29 October 2012


"La Castanyada" is a traditional celebration in Catalonia during the night of October 31th and All Saints Day day we eat roasted chestnuts and the appreciated sweets called "panellets".

This celebration makes me remember when I was a child. At school we used to celebrate that day with a big party: singing songs, with painted faces, and eating chestnuts and panellets at the playground of the school. The panellets were made by the children and teachers. Each child had to bring some ingredients and chestnuts, and panellets were done by each class a few days before. And the big day each one recived a bag of panallets and some roasted chestnuts. So you can imagine what a big mess we did in the class making these sweets.

I really enjoy that celebration, making panallets with my family and the smell of roasted chestnuts on the street, I really love that smell!

The pine nuts panallets are the most known and the most appreciated, also by me. I think they are the best. Cocoa and coffee powder can also be added to the mixture to change the taste. Pine nuts can be substituted for chopped almonds or coconut. You can find a large variety of ingredients, but this time I've made pine nuts, chocolate and coffee.

250 g almond powder
250 g white sugar (you can add less sugar, on your taste)
100 g potato
lemon zest
vanilla sugar

130 g pine nuts
cacao powder
instant coffee powder
1 yolk egg (to stick the pine nuts)
1 egg (to brush the pine nuts ones)
icing sugar (to roll the cacao and coffee ones)

Wash and bring to boil the potato with the skin until is soft, about 20-30 minutes. Peel and mash the potato. Add the sugar and the almond and mix it until well combined. Divide the mixture into 2 pieces and add the vanilla sugar on one and the lemon zest in the other one.  Continue mixing well, first use a fork or a spatula and latter on use your hands until it becomes a very thick paste. Wrap the mixture with plastic film and store it in the fridge at least 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200ยบ.
Put in a little bowl an egg yolk and pour it the pine nuts and mix it.
Put in an other bowl the whole beatten egg.
Make little balls of mixture with your hands and cover them with pine nuts. Egg yolk will make easier to stick them on. Place the panallets on a baking tray and brush them with the whole egg.

Bake them in the middle on the preheated oven for 8-10 mintues, until they get golden. Make sure you control them at any time due to  the fact they get done very fast. To make them even brown I place them the last minute in the higher position of the oven.
Remove them gently and cool on a plate.

For the cacao and coffee just add the powder into the mixture and mix it well until combined. Roll the mixture into 3-4 cm ball. Bake them 8-10 minutes: Remove them gently and let it cool them for a while before you roll them into icing sugar.

With these ingredients I did 14 pine nuts, 10 coffee and 10 chocolate.

Cover them or store in a box in room temperature, they taste much better after 2 days.

Enjoy your panallets with roasted chestnuts and a nice glass of Moscatell  

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