Fogassa d’Ontinyent

A fogassa just out of the oven - a round bun with almonds and walnuts on top and sugar on top

This is an enriched sweet bun which also happens to be one of my absolutely favourite Valencian sweets. It has everything you could wish on an autumn bun: softness and fluffiness, aromas, caramelised nuts, juicy raisins… EVERYTHING!

It is my hometown’s local take on the slightly more widely known “Fogassa de Tots Sants” i.e. All Saints’ Fogassa, which was eaten on that day before going to the graveyard to pay respect to the dead. Nowadays you can buy it during the whole month, and you might even convince a local baker to make you one out of season (por encargo).

What I have also found is that by virtue of being so extremely local, the recipe isn’t readily available online or in books, and it has taken me about six iterations to come up with a recipe that tastes how I remember it tasted. In fact, the pictures for this will show you how I ended making four fogasses last week-end, trying two flours and two yeast amounts. I am that scientifically committed to the quest for the perfect fogassa!

And I am also finally pleased with the results and happy to share! 😎

A fogassa sliced open, so we can see the soft fluffy crumb with the ocassional raisin and aniseed. There are almonds and sugar on top
Nice fluffy crumb
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Spooky things to bake around Halloween

Skull and crossbones streamer made out of newspaper

I love skeletons and skulls and spooky things in general (think Scooby Doo and Victorian horror novels level of scariness), so I always get very excited about the idea of baking things in that theme.

The more I learn about this, the more I realise there are a lot of traditional goods that were also baked in commemoration of the loved (but dead) people. All of these things look very interesting to me but I have no time to tackle all of them at the same time.

So I decided to make a list! Maybe it gives you ideas. Show me your pictures!

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2 estaciones

Shrimp, alficòs (Armenian cucumber), sage

We went to this restaurant last year, and we liked it so much and had such a good time, that when we were planning where to go in our next visit to Valencia, this was top of our list!

Things hadn’t changed much since the last time—if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, as we frequently say in software engineering circles… before changing our mind and rewriting the whole #$%^*&$ thing 😂.

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La Salita

Detail of a pretty, seaweed like amuse bouche at La Salita

Sometimes you go to places with lots of expectations, and get disappointed. Other times you go with no expectations, and you get pleasantly surprised.

In this case, I tried going with an open mind because this restaurant seemed to have good reviews, but they had also relocated to this location recently. So that tends to unsettle things a bit sometimes.

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