Potato and Almond Soft Cookies from Vila-Real, Spain

These delicious soft cookies originated in Vila-Real, a beautiful city in Castelló, Spain, whose name could be translated to English as Royal Town . Anyway, as you can imagine they were not usually baked in a halogen oven traditionally...but the result shows it's not a bad idea to use our little glass kitchen companion.


Boiled potatoes. Use your leftover tatters for a budget recipe.
Ground almonds (roughly the same volume as potatoes)
Sugar, approximately 5 tbsp  (for the quantities in photos)
1 egg


Put your potatoes in a bowl, add almonds and sugar.

Separate the egg and use the white as a liquid to form a soft dough. But don't use the whole of it at once; you can always add it gradually if your dough is too tough.

Should you accidentaly make your dough too soft, add more ground almonds. You can also add a little flour, but not overdo this.

Pinch small pieces out of the dough with your fingers, or use a tablespoon, and coat them in additional sugar.
Work quickly, since the mixture is quite sticky. Damp your fingers if necessary to shape the cookies.

Place the small balls on a greased mold  (I use organic margarine) and make a small indentation in the center of each flattened piece with your finger.

Now use some of the egg yolk, beaten with a little sugar, to fill the small cavities. Don't use too much. You don't want it to overflow. Place the mold in the  preheated  halogen oven, on the high rack.

Use a temperature of 200ºC (approx. 390ºF) during 12-15 minutes, or until they are golden brown on the surface. Bottom will be white, but done. Here, the cookies rising during the baking process:
And the final result, still in the baking tray. Let them cool for 10 minutes and then carefully lift them with a knife. Place them on a cooling rack; enjoy them when completely cooled. They keep for 2-3 days in a tightly closed container.



I started to bake bread in my convection halogen oven some years ago, but when I discovered this method I decided not to use another one. I must proudly say I invented the method myself...And yet...maybe not in fact, because cakes and muffins were baked in silicone moulds before. But bread? Maybe I was the first.

I must add, I was inspired by the bread baked in cloché method. Such bread is baked in the oven covered with a glass or clay bell (the cloché) which creates an ideal and precise environment for  the bread to be baked with the right amound of humidity...Do you remember the trick of placing a dish with water in the oven, or briefly spraying the bread with water? Well the cloché seems to have the same effect.

But in my case,  I'm substituting a silicone mould for the bell. In order to recreate the closed environment, I use a silicone mould with a lid, in fact it is supposed to be used for steaming...But for me, it's my bread mould.Forever. Except when I use my breadmaker of course.


Your favourite bread dough (white, wholemeal, or as you like...).
A silicone mould with a lid. If you haven't one, you can fake it using to identical deep silicone moulds, one of them placed upside down over the other...just like a lid.
Your glass convection oven


It's so easy. Make your dough as usual, either by hand, a dough maker with hooks or with a breadmaker.

If you're using a breadmaker, you can take advantage of the DOUGH setting and proof the dough inside the machine. Then carefully transferring it to the mold to bake.

Place it in the silicone mold taking care not to overfill it (please see photo in the slide), place the lid of mold (mine is not a tight lid, it's a simple overlapping one) and let proof in your convection oven for approximately 1 hour, using a very low temperatura such as might even not to turn on the oven if it's hot. Remember, you can skip this step if you already proofed your dough in your breadmaker.

After an hour, you can briefly check your bread dough; if it's risen enough, replace lid and bake for approximately 35 minutes (depending on size....checking your bread  periodically won't affect the process) using the BAKE setting. (180ºC, approx. 350ºF). If after this time you see your bread is still not done, prolong the time. If you like it especially crusty on the top, bake it uncovered at the maximum temperatura for 5 minutes.

And that's all! Now watch the slide..


Luxury Amaretto Bread Pudding

This recipe is adapted from the 'Queen of Puddings' by Sarah Flower (The Everyday Halogen Oven Cookbook, buy it here). It is not just the ordinary, budget bread pudding, since it is enriched with jam and an irresistible meringue top layer.It is also enhanced with a rotund amaretto-like flavour. If you do not favour it, you can always use the vanilla extract recommended in the original recipe.
Like almost always, I made some changes. As I said, I used almond flavour instead of vanilla; I also used blueberry jam instead of raspberry...but as Sarah Flower says...any jam will do.
The original recipe uses butter; since I do not use this ingredient, I substituted organic margarine, but I would strongly recommend butter if you do not have any issues with it. Flavour will be no doubt
much better.

I also changed slightly the procedure. The author recommends boiling the milk together with the butter almost to boiling point. Since I used margarine and it is usually not recommended to boil or scorch it, I simply heated the milk a little and added the margarine at the end to get it melted.
So this is my particular version of the Queen of Puddings by Sarah Flower. 

INGREDIENTS (for one medium of two small puddings. Serves 4-6)

90g half-stale white bread, cubed
100g caster sugar
400ml milk
1 tsp almond flavour
45g organic margarine
2 medium to large eggs
3 tbsp blueberry jam


Preheat your convection oven to 180ºC (approx. 350ºF) or use  the BAKE setting (If your oven has a PREHEAT setting, use it).

Mix the cubed bread with 45g sugar in a medium bowl.

Heat the milk just a little and then add the margarine in small pieces. When almost melted, turn the heat off and add the almond flavour.

Separate the eggs, taking care so that not even a speck of yolk gets into the whites. You do not want it to prevent your meringue from being perfect.

Grease your ovenproof dish or mould. I used two small silicone moulds. I could have skipped the greasing in fact, but I didn't. I used margarine.

Now we're ready to start mixing ingredients!

Pour the flavoured milk with the margarine over the sugared bread in the medium bowl.

Add the egg yolk and mix or whisk until well combined. Don't bother to beat  the egg yolks prior to mixing, it's not necessary. I use a manual potato masher to get a good result suitable to my tastes...if you want a very smooth result, use an electric hand mixer or anything you are used to.

Pour this very runny mixture into the greased mould or moulds. Do not worry, it won't rise much in the oven; anyway don't fill the moulds to the rim just in case.

Place on the low rack of your convection oven. Use the special tongs so that you won't get injured by the high temperatures of the oven. Set the time to 35 minutes.

After 35 minutes, you can start preparing the toppings.

Melt the jam on low heat so that it is more fluid and spreadable. Take the lid off your oven, place it in a secure place and spread the jam on the top of your pudding or puddings. I use a kitchen silicone brush.

In a medium bowl or a deep dish, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Then gradually whisk in the remaining caster sugar, until the mixture is thicker and glossy.

Spoon this meringue over the jam. Take care not to get drippings into the oven.

Replace the oven lid and cook for another 8-10 minutes.

Again  with the dedicated tongs, take the tray with the puddings out of the oven and put it on a cooling tray.

Eat warm if you want. Alternatively, place it in the fridge after 1-2 hours of room temperature cooling. I like it next day  right from the refrigerator.

                          Watch the slide: