This is the second and final installment of our little gastronomic trip to Spain four days ago, right in the comfort of our very own dining room. ;) There is always room for dessert, I’ve always believed that to be true. And I sleep better at night when I cap my meal with something sweet. Does the word “closure” mean anything? Hee hee. :D
Back home, there are only a handful of dishes that I’m after whenever we visit Alba, our favorite Spanish restaurant, to partake of it’s delicious buffet spread: paella valenciana, lengua sevillana (ox tongue), cochinillo (roast suckling pig), callos ala madrileña and for dessert…canonigo. Canonigo is what I attempted to make last Friday, “attempted” being the operative word.
I’ve been researching the origin of this dessert, a fluffy meringue served with a topping of custard sauce. How it got it’s name is still a mystery to me. You see, canonigo is a Spanish word which means parish priest (please do correct me if I’m wrong.). This dessert is closely related to, if not exactly the same as the French dessert Ile Flottante or floating island. Closer to home, canonigo is pretty much like an unrolled and unfilled brazo de mercedez.
1 cup sugar + water for caramel to coat the pan
8 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
8 pieces egg yolks
1 cup fresh milk
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp rhum (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1. Caramelize 1 cup sugar until golden and pour into a bundt pan. Set aside.
2. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar and baking powder, beating continuously until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
3. Pour into prepared mold, tapping lightly. Bake in a baine marie at 350 degrees F for 30 min. or until golden. Cool very well then unmold.
4. For the custard sauce, combine sugar, egg yolks, milk, and all purpose cream. Cook in a double boiler while constantly stirring with a wooden spoon until mixture coats the back of teaspoon. Remove from fire and add rhum and vanilla. Cool and serve with baked meringue.
This being my first attempt at making canonigo, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I remember Alba’s canonigo to be around 3″ high and baked in a rectangular shaped pan. Because I don’t have a bundt pan (yet!) I baked my canonigo in a 10″ springform pan, which proved to be a tad too big. I chose this size because I wasn’t sure how high the meringue was going to rise. Another note to self, next time around, I’ll make sure to spread the meringue more evenly in the pan.
So I ended up with a canonigo that closely resembled a giant bibingka. It wasn’t much to look at, at least at first, but once sliced and served in individual dessert plates and topped with the custard sauce….ooh-la-la….it would be a test of self control and willpower not to ask for seconds…and thirds. *clears throat* I promised not to reveal how many servings of canonigo each of us had. ;)
As far as taste is concerned, this was given a stamp of approval, read: “SUCCESSFUL”. The next one will look so much more appealing. Promise.