The traditional Mona de Pasqua
The traditional Mona de Pasqua looks like a baked version of one or more kurling stones, but this is actually the original (an now hard to find) Easter cake which was adopted by Catalonia from mainland Spain. It did not even originate in Spain but was introduced by the Moors who gave it out as gift to their ruler (perhaps this is why it has a handle attached so that it could be easily carried, but I am just speculating). So here it is, the quintessential Mona made just from eggs, flour, sugar and salt, with a boiled egg, still in its shell, sunken in its centre.
There is something very humble about it, a leftover of times where life was simpler and ingredients where a precious commodity. Eaten to celebrate the end of Lent, the traditional Mona has now been superseded the fancy Mona, shaped like a conventional cake, coved in cream butter, sprinkled with sliced almonds, and decorated with painted Easter eggs, coloured feathers and candied cherries. So what does the real thing taste like? Endearingly like a dry and heavy brioche.