Mexico’s Doughnuts: Churros



When you think of Mexican desserts, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? In my case it’s Churros, sometimes referred to a Spanish donut. Churros are traditional Spanish desserts developed centuries ago by Spanish shepherds. Up high in the mountains, fresh baked goods were impossible to come by, so the indigenous nomadic folk of the hills came up with a delicious cake-like, cylindrical, daily staple which they could easily cook in a pan over an open fire. This was the birth of Churros.

You can have Churros for breakfast, lunch and of course after dinner. That is why I asked Vanessa Johnson, Capella Pedregal’s Pastry Chef, to share with us her secrets for a perfect Churro so we can all try it at home!



1 cup water

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 eggs, beaten

Vegetable oil, for frying

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

Chocolate for dunking:

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 cups milk

4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup sugar


To make the churro dough: Combine 1 cup of water with the butter or margarine and the salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour. Reduce the heat to low and stir vigorously until the mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute. Remove the dough from the heat and, while stirring constantly, gradually beat the eggs into the dough.

To make the chocolate for dunking: In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 cup of milk and reserve. Combine the chocolate with the remaining cup of milk in a saucepan. Stirring constantly, melt the chocolate over medium-low heat. Whisk the sugar and the dissolved cornstarch into the melted chocolate mixture. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, until the chocolate is thickened, about 5 minutes. (Add extra cornstarch if it doesn’t start to thicken after 5 minutes.) Remove the pan from the heat and whisk until smooth then reserve in a warm place.

Heat about 2 inches of oil in a heavy, high-sided pot over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 360 degrees F. Mix the sugar with the cinnamon on a plate and reserve.

Meanwhile, spoon the churro dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip. Squeeze a 4- inch strip of dough into the hot oil. Repeat, frying 3 or 4 strips at a time. Fry the churros, turning them once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked churros to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

When the churros are just cool enough to handle, roll them in the cinnamon-sugar (in Spain churros are simply rolled in sugar.)

Pour the chocolate into individual bowls or cups. Serve the warm churros with the chocolate dip.


You can always enjoy them at Don Manuel’s restaurant, El Farallón or in the privacy of your suite. Buen Provecho!

Churros Mexicanos




Cuando piensas en postres mexicanos, que es lo primero que se te viene a la mente? En mi caso son los Churros! Los Churros son postre tradicional Español creado hace siglos por pastores españoles. En lo alto de las montañas, productos recién horneados eran imposibles de conseguir, por lo que a la gente nómada indígena de las colinas se les ocurrió pastelillo, cilíndrico, que podían fácilmente cocinar en una sartén a fuego abierto. Este fue el nacimiento de los churros.

Puedes comer Churros en el desayuno, almuerzo y por supuesto después de cenar. Es por eso que le pedí la Chef Pastelera de Capella Pedregal, Vanessa Johnson, que nos comparta sus secretos para un Churro perfecto y así todos lo podamos hacer en casa!



1   taza de agua
1/2 taza de mantequilla o margarina
1/4 cucharadita de sal
1    taza de harina para todo uso
3    huevos batidos
Aceite vegetal, para freír
1/4 taza de azúcar
1/4cucharaditade canela molida, opcional

Salsa de chocolate:

1    cucharada de maicena

2    tazas de leche

4    ozde chocolate negro, picado

1/4 tazade azúcar

Para preparar la masa del churro: Combina 1 taza de agua con mantequilla o la margarina y sal en una cacerola y deja hervir a fuego alto. Usando una cuchara de madera, agrega la harina. Reduce a fuego lento y agita vigorosamente hasta que la mezcla forme una bola, aproximadamente 1 minuto. Retira la masa del fuego y, sin dejar de remover, agrega y bate los huevos poco a poco en la masa.


Para preparar la salsa de chocolate: En un tazón pequeño, disuelve la maicena en 1 taza de leche y deja reposar. En una cacerola, combina el chocolate con la taza restante de la leche. Revolviendo constantemente, derrite el chocolate a fuego medio-bajo. Batir azúcar y maicena disuelta en la mezcla de chocolate derretido. Reduce fuego a bajo y cocina, revolviendo constantemente, hasta que se espese el chocolate, unos 5 minutos. (Añade la maicena adicional si no empieza a espesar después de 5 minutos.) Retire la cacerola del fuego y bate hasta que quede suave y luego déjalo reposar en un lugar cálido.

Calienta aproximadamente 2 pulgadas de aceite en una olla fuerte, de bordes altos a fuego medio-alto hasta que el aceite llegue a 360 grados °F. Mezcla azúcar con la canela en un plato y revuelve.

Mientras tanto, introduce la masa del churro en una manga pastelera con una boquilla grande. Apriete una tira de 4 pulgadas de masa en el aceite caliente. Repetir, freír 3 o 4 tiras a la vez. Fríe los churros, rotándolos una vez, hasta que estén dorados, unos 2 minutos por cada lado. Transfiere los churros cocidos a un plato cubierto con toallas de papel para drenar. Cuando churros estén lo suficientemente fríos como para manipularlos, rodar en azúcar y canela (en España los churros son simplemente laminados en azúcar.)

Vierte el chocolate en tazones o tazas individuales. Sirve churros calientes con la salsa de chocolate.

Siempre puedes disfrutar los Churros de Vanessa en el restaurante Don Manuel’s , El Farallón o en la privacidad de tu suite. ¡Buen Provecho!


The Perfect Profiteroles Recipe

IMAG1140 2

I have a confession to make.  I have a sweet tooth and easily succumb to delicious treats made with milk, butter and most importantly sugar.  Given that, you can only imagine my sheer delight when Capella Singapore’s Pastry Chef Sam called me into his kitchen to share the new profiteroles recipe he is working on for The Knolls.

I was very grateful that Chef Sam took time out of his busy schedule to teach me.  According to Chef Sam, “I always believe to teach is to learn twice. By teaching I get to learn a second time, and also it gives me insights on ideas other people may have, which could eventually become part of my next idea for a new creation.”

Chef Sam’s profiteroles were indeed heavenly and they were surprisingly easy to make.  They were light with a slight bite and with a rich golden brown colour.  The profiteroles were sweet at first bite, but with a mild salty aftertaste perfectly complementing the chocolate sauce we made.


Serves six

50g Milk
50g Water
¼tsp Salt
1Tbsp Sugar
50g Butter
60g All Purpose Flour
2.5g Baking Powder
2 Eggs

1. Mix the milk, water, salt, sugar and butter into a saucepan.  Bring to boil allowing the butter to melt.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
3. Remove from heat and pour the flour into the boiling liquid and cook until a smooth dough forms and it pulls away easily from the sides of the pot.
4. Put the hot dough into a mixing bowl. Continue mixing while adding in 1 of the eggs to cool it down immediately.
5. Add in the second egg and continue mixing until the dough forms a smooth shiny consistency.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
7. Pour the mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto a tray lined with baking paper.
8. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until dark golden in colour.
9. Remove from oven and once cooled on a baking rake, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two days.
10. Once chilled, poke a hole into each profiterole and pipe in ice-cream and serve with chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Sauce
Makes 1 ½ cups sauce

½C Water
⅓C Sugar
2Tbsp Corn Syrup
¼C Cocoa Powder
100g Dark Chocolate Chips

1. Bring water, sugar, corn syrup and cocoa powder to a boil in a small saucepan.
2. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in dark chocolate pieces.
3. Stir until smooth.
4. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.
5. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
6. Pour generously over profiteroles.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!!

English Christmas Fruit Cake

Christmas Fruit Cake

Christmas is only a month away!  Can you believe how quickly the year went by?  And now the shopping, decorating and planning for the holidays has begun.  By the way – and I think I’ve said this before – I absolutely love this time of the year!  One major reason is my passion for baking Christmas treats.

Usually, I start mid-November with the first round of cookies and cakes to get into the seasonal mood.  It is just great to have your loved ones around you on a wintery afternoon with a warm cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate in your hands.

The ideas for my baking adventures reflect a collection of different sources: newspapers, magazines, family recipe books… it’s an endless list!  But of course, I also retrieve my inspirations from our very own Chefs here at Breidenbacher Hof.  And this Christmas season I discovered a cake which I HAD to share with you, because it is so simple, so classic and absolutely delicious.

It is an English Christmas Fruit Cake recipe of our Pastry Chef Marc Witzsche and is perfect for the holidays.

English Christmas Fruit Cake:


250g Raisins
250 Currants
140g Candied lemon peel
110g Dried cranberries
125g Dried apricots
110g Dried cherries
250g Butter
200g Sugar
2 Tbsp Honey
4 Eggs
250g Flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp gingerbread spice mix
60ml rum

–  Soak the fruits in rum. Place the butter, sugar and honey in a bowl and whip them until a foamy texture is achieved.
–  Beat in the eggs one by one.  Then blend in the fruits carefully.
–  Add the remaining ingredients and stir until the dough is smooth.
–  Place it in a greased baking dish and bake it for about 45 minutes at 180°C.


I hope you enjoy it!

Englischer Weihnachtskuchen

Christmas Fruit Cake

In einem Monat ist Weihnachten!  Das Jahr ist so schnell vorbeigegangen, oder? Und jetzt geht es ans Einkaufen, Dekorieren und die Planung für die Feiertage. Im Übrigen – und ich glaube, ich habe dies schon mehrfach gesagt – ist es meine liebste Jahreszeit! Einer der Hauptgründe ist meine Leidenschaft fürs Backen.

Meistens beginne ich Mitte November mit der ersten Runde Plätzchen und Kuchen, um mich in eine weihnachtliche Stimmung zu versetzen. Es ist einfach das Schönste, an einem winterlichen Nachmittag seine Liebsten auf eine Tasse Tee, Kaffee oder Kakao einzuladen.

Die Ideen für meine Backabenteuer beziehe ich von verschiedenen Quellen: Zeitungen, Magazine, Rezeptbücher der Familie…es ist eine endlose Liste! Aber natürlich lasse ich mich auch von unseren Köchen im Breidenbacher Hof inspirieren. Und dieses Jahr habe ich ein weihnachtliches Rezept entdeckt, dass ich einfach mit Euch teilen MUSSTE, weil es so simple, klassisch und absolut köstlich ist.

Es ist das Rezept für einen englischen Weihnachtskuchen unseres Chef Patissiers Marc Witzsche und perfekt für die Feiertage.

Englischer Weihnachtskuchen:

250g Rosinen
250 Korinthen
140g Zitronat
110g getrocknete Cranberries
125g getrocknete  Aprikosen
110g getrocknete Kirschen
250g Butter
200g Zucker
2El Honig
4 Eier
250g Mehl
1El Backpulver
1Tl Lebkuchengewürz
60ml rum

– Die Früchte in Rum einweichen. Butter, Zucker  und  Honig in eine Schüssel geben und schaumig rühren.
– Anschließen die Eier nach und nach hinzugeben, dann die Früchte vorsichtig unterarbeiten.
– Zum Schluss alle weiteren Zutaten untermengen bis ein gleichmäßiger Teig entsteht.
– Diesen in eine gefettete und mehlierte Form geben und circa 45 Minuten bei 180 °C backen.

Ich hoffe, der Kuchen schmeckt Euch!

Rhubarb Tart with Breidenbacher Hof’s Pastry Chef

IMG_9767 - klein (1)

Summer time is rhubarb time.  For our Pastry Chef Marc Witzsche this means creating many tasty treats featuring this delicious plant.  My favorite is the Rhubarb Tart and lucky for me, Chef Marc invited me to visit him in the kitchen in order to bake it together.

And of course I am sharing the recipe with you:

Rhubarb Tart

1 egg
100 grams butter
120 grams powder sugar
200 grams flour

Blend all ingredients thoroughly until you have created firm dough, wrap it up in cling film and leave it in the fridge for about 2 hours.  Then take it out of the fridge and roll it out so that in the end you have reached a thickness of about 5 millimeters.  Grease a tart or pie pan and place the dough into it so that the dough reaches up to the edges.  Press the pastry lightly into the baking dish.  Fill the dish with dried beans and bake the dough for 15-20 minutes at 190⁰C until it is golden.  Allow it to cool take out the beans.

Rhubarb filling:
400 grams rhubarb
200 grams sugar
30 grams butter
1 vanilla bean
7 gelatin plates

Peel the rhubarb and then dice.  Slice open the vanilla beans along the length.  Then blend all ingredients in a pot except for the gelatin.  Cook everything slightly until the rhubarb reaches a soft texture.  Take out the vanilla bean.  Place the gelatin into cold water and leave it there for a couple of minutes until it is soft.  Then blend it into the cooked rhubarb.

Tip: if you insert a couple of raspberries while cooking the rhubarb, the filling gets an even brighter color.

In order to prevent the dough from becoming soggy, cover the inside with liquid white chocolate.  Fill in the rhubarb and place the tart into the fridge for another two hours.

100 grams egg white
100 grams sugar
A sprinkle of lemon juice

Mix up the egg white and add the sugar in small amounts.  Once the mixture is stiff add the lemon juice. Using a piping bag, cover the entire tart with the mixture.  Then using a kitchen torch, slightly flambé the meringue.

Et voila!  I hope you have a much fun making this delicious Rhubarb Tart as I did!  (And trust me, you will enjoy eating it even more!)