Week 27 of cakes and chocolates

Week (27) of cakes and more Gràcia festival wonders …

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Cake news and fun

Last week there were some lovely new experiments and discoveries.  Lots of jumping up and down in excitement around the kitchen and ‘yum’ sounds.  Starting with healthy, yes healthy chocolate-covered salted date caramels.  It’s hard for people to believe they’re not decadent!  So I added a little information on the post about the great health benefits to eating a few dates daily.  Then my Catalan friend said he didn’t care a fig (or date) about them being healthy – they were amazing and good enough to be in a patisserie!!!  Score.  There are also peanut/almond butter cups or pecan variations…

Salted date and pecan caramels

Chocolate-covered salted date and pecan caramels

The babajitos, mojito rum babas, are also healthier than you’d expect.  Hands up who thinks mojitos are healthy!  Ahem.  I’m imagining a surprising show of hands here … lol.  Still, they’re sugar-free with no refined sugars but honey and you could use maple syrup or xylitol instead.  Or sugar.  My obliging cake-testing friends loved them, making pleasantly surprised faces as the rum hit them.  They told me that in Spain these cakes are called pasteles borrachos (drunken cakes) which is kind of cute, no?

Pastel borracho - Mojito rum baba

Finally, my Ispahan raspberry, rose water and lychee scones didn’t rise to great heights but combined exciting patisserie flavours and homebaking to produce a poetically tasty and beautiful crumb in just 30 minutes.  Miam!  Vive le Ispahan et les scones! 🙂

Les festes de Gràcia – Gracia festival

So I’ll just finish this post with some photographs of the festival as promised last week.  It’s lovely wandering the streets amidst the general buzz of excitement.  There’s delight and a childlike wonder in everyone’s eyes as they gaze up and around the incredibly inventive, colourful and lovingly-crafted street decor.  Each of the 17 decorated streets or squares has its own theme.

Like the four seasons, cleverly touching on Vivaldi’s works.

The four seasons

The four seasons – carrer providència

Impressively huge figures from popular cinema.

Avatar

Avatar at carrer progrés

A play on words in ‘Liberty street’ with animals escaping from the zoo, inspired by one of the wandering drumming bands?

Escaping from the zoo at carrer llibertad

Escaping from the zoo at carrer llibertad

A visit to Gràcia’s newly constructed airport…

At the airport

At the airport – carrer joan blanques de baix de tot

… then to the musem for a culture hit with the Screeeam and Son of Man by Magritte – the apples were too high to obscure my face.

Modern art at plaça de rovira i trias

Modern art at plaça de rovira i trias, and a local checks out his festival guide

Prizes!

Neighbours spend almost all year planning and making stuff for this festival.  There are prizes for the best-decorated streets or squares and the public can vote online for their favourites.  I’ll post more photos next week and let you know who the winners are!  Which ones do you think are going to win?  And which is your favourite?

Scary moment

Just a quick note to self though:  don’t pop out in the afternoon looking a mess with a big rubbish bag in each hand, to find myself faced with a sea of people all coming towards me.  Scary.  For us all.

Louise Bourgeois' spider Maman

Louise Bourgeois’ spider Maman

Yes, scarier than the spider. 🙂

And on that note I’ll bid you a fond farewell sweet reader!  Hoping you’ve enjoyed the continuing festival and virtual edible goodies.  Wishing you a wonderful week ahead looking round with wonder in your eyes and a happy stomach! 🙂 x

 

 

 

 

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Making cakes with my French mother on Sundays was an important part of my childhood. As an adult I then experimented with baking books and internet recipes and did a great patisserie course in Le Cordon Bleu Paris. I'm still trying out new recipes and creating some of my own cakes with influences from all around the world, adding some healthy ones to the repertoire. Yes, I love cakes!!! :)

7 thoughts on “Week (27) of cakes and more Gràcia festival wonders …”

  1. Pingback: Week (28) of cakes and the Gràcia festival winners | lili's cakes

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