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Panellets 2022

As mentioned in the Introduction to Panellets, there are many, maaaany types of Panellets out there. Their range might be based on local traditions, family favourites, or even new fashions.
But @JoVullRepetir always brings the #TasteOfHome to you by narrowing it down to the basics.

Our approach and strategy:
We studied what were the traditional and the bestselling options: the flavours or types that cannot be missing, or else it’s not Tots Sants.
We asked our dear Repetidors to help us with this task on social media.
First, they voted for their favourite Panellets. We narrowed it down to 5, then 4 types.
Then, we discussed their shapes and presentation.

It is worth noting that Catalunya is not a huge country but a small nation. But does that mean there is such a thing as homogeneity when it comes to food? Certainly not!
There are regional and even local differences.
Food is important: we have opinions, and we are not shy about them!
So once again, @JoVullRepetir’s goal is to cover the main bases and make the most of you happy. So while there’s a small chance that your favourite might not be featured this time, most of you will be satisfied.

PANELLETS 2022
Here are the results of our research.
Panellets 2022 is an assortment containing the Top 4 Panellets.
One row of 4 units of each type.
Except for Pinyons: There must always be a double amount of Pinyons! That’s 8.
20 Panellets in total.

PINE NUTS: PANELLETS DE PINYONS
The favourites. No discussion about it.
Google images: panellet: there he is! The undefeated winner.
The filling is marzipan based, shaped like a ball and covered with pine nuts. Lots of them.

ALMOND: PANELLETS D’AMETLLA
The filling is again the basic marzipan mix, just like with pine nuts.
They are shaped like a Croqueta and coated in chopped almonds.
(And we are big fans of Croquetes!)

COCONUT: PANELLETS DE COCO
The filling is made of marzipan mixed with desiccated coconut.
Their shape resembles a volcano and it’s sprinkled with some coconut shavings.
The tip is painted with egg yolk, so it turns into an iconic toasty colour.

CHOCOLATE: PANELLETS DE XOCOLATA
The filling is made of marzipan mixed with cocoa powder.
They are shaped like a flattened ball or a chunky disc. They are dusted with icing sugar before cooking and later decorated with some melted chocolate stripes.

Now that’s a yummy close-up!

As always, there will be more descriptions and details on Instagram.
There, you can find more information about our creations and how they came to be.
You can also contribute in the comments. We love to hear your opinions and your foodie memories.
(Not on socials? You can always email us!)
Please join the conversation 🙂

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Introduction to Panellets

Let’s talk about PANELLETS!

Panellets are small sweets made mainly of marzipan. They can have different shapes and contain different ingredients, or toppings. Some types of Panellets are considered “traditional”, but nowadays there are dozens of them.

Panellets are eaten on the day of Tots Sants (All Saints’/Hallows’ Day), so their origins are linked to religious traditions.
But as it often happens with sweets and yummy dishes, we now see it as a seasonal treat and an excuse for a gathering – no ceremonies needed. So although the “official” day is the 1st of November, Panellets can be both made and eaten days before.

Panellets can be bought in patisseries or can be made at home.
Every household follows a different recipe, but the main ingredients of ground almonds and sugar are always the base.
Some add mashed potato into the mix, as it gives it a softer, moist texture. Some use sweet potatoes instead. A touch of lemon zest can lighten it up. And some use eggs, or egg white as well.
The list can go on, and every family will swear their recipe is the best!

Example of a big, fancy patisserie assortment of Panellets

Some Catalan Expats have missed Panellets for years.
If they had a family tradition to prepare them at home, they might have continued it in the UK.
Some others get sent a care package from their parents or grandparents, as Panellets can travel quite well when properly wrapped.

But we are here to provide for the Catalan Expats (and sympathisers!) in London who fancy a #TasteOfHome and an easy, convenient way to carry on the tradition.
This is how we started: with the main dishes for a Catalan Christmas. And we then applied it to Tortell de Reis and Coca de Sant Joan.
So it’s about time we recreate a Tots Sants in London with a variety of Panellets.

If you would like to know more about the assortment we have come up with, click here.

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Cooking Instructions for Coca de Sant Joan

This Coca must be served fresh, as it dries very quickly.
This is why you will be completing the process in your own kitchen, hours before you plan to serve it.

WHAT WILL BE DELIVERED:

Your Coca will have been half-baked in its own foil tray and kept frozen and sealed.
Once delivered, you must keep it in your freezer until needed.

Make sure it isn’t squashed!

You will also get a small bottle containing around 10ml of Anís.
This must be kept in a cupboard, away from children.

Sealed and Frozen until needed.

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

Your Coca must be fully thawed before being baked.
Take it out of the freezer and keep it in the fridge overnight or several hours before baking it.

Preheat your oven to 180C. Make sure the temperature is right.
Carefully remove the plastic cover.

Place your coca in the centre of your oven, on top of a rack.
Bake it for at least 7 minutes with the help of a timer.

From this moment, keep an eye on it.
It should be almost ready, but it might need up to 5 more minutes as every oven is different.

Look for a bit of colour in the areas with no crema, particularly the edges.
Use the photos as a guide.

Just a bit of golden colour. Not too much!

AFTER BAKING:

Once you are happy with the looks of it, take it out of the oven.

Handle it with care, as the foil tray is flimsy and must be kept flat.
Place it in a safe area, preferably a cooling rack where it’ll cool down quicker.

Quick! This is the moment when you must drizzle it with the Anís!
Use your thumb as a stopper so it lightly spashes all over the Coca.

When the Anís comes into contact with the hot surface, it will make a quiet sizzling sound: that’s when it mostly evaporates, leaving its perfume behind and creating sugar crystals.

It is not a quantity that you should worry about, specially as it mostly evaporates. But if you are concerned about using alcohol you can always skip this step.

After this, leave it to cool down completely.

Just a touch of anís.

KEEP/SERVE COLD:

Once the Coca has cooled down, it must be kept in the fridge until serving time.
It’s not just a food safety issue (Crema contains eggs), it also tastes better when it’s cold!

Make sure to follow all the instructions, photos and videos posted here and on social media, and your first bite will put you in a Revetlla State of Mind!

And please, share your photos and tag us so we can see them!

Bona Revetlla!

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Cooking Instructions for Croquetes

TIPS:
Croquetes are to be cooked from frozen.
You can fry them in your oil of choice.
I suggest sunflower oil, as you might not be able to reuse it.
If you prefer olive oil, make sure to go for something light, not extra virgin.
Fry safely! Use a splatter screen and/or keep a safe distance.

COOKING:
Heat the oil in a small pan or small pot. More deep than wide.
Bring it to 170-180C.
Not sure of the temperature? Dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil: if it bubbles, it’s ready to fry.
It’s better to fry only 5-6 croquetes at a time, so the temperature of the oil won’t drop too much.

Remember the filling is already cooked, but you wouldn’t want the inside to be cold.

You need enough oil depth to cover at least half a croqueta.
Once the first side has a dark golden colour, you can turn them around carefully to cook the other side.
But I strongly recommend using enough oil to cover the whole croqueta, as they will be less likely to crack.
Even if fully submerged, still turn them around carefully. This is because the bottom of the pan is even hotter, and you don’t want a burnt side.

NOTE about Croquetes Menorca: due to the nature of their shape, they don’t just sit at the bottom of the pan and can be more susceptible to crack.
Make sure to move them around carefully so the coating cooks evenly and there are no weak spots for the filling to escape. They would still taste nice! But it would be a shame.

Place them in a paper towel lined plate so any excess of oil will be absorbed.
But don’t leave them sitting in it for too long, as they’d go soggy! Move them into the serving plate, instead.

PRO TIP:
If you’re preparing lots of food and have too much going on in the kitchen, or you simply have guests coming and don’t want any smell, there’s a way to do this a couple of hours ahead:
You fry them as usual and keep aside. Then just place them in a warm oven for a few minutes right before serving.
Make sure your tray is oven-safe and the oven is only warm, 130-150C max! Covering them in tin foil when they go in the oven might help, too.
This might come in handy, but only if you feel confident enough to make it work. Try it at your own risk!

Are you happy and proud of your #Croquetes? Please share your photos! #JoVullRepetir

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Heating Instructions for Xamfaina

THE DAY BEFORE:
Move the Xamfaina from the freezer to the fridge AT LEAST 24 hours before you plan to have it.
This way, it’ll thaw safely.

HEATING BEFORE SERVING:
All ingredients are fully cooked, but Xamfaina must be thoroughly defrosted in order to heat up evenly.

Microwave:
Place contents into a microwavable container of your choice. (Metals cannot go into the microwave!)
Single portions are always easier to heat.
Make sure it’s piping hot throughout by cheching the centre of the thickest piece of chicken.
Serve immediately.

Oven:
Pre-heat the oven between 100 and 150C.
Remove the plastic and the lid.
Cover tray with tin foil.
Once the oven is ready, place it into the centre rack and heat until it’s piping hot throughout.
Handle tray with care as it’s thin. Use oven mittens.
Serve immediately.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
Some white rice will play well with it.
But our favourite combination is with a side of roasted (or fried) potatoes, as seen in the picture above.
Also, this nice sauce deserves some good bread to wipe the plate clean!

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Canelons de PAGÈS

This is a combination I fell in love with and have kept coming back to. It worked great with pasta, so I decided to turn it into Canelons.

Butternut Squash is the main ingredient and what defines the texture. It is first roasted and then it welcomes every other ingredient into the party. It’s smooth and borderline sweet.

Pancetta brings the perfect contrast. Small cubes of cured pork belly, cooked until crispy. Its savoury flavour stands up against the earthy sweetness of the pumpkin. It gives you a little touch of chewy, meaty saltiness and …well, makes everything better!

Then, the allium family top trio of leek, onion and garlic, cooked in the goodness left from the Cansalada and bringing that touch of sofregit.
A bunch of spinach leaves will gently keep all the pieces together.
And a hint of thyme will add a timid, herby hint to both the filling and the Béchamel.
Bonus Catalan touch: a glug of Vi Ranci. Or two!

What does “de Pagès” mean?
It’s what you’d find in the countryside. The simple, authentic, honest good stuff. The most humble vegetables and herbs, like the ones used in this recipe.
So I named these canelons after that idealised, almost pastoral image of a Casa de Pagès: with those dark and big kitchens and stone walls. And maybe hanging in a dry corner there’s some pork belly going through the curing process that elevates it to the Catalan favourite that is Cansalada de Pebre, which inspired this whole thing.

*melancholic sigh* I can totally see this vision. I can almost smell it. And hey, you can now taste it!

Serving suggestions:
Nuts are a perfect extra garnish for this recipe!
I have tried it with walnuts and almonds. But my favourite combination is with PINE NUTS!
Pine nuts can easily burn, specially considering Canelons will be unfer the broiler. This would be a pity! So my tip is try soaking them in water and adding them at the very last minute. This will slow their toasting time.
Alternatively, just toast them in a dry pan and scatter them on top of the Canelons when serving.
If you wish to serve a Salad on the side, I suggest a mix of tender baby leaves and any of the nuts mentioned here.

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Canelons de BOLETS

This is a new dish inspired by my very own Croquetes de Bolets recipe.
Many of you, even self-confessed meat lovers, gave me such great feedback! So the conversation took us to main course territory and we agreed it was worth a try.
They are not exactly the same, but if you loved one, you will certainly like the other!

Just as I did with my croquetes, I wanted the mushrooms to be not only the main ingredient but the undisputable star of the show. I wanted all their taste and aroma in every layer.

There’s a mix of 3 types of mushrooms, each bringing something special: Closed Cup, Chestnut and Shiitake. All combined, they offer both depth of flavour and a great texture.
This filling is chunky and almost meaty.
Throw in some usual suspects such as onion, garlic and white wine and add a creamy sauce, and you have a winner!

You know my Beixamel is never “a plain white sauce on top”. It is designed to echo the canelons. So by infusing it with mixed dried mushrooms we get a sauce that is not overpowering, but never bland. The perfect match.

You don’t need to add anything extra. The usual cheesy crust is included. But there is always a chance to customise it (as long as you don’t eclipse it with something too potent!).
A great idea would be some sort of garnish with parsley, as many associate mushrooms with it. A bit of green freshness never hurt nobody.
Or if you like a salad on the side, I suggest some deep green leaves, such as rocket.

The sauce is infused with this mix of dried mushrooms.
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Cooking Instructions for Canelons

THE DAY BEFORE:
Move the canelons from the freezer to the fridge AT LEAST 24 hours before you plan to have it.
This way, it’ll thaw safely.

HEATING AND COOKING:
Pre-heat the oven to 180-200C.
Remove the plastic and the lid.
Some cheese and butter shavings might be stuck into the lid. Don’t waste it!
Once the oven is ready, place it into the centre rack and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

Hot, but pale. Now go for GRATINAT!


By then, everything is hot and ready, but there won’t be much of a crust. We want them gratinats!
In order to get some golden colour and a nice crust on top, place it under the broiler for a few minutes.
It will happen very quick! Do not leave it unattended!
Once you are satisfied with the colour, they are ready to be served.

That’s the right colour!


Now just try to be patient enough not to burn your tongue.

Are you happy and proud of your #Canelons? Please share your photos! #JoVullRepetir

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Recommendations for Farcit de Nata

Get Yourself either Double Cream or Whipping Cream (Single Cream won’t work).
Make sure you keep it very cold until it’s time to whip it for best results.
Pro Tip: Cold is your friend. Try placing your bowl and your whisk ends in the freezer for extra help.

Flavour:
The best way to sweeten your Nata is with Icing/powdered sugar, as it mixes evenly and won’t leave a crunchy texture.
You can also add a little Vanilla to it. A drop. You don’t need a lot.
Pro Tip: The easiest way to avoid a mess is placing the sugar in the bowl first, so the cream will cover it and there won’t be a sugar cloud explosion.

Texture:
I suggest firm peaks. If not whipped enough, it won’t hold the weight of half the Tortell on top and might collapse.
Keep your eye on it. If you overwhip it, it will curdle and resemble sweet butter! It would still taste good, but it wouldn’t have the volume and would feel heavy.
Remember: we are going for lightness, volume and firmness.

King/Queen for the day!!!

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Instructions for Tortell de Reis

You will be provided with the Fava (the bean), Rei (King figurine) and Corona (paper crown).
Keep your Tortell packed and frozen until needed.
Do not place anything on top of it, as it’s fragile and toppings can easily broke apart.

To defrost it:
Take it out of the freezer but do not open it, so it won’t go dry.
Either leave it in the fridge overnight, or leave on the counter first thing in the morning.
Unwrap it carefully by cutting open all sides of the bag instead of pulling it out from one side. This is to be as gentle as possible with the toppings.

If you are having it plain or already filled with marzipan, you only need to cut two holes in the bottom and hide the Fava&Rei in them.
Then, place the Tortell in your prettiest serving platter or cake dish.

IF YOU LIKE IT WITH NATA:
Whip your cream however you like it. I recommend firm peaks. I wrote some recommendations here.
Carefully slice Tortell horizontally and clean any crumbs.
Do it on a clean surface you can wipe afterwards.
If you have a Piping bag, distributing the cream will be much easier.
If you do it with a spoon or spatula, place a big blob in the centre and then spread it towards the edges. Remember you don’t need to overfill it to the very edge, as the weight of the top layer will do that.
Now is the moment to hide the Fava&Rei in the filling!
Place the top layer carefully back on top. Give it a little wiggle so it sits on top of the cream evenly and it gently spreads the filling towards the edges.
If a little mess has happened, do not panic. It’s just cream! Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to correct it.
Once you are happy with it, you can carefully place it in your prettiest serving platter or cake dish.

If you like it with Crema/Custard:
Follow the instructions for Nata taking into account that the texture will not be as light and the mess could be bigger, so you shouldn’t overfill it.

Always lift the top with the help of big, flat tools to keep it flat so it won’t break. (Please note this is an old photo!)

Tortell de Reis is traditionally served with Cava or your favourite festive drink of choice.

As tradition dictates, whoever finds the Rei will be crowned for the day!
Whoever finds the Fava will have to pay for next year’s Tortell!
(And one doesn’t cancel the other!)

Don’t forget to take pictures! And please, tag @jovullrepetir