Are you looking to innovate your factory-baked cakes and slices? Traditional preserves are often a source of great ideas. We propose several traditional sweet specialities that use cabello de ángel as an ingredient.
Cabello de ángel is an essential ingredient of many desserts made in regions across Spain. Perhaps the most famous are the ensaimadas from Mallorca, but cabello de ángel is versatile and has many uses in cakes, pastries and slices.
Cabello de ángel is made from spaghetti squash, a type of pumpkin with a very hard peel, with a mottled green and white exterior and light-yellow pulp. It is smooth and sweet to taste and is full of fibre, vitamins C, E and B complex.
This is the secret ingredient that provides a special touch to desserts from the north to the south of Spain, and in many other places too. Spanish gastronomy includes many typical, traditional sweets that use cabello de ángel – find out more here!
Traditional pastries from Murcia or Lorca (pastelitos murcianos)
These hand-made pastries contain readily available ingredients: wheat flour, lard, sugar, lemon or orange rind, eggs, cinnamon and cabello de ángel.
Cordoban filo pastry with cabello de ángel (pastel cordobés)
This traditional pastry is most prevalent during the month of October, coinciding with the festivities to celebrate the patron saint of Cordoba, Saint Raphael. It can be prepared as a large pie and served in slices, or as an individual pastry with the nickname “manolete”. The origins of this pastry are Arabian and the pure recipe calls only for cabello de ángel, whereas more modern versions add other ingredients such as serrano ham to blend different flavours.
Isla Cristina pastry (coca de Isla Cristina)
This traditional pastry from Isla Cristina in Huelva has as its main ingredients cabello de ángel and almonds. Although most commonly found over the Easter period, many patisseries in the town offer this sweet treat all year around.
Friars’ ears (orejas de fraile)
These puff pastries are most typical of Murcia, although they are also made in Galicia, Castilla la Mancha and Catalunya. They are often made during carnival season. They are shaped like an ear and are filled with cabello de ángel.
Cabello de ángel sweet pasty (trucha de cabello de ángel)
These puff turnover cakes are made in the Canary Islands and are filled with sweet potato, almonds or cabello de ángel. They look very similar to patty pies and have sweet fillings.
Jésuite cakes from Bilbao
Wherever you go in Bilbao, the local patisserie or bakery will offer jesuitas de Bilbao pastry cakes. These triangular flaky pastry cakes have been around for a long time but, strangely, arose to fame in Portugal. Jésuite cakes are a favourite treat for parents sitting down for a coffee break in the port town of Bilbao.
Fig-leaf gourd shortcake (cortadillos de cidra)
These shortbread butter biscuits are made in convents across the province of Seville, although they are originally from Écija. They have a similar appearance to traditional polvorón shortbread cakes but with a twist – they are filled with cabello de ángel preserve!
Sandwich cake from Carmona (Torta inglesa de Carmona)
This “English cake” gained its name from the English archaeologist George Edward Bonsor who spent time visiting the ruins of Carmona (Seville) from 1882 to 1885. His great discovery was this sponge cake which could be filled with crème pâtissière, whipped cream, chocolate or cabello de ángel. It is said he would order a slice every day, thus giving the cake the nickname “the Englishman’s cake” (torta del inglés) by which it is now formally known.
Lattice cake from Mondeñedo (Tarta de Mondoñedo)
The town of Mondoñedo in Galicia has become famous for its lattice cake which was created in the 1950s by certified master baker Carlos Folguiera. The recipe includes flour, butter, almonds, egg and cabello de ángel.
Carnival Curd from Granada (Cuajada de carnaval de Granada)
This typical dessert from the Granada region of Spain ingeniously mixes left over shortcakes from Christmastide with cabello de ángel thus ensuring that nothing is left over by the time carnival comes around.
Cakes from Alma del Maestrazgo (Tortas de Alma del Maestrazgo)
This traditional recipe from the province of Zaragoza is sometimes also used in bakeries around Teruel. They are crescent-shaped pastries which are filled with cabello de ángel. They are the typical sweet treat for All Saints festivities.
Pastissets from Tortosa
These crescent-shaped cakes are very similar to the tortas de Alma mentioned above and are also known by the name casquetes and panadons. They are common across Catalunya and Valencia province. These pastries are filled with cabello de ángel. In some areas such as Amposta they are also filled with sweet potato or a ricotta-type cheese known as requesón.
Puff pastries from Baeza (Virolos de Baeza)
These puff pastries are the most typical sweet delights from the town of Baeza in Jaen. These individual cakes are made with very light puff pastry, icing sugar and cabello de ángel. They are so moreish that it is impossible to eat just one!
Puff pastries from Paterna (Cachaps de Paterna)
Paterna is famous for three things: its fireworks during the La Cordà celebrations, its caves and its cachaps cakes. The basic ingredients of these cakes include puff pastry, cabello de ángel, sugar and gelatine. However, the recipe itself is a deeply guarded secret which is held by the bakery Horno Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Paterna.
Layered sponge cake from Lorca (Tortada lorquina)
Lorca district is a melting pot for many cultures and traditions. One of its delights is the discovering the figurative pathway of sweets that culminates in the tortada lorquina, a sponge cake that is steeped in syrup, filled with layers of crème pâtissière and cabello de ángel and then covered with merengue.
What did you think of our tour of the sweetest corners of Spain? We are sure you will come up with new ideas to innovate and give a special twist to some of the desserts mentioned above. Use our cabello de ángel, jellies or tinned fruits in order to make your own desserts!