Alma Obregón recovers the recipes of a lifetime in her latest recipe book, Traditional Pastry

In recent years the world of confectionery seems more concerned with experimenting with flavors that come from afar than with maintaining family traditions. The bundt have proposed to replace the cake of a lifetime, the cupcakes have stolen prominence from the cupcakes. But now one of the North American pastry experts, who in recent years has been in charge of teaching us everything we have to do to surprise our guests in an original way, Alma Obregón, has set out to recover the recipes of a lifetime. And he has done so with his latest recipe book, Tradiciona Pastry, published by Planeta.

“I have always liked traditional pastries very much,” explains the confectioner who was one of the first to introduce cupcakes in our country. «But it is true that As a result of the confinement I began to look for recipes with ingredients from walking around the house, those of a lifetime, which require fewer rare ingredients and less complexity, ”explains Alma. The young expert acknowledges that “she was very excited to make a book with those recipes that I recovered in the moments when we were at home with few ingredients and many baking grains” and that her cookbook is “a tribute to all those recipes that so much we have drunk as children and sometimes they are forgotten ».

The landmarks of Traditional Pastry. / PLANET

Fried milk, anise donuts, wind fritters, Catalan cream, sobaos pasiegos or Basque cake. These are some of the fifty recipes that includes the latest compilation of one of the best-known pastry chefs in Spain. Although he admits that “it could have been 150 or 200, the list is endless.” «I am the first», she continues, «that I tend to make many recipes from abroad, but this has to be accompanied by recovering what is ours». Because for Alma, “certain desserts have been lost, perhaps because they are more of a walk around the house or that they are outdated” and she believes that “her thing is to try to bring new things while not losing the essence and traditions that we have, because we have a wealth of traditional pastries in this country that is immeasurable.

To give shape to this cookbook, which comes with detailed explanations of the steps to follow, accompanied by its corresponding photograph, Alma has resorted to what she has done “all my life, to recipes from my grandmother, my aunts, relatives, who are already part of the family legacy”. And between the family chat, in which he has been asking them to «retrieve that recipe, he told them ‘let’s see if you can find that sheet on which that recipe was written down», and others that «I have learned at Le Cordon Bleu school, that I had notes on courses that I have been doing ”, has shaped a book that combines the essence of lifelong Spanish pastries.

Alma Obregón’s oil cakes. / PLANET

As we have all experienced more than once, the secret of the recipe’s success lies more in the hand of the cook than in the recipe itself. So to transfer them to the book, Alma has carried out “research work” adjusting the grams of each ingredient, the cooking times or the oven degrees. And that is why some desserts such as “soletilla cakes or mojicones” have resisted a little more than desired and “I have repeated them about 250 times so that they come out as I wanted, changing the processes and varying the baking. In the end, they are recipes that we have all our lives but you want them to come out in a very specific way, as they were when you were little. Achieving that is not always easy, so it has been quite a challenge.

For the author, several of the recipes that are part of Traditional Pastry «evoke people. In the end, this book is about remembering those people who accompanied us when we had those desserts.». And among the fifty proposals there are two that are especially linked to his memory. «The recipe that opens this book, which is oil cakes, reminds me of my father-in-law, who died in the first wave due to Covid. When I try them I always remember him, it is the most special recipe », he admits. «And then, of course, the cream cakes, which are a recipe that for me is the recipe from my childhood. My grandmother made them, my mother has always made them and they have accompanied me in all my happiest moments ».

Yogurt cake with apple and almond crust. / PLANET

As an expert pastry chef, Alma has shared with Mujer Hoy the secrets so that desserts come out delicious and delight our guests. And encourages us to «Put a lot of affection on it, but also a lot of attention» to the directions in the book when we put on the apron. “If we follow the recipes to the letter and do it with a lot of love, they will surely turn out great.”

For those who have among their New Year’s resolutions to jump into the world of pastry, The expert recommends that you start with the traditional sponge cake, which in the book “is tuned with an almond crust”. “With this recipe,” he explains, “making it until you know it well, until you see if the oven burns the cake or not, if the recipe comes out right or not.” “The moment we have mastered a basic cake, we can jump into anything,” he says.

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