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hunting for the best ensaimada con cabello de angel; first result!

freerk's picture
freerk

hunting for the best ensaimada con cabello de angel; first result!

 

Looking around for interesting bakeries and local bread specialties when holidaying has become second nature to me by now.

 

My better half has learned to live with it; although heading for a museum of modern so and so, we regularly end up neatly tucked away in the corner of the local bakery shop instead.

 

Our recent trip to Ibiza was no different. I came back with one of the local specialties; ensaimadas.

 

Or to be even more specific: ensaimadas con cabello de angel, a sort of pumpkin jam. It translates into 'angel hair' (not the pasta variety) due to the stringy texture of the specific pumpkin used.

 

This is what it looks like

Traditionally it is made using lard, but olive oil seems to be an acceptable replacement for those who don't do pig.

It is a wonderfully fluffy and (despite the lard) light pastry, coiled into a big powdersugared loaf, about the size of a big dinner plate. The smaller versions usually don't have any filling (ensaimada tradicional).

Of all the possible  fillings,  the 'cabello de angel' seems to be the only one that is rolled into the ensaimada.

 

Any TFL-ers out there with roots in the Balearic who could share the perfect recipe or interesting  "new world" variations? I would love to make it here myself, so if you can help, please do! :-)

 

Looking forward to this,

 

Freerk

 

Update!!

 

Here is the first result of my home made ensaimada trial bake :-)

 

This one is without filling, so no caballo de angel, but it most certainly looks like an ensaimada, if I say so myself

   

The rise was slow (6 hours), and I think I could have waited longer. I suspect my "madre" has gone slow on me.  The oven spring was remarkable. I haven't tasted it yet, it's cooling down now. It all looks fairly promising so far... very curious what the inside looks like.... puffy and light...?  More to  come :-)

 

Freerk

 

 

 

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

You always have such interesting breads/pastries. That is why I love this site-it brings together such a variety of people from all over the world in a common passion. Your pictures are also beautiful!

http://globalgluttononline.blogspot.com/2007/06/start-your-day-mallorcan-way-ensaimadas.html

and

http://bakemyday.blogspot.com/2010/02/bread-baking-babes-bake-ensaimadas.html

I googled these blogs for the pastry (haven't found the filling)-never heard of ensaimadas but they sound delicious!

Have delicious fun! 

 

Edit:Found something-translated from Spanish so it might be interesting

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.cocina.org/2829/CABELLO-DE-NGEL.html&ei=3rDwTd39Lsnn0QGBibiRBA&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=2&sqi=2&ved=0CCoQ7gEwAQ&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dcabello%2Bde%2Bangel%2Breceta%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D960%26bih%3D593%26prmd%3Divnse

freerk's picture
freerk

Great stuff Clazar123!

I am going to try and make them without a filling first. The traditional pumpkin like fruit used to make the "angel hair" version is not easy to come by over here and the shaping is going to be a challenge anyway.

A friend of my cousin grows pumpkins, and she has been contacted to give me more info on growing season and where to get that "cidra" pumpkin (figleaf squash).

I have been browsing around as well and on YouTube there are some wonderfully insightful videos on both making the ensaimadas and the pumpkin jam. There is one version that takes 5 days to make! Not sure if I'm going to use that one ;-)

More to follow!

Freerk

flournwater's picture
flournwater

I've seen it spelled "ensaymada" also and, if your looking for a recipe, you can find it quite easily with that spelling using a Google search.  I don't believe they are uniquely Mediterranean because a number of cultures number outside of that region prepare them, or something quite similar, as both beautiful large coils or smaller individual single servings.

You must surely be an adventurous bread/pastry maker; these are not a novice project.  The frustration of getting the dough stretched thin enough for the crust to be just right would overwhelm a lot of new bakers.  I've never tried to make one myself but it's on my list of things to try for this summer.  Best of luck to you.....

 

 

freerk's picture
freerk

The ensaima originates in the Balearic and has found it's way into the entire Latin world and parts of the world that were at some stage conquered by the Spanish, like for instance the Phillipines.

I have googled some recipes already but am hoping for some input from my fellow TFL-ers, maybe even from some one with roots in the culture the pastry comes from. I like it like that :-)

Shaping this thing is going to be a major challenge indeed, but hey, I like a good challenge! there are some very interesting YouTube videos that make it look easy, but I recognize a pro baker if I see one ;-)

I'll post the results on here (if there is anything worthwhile to post, lol)

Happy baking!

kim's picture
kim

Hi Freerk,

For the jam/filling, I think I know what kind of squash you are looking for; they are called Cucurbita Ficifolia aka Shark Fin Melon (魚翅瓜 in Chinese). In Asia, we use the melon to cook soup sometimes I use them in my pineapple tart filling when I don’t have enough pineapple. In Costa Rica, my friends use them to fill her empanadas. So I think you are looking at the same thing I am talking about. Here are the links that I think it will be helpful:

Cucurbita Ficifolia aka Shark Fin Melon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucurbita_ficifolia

Cucurbita Ficifolia filling/ Ensaimada de cabello de Angel filling:

http://azulpurpuranuria.blogspot.com/2008/09/cabello-de-ngel-dos-formas-de.html

Ensaimada de cabello de Angel making:

http://drapet.blogspot.com/2011/02/ensaimadas-paso-paso-tmx.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQnJQrxlQe4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPZdwWc2zwg&feature=related

My Spanish is rusty so I better stay away from translation. I hope you don’t mind.

Kimmy

freerk's picture
freerk

Hey Kimmy,

 

Yes indeed, thatis the squash I am looking for. It's wonderful to see how it accumulated all these different names through the course of time, from "fig leaf gourd" to "shark fin melon". I am pulling some serious strings here to get my hands on it, it's just a matter of time :-). Today I'm starting on the recipe that Daisy included in her post, that one looks the most appealing somehow. I'll post the results later!

 

Thanks for sharing the information!

 

Happy baking!

kim's picture
kim

Hi Freerk and mnjrutherford,

Why it's called Shark's fin melon? It is because the flesh falls away from the fruit in ribbons or strands like spaghetti or shark's fin (when cooked in a soup form - Asian style). You can get them easily at Asian grocery store in US and some of local farmer markets also sell them. Here is garden forum that discuss about the melon:

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/asianveg/msg0722541710549.html

I hope both of you have a great weekend.

Kimmy

freerk's picture
freerk

Hey Kimmy,

 

What I understand is that it got that name because it is actually used in a soup ressembling "shark fin soup" (indeed for its strands of "hair").

It's not a melon though, and neither is it a pumpkin. But it  IS a member of the Calebas family, that's what everybody on the net seems to agree on :-)

Checking out your link now!

 

Freerk

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

All under the gourd family Cucurbitaceae (complements WIKI)  

Pick out your favorite!

Those Ensiamadas look really tempting!  Pretty too.  I'm reminded of a fake apple filling using sliced zucchini (the kind that get too big) which has been soaked in lemon juice.   

Mini

freerk's picture
freerk

hey Mini,

 

Amazing how many different names this baby carries (melon, squash,gourd,  pumpkin etc etc.)  And the Spanish lady around the corner calls it a "cidra" which puts her near to Portugal, because that seems to be how they call em over there :-)

Here are some pics of the second batch of ensaimadas with filling (I made a straightforward pumpkin jam)

  

These two were made using a recipe with both olive oil and lard. I made one with and one without lard. I'm not sure, but I think this is the one without the lard, because it is has a lot less separation and crunch to it!

I know, I should have marked them somehow but I forgot. It's very tasty, even though it is more "bready' than my first attempt. I like the texture of my first try the best so far; it comes closest to what I ate  in the Balearic.

I don't get what you mean with the fake apple filling?

X Freerk

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

with a little extra fiber from being too big when picked, maybe comes close to the shark-fin you're looking for without all the searching.  Here is a You Tube LINK for mock apple pie.  This used to be done while waiting for the apples to get ripe.  Now we can get apples year round.  You can add lemon or not and the spices are up to you.  Just throwing out ideas here.   Great looking pictures! 

freerk's picture
freerk

Ah, now I understand what you mean!

Checking it out now :-)

I found out you can also get the cabello de angel in a jar :-D just for ease of mind that I made it ALL THE WAY even if only once I'm carefully browsing my adress book and facebook to see who's going to be my victim to bring some back for me, hihi

Feelin Crumby's picture
Feelin Crumby

Ahhh, Ibizia. As a young sailor I fell in love with Ms. Anna Maria there . . . .

Oh, wonderful job on the pastry, too!

Jim

freerk's picture
freerk

I'd say: bake an ensaimada in honour of Anna Maria!

Feelin Crumby's picture
Feelin Crumby

Now you're talkin'. Well said, my friend.

rolls's picture
rolls

i've been wanting to try this also, the first recipe i stumbled upon and which i really want to try is this one:

 

http://www.deliciousdays.com/archives/2009/07/31/ensaimadas/

if anyone has tried, please let us know how you got on :)

 

rolls's picture
rolls

tried the recipe today, these pastries are the best! :) posted pics here http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/26283/ensaimadas-so-much-easier-croissants#comment-195939

freerk's picture
freerk

They look really good!

rolls's picture
rolls

Thank you, I forgot to mention that I used butter not lard :)

Celandine's picture
Celandine

I have made the traditional recipe using lard or a 50/50 blend of lard and butter.  The flour was KA Bread Flour.  I followed all instructions but it seems the fat leaks out of the pastry during baking and falls to the oven floor causing a fire.  Do you know how to prevent this?