Easter-time and while you Brits are in rhapsodies over creme eggs and hot cross buns (Really? A fruit bun generates this much excitement??), I am dreaming of a traditional Catalan Easter cake, ‘La Mona de Pasqua’....yummy yummy!! I have been bullied into making one for the Amazing PR team to try and will be using my mama’s recipe for my first solo attempt.
‘La Mona de Pasqua’ is traditionally baked in Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands to represent the end of Lent and the period of abstinence. Originally the cake would have been decorated with hard-boiled eggs with elaborately painted shells, which would then be consumed alongside the cake. It is now much more usual to use chocolate eggs, much to the relief of most of the team!
Nowadays you can find every variation of this elaborate cake in patisseries, however, like most things, homemade always tastes better:
For the Bread Biscuit (Sponge Cake)
- · 50g of butter
- 150g of flour
- 150g of Sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 beaten egg whites
- 20g of ground almonds
- 5g of yeast
For the Filling
- 300g of Peach Jam (or any other rich tasting fruit jam)
- 250g of dark chocolate
- 125g of butter
1. Beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl
2. Mix the flour and yeast together in a separate bowl
3. Gradually add the mixture of flour and yeast through a sieve (to avoid creating any lumps) to the egg and sugar mixture
4. Stir constantly while adding the ground almonds
5. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl
6. When they are half whisked, add 50g of sugar, then keep whisking until they form soft peaks. Then blend in with the flour and egg mixture
7. Turn the final mix out into a greased and flour sprinkled mould
8. Place in the oven at 180 ºC for about 40-45 minutes
9. Remove the sponge cake, allow cool, cut in half and spread with the jam filling
10. Finally melt the chocolate and butter together, cover the sponge cake with the chocolate and allow to cool.
Now you can add you own personal touches…some coloured Easter eggs, a little chocolate rabbit or some fluffy chicks – don’t hold back this cake is not about subtlety!
A great ‘La Mona de Pasqua’ takes practice, so I had better get busy if I am going to produce one in time for Easter that lives up to the current office expectations!