I’m sure you remember thosehappy times during Christmas, where we spent the afternoon with our relatives at grandma’s house cutting out thin paper to make rectangles. What were they for? To sweeten our breakfasts with the delicious almond marquesas.
Undoubtedly, one of the most famous traditional sweets at Christmas time. It is halfway between a muffin and sobaos, with a soft texture and a rich almond flavour. Do you want to remember such pleasant moments with your family?
Keep reading our post to find out all about marquesas and a fantastic recipe.
Origin of marquesas
The origin of this Christmas sweet is relatively recent, specifically in the 20th century, in the municipality of Sonseca in Toledo. Legend has it that they were popularised by the confectioner Hipólito Juanes de la Cruz in 1924, so they are relatively recent sweets.
La Positiva is the traditional confectionery of Sonseca, which has had a patented intellectual property registration since 1924. Today, they continue to create these tasty marquesas in a traditional way.
The original marquesas are small and square, in capsules similar to those of the original mantecadas, although with the passage of time they have slightly increased in size.
It is a sweet that is related to the tartas de Santiago, as they have practically the same proportion of ingredients, although logically with a different size.
Almond marquesas are sponge cakes eaten mainly at Christmas time, with a soft texture and a rich, melt-in-the-mouth almond flavour. They offer a distinctive twist on traditional cupcakes or any other sponge cake and are one of the best ways to entertain your guests. Almond marquesas are sponge cakes eaten mainly at Christmas time, with a soft texture and a rich, melt-in-the-mouth almond flavour.
Recipe for almond marquesas
Ingredients for 30 marquesas:
- 120 g sugar
- 120 g icing sugar (and a little more for sprinkling)
- Grate a lemon
- 250 g ground almonds
- 40 g pastry flour
- 40 g cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 eggs at room temperature
If you want the best possible result, it is recommended to use Spanish almonds because of the fat they provide.
Another indispensable element is the square paper capsules. If the capsules are muffin or cupcake type, they can also be used, although in this case it would be advisable to use an additional tray to prevent them from spilling out.
1. Preheat oven
First, preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare the paper baking cups. We place the capsules directly on the baking tray, as the dough is dense and the thickness of the capsules is sufficient to prevent the dough from spilling out.
2. Prepare the dough for the almond marquesas
Use a large bowl or container to mix the ground almonds, icing sugar and lemon zest. Then add the eggs one by one, making sure that each egg is fully integrated before adding the next.
Then add the rest of the sugar to the mixture and beat until well blended.
Sieve the flour, cornflour and baking powder and gradually add these dry ingredients to the previous mixture. Now it’s time to mix the ingredients well (either by hand or by machine) until we have a homogeneous and very dense dough.
3. Filling the paper capsules
With a piping bag or a spoon, carefully fill each paper baking dish up to 2/3 of its capacity (don’t worry, this dough doesn’t rise too much).
4. Baking the almond marquesas
Now we have to bake the marquesas with heat up and down (preferably without fan) for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. While they are still warm, sprinkle a thin layer of icing sugar over the surface of the marquesas using a sieve.
Finally, transfer them to a wire rack to cool. They are finished!
Remember to store any leftovers (although this probably won’t happen) in an airtight container, as they only last a short time when fresh and fluffy.