Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The desserts of Delicious Temptation: Capirotada

I'm counting down the weeks until the release of my new novel "Delicious Temptation." As part of the countdown, I'm highlighting four of the delicious desserts featured in the book by sharing a little bit about the history and tradition behind them and also 
sharing a favorite recipe. Enjoy!

In my upcoming release Delicious Temptation, my heroine Amara Robles refers to capirotada as "comfort food." And it's totally true. After all, what's more comforting than butter, sugar, bread and cheese?

Those are some of the basic ingredients of this traditional Mexican bread pudding which is usually served on special occasions.

The sweet and savory dish is perfect for the Lenten season when most Catholics abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday until Easter. The fact that it is meatless is perhaps the only thing about capirotada that the various recipes for it can agree on. That's because the ingredients can vary from family to family and can even be based on what's in the refrigerator or pantry rather than an official list.

My recipe is more traditional and follows pretty closely to the version that my abuela bakes. But the beauty of capirotada is that you can alter the recipe every time you make it. It all depends on what you're craving and what you have handy. For example, the sweet syrup that coats the dessert is usually made with piloncillo -- an unrefined Mexican sugar usually sold in the form of little "pilons" or cones. But if you don't have piloncillo on hand, regular brown sugar will do.

Capirotada is both nutty and sweet. Pecans, pralines, walnuts or almonds can be mixed with dried fruit such as raisins, pineapple, apples or even bananas. The heartiness of the dish comes from the bread -- bolillos, French bread or any sliced bread can be used. Same with the cheese -- cheddar, colby, jack, cotija, mozzarella. It doesn't matter. All that's important is that it melts and you like it.

The end result will be an ooey, gooey, buttery, sweet, delicious mess that is sure to comfort and warm you from the inside out.

Clockwise: Piloncillo, canela (cinnamon)
sticks, raisins and pecans. 


2 cups water
2 piloncillos (about 4 oz each)
2 canela (cinammon) sticks
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 stale or toasted bolillos
4 oz shredded colby jack cheese
1.5 oz chopped pecans (not crushed)
2 oz raisins

Canela sticks and piloncillo
bubbling toward sweetness

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring water, piloncillos and canela sticks to a boil in a medium saucepan, then simmer for 20 minutes or until piloncillos dissolve and mixture becomes more of a syrup.

Remove canela sticks.

Butter a glass casserole dish (8x8). Tear up pieces of bolillos and assemble one layer of bread across the dish.

Sprinkle pecans, raisins and cheese over the bread. Repeat for a second layer of bread, pecans, raisins and cheese. 

Cut up the butter and spread across top layer. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 7-10 minutes until cheese is melted and top layer of bread pieces are browned. 

Serve warm with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

A beautiful, delicious mess!


The only thing naughtier than a bad boy is a good girl...

Amara Maria Robles is a good girl. So good that she gave up her dreams of becoming a renowned pastry chef to help her parents with their struggling Mexican bakery. Yet her parents reject any changes she suggests, and refuse to sell her mouth-watering confections. Clearly being a good girl isn't paying off. So when her brother's sexy ex-best friend walks into the bakery, Amara's tempted to be very bad indeed...

After a scandal twelve years ago, resident bad boy Eric Valencia has returned to make things right with his family and friends. One glance at Amara and her wicked curves, however, and Eric finds himself thinking about how she’d feel beneath him—something he promised Amara's brother he would never think about, let alone do. 

But this bad boy is in deep trouble...because Amara's determined to have her cake, and Eric, too. 

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