Panellets are traditionally served here in Tarragona on the 31st of October for the Castanyada , and you can either buy them from a fine patisserie or you make your own and here is how!
To make paste for 100 panellets you will need:
- 1 Kg of Almond flower
- 300 grams of mash potato (cooked, peeled, mashed)
- about t
- 700 grams of sugar (or less as more sugar will overpower the taste of the added flavourings)
- Willpower to see the whole process through without licking your finger
- A glass or two of Moscatell wine (which is traditionally matched to panatells
- Extra flavours: local kitchen guru, Rosa Hortorneda choose chocolate, pine nuts, coffee, coconut, chartreuse, and the traditional codonyat (quince extract also known as Membrillo among the less Catalan) but when it comes to panellets anything goes!
You start off by mashing the still warm potato to a fine paste. To this you add the sugar, bit by bit, until it’s amalgamated and in to a glossy finish. Next add Almond flower which you slowly work in to the paste (use your hands when it gets too heavy to stir with a fork).
Once all the ingredients have been worked in to a solid bit of paste, cover the dish with cling film and put this in the fridge to rest for at least, 12 hours!
After the Panellets paste had it’s deserved rest get it out of the fridge and get ready to get creative! Rosa got out an array of additional ingredients, ready to be amalgamated to the paste.
Take a chunk and to this add some grated chocolate (or chocolate powder) which you amalgamate to the mix with some energetic kneeding. Then pinch a portion out of the doe and roll it in to a ball and soon after your first chocolate panellet is almost ready. Stick on to a baking dish lined with grease proof paper and repeat the motions until the paste is used up.
You should end up with something looking like this.
In a small bowl beat an egg yolk and egg white and use this to glaze the panellets before putting them in the oven, full temperature, for about 10-12 minutes (or until they brown over).
Repeat the exercise with different ingredients and with different shapes. For Chartreuse Panellets (my absolute favourite!) get a helping of the doe, roll in to a ball and make it hollow in the middle, poor in some Chartreuse and then kneed the lot together.
When doing the classic pine nuts version, first kneed in the pine nuts in to the mix and then roll the balls in additional pine nuts coated in egg. Stick on a tray and put in the oven.
Once golden, take out and let cool. You might as well open that bottle of Moscatell while you are at it. Pour a little in a glass and enjoy with your first, still warm, panellet.
Put the rest on a tray to cool ready for the big day to share with your loved ones!