cm x 7cm, 1kg loaf tin. Cover and leave somewhere warm, or at a constant room temperature, to double in size.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas mark 4.
Beat the egg yolks with a pinch of salt and brush over the top of the loaf or buns.
Crush the sugar cubes over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and risen. The loaf or buns should be hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Leave to cool and, when it is cool, cut into rectangles. This is where the cheats who bought their brioche readymade rejoin the recipe!
Gently heat a frying pan with lots of butter and fry the brioche rectangles until they are becoming uniformly toasted all over.
Heat the honey and pour over the torrija. Crush the brown sugar, and scatter on top. Caramelize with a blowtorch or under the grill. Finally, serve with a ball of ice cream.
LA OLA FRESCA
C/ Musico Magenti, 11