First thing u must now : what the hell is the ensaïmada? Something really really mallorquin (“the most mallorquinest” thing u can find in the island) – locals saying.
In England i had a misterious imagination about this pastry. Dont know why but i connected with almonds and cream…. (nothing like this though) This is a yeasty buttery dough – quite similar to brioche or more to the hungarian ‘kalács’.
The pastry strictly made with strong white flour, eggs, sugar, water, mother dough (now yeast) and a special lard of pork (that where the name comes from cause this stuff is called “saim”).
So u can find this sweet where u can find spanish colony; Philippines, Puerto Rico, Latin America… but the only place where they use this reduced pork fat is Mallorca.
To tell whether pork lard has been used, if one can’t tell by taste, a true ensaïmada must stain a piece of paper with the pork lard.
Just like any other cases a couple of versions exist, like:
LLISA: plain, no extra ingredient
CABELL D’ANGEL: filled with a sweet filling using orange and pumpkin
TALLADES: covered with sobrasada and pumpkin (savoury)
DULCE: filled with chocolate, custard, turron and/or covered with fruits like apricot, strawberry
OH by the way, i found the “balearic-version” of the bread&butter pudding…. its coming from Ibiza and using all the leftover pieces of the ensaïmada from the day before…. which is really handy. It has got a beautiful and easy pronounceable name: GREIXONERA. :)
So i guess i told everything about this really really ‘mallorquin pastel’ what u can find in every shop, bar or cafeteria…
Footnote: how to make? There is just one tricky step in the recipe… U mix all your ingredients except the lard – need to prove double size. Knee and roll out as thin as possible; now rub the lard on the top of the dough and roll the whole thing up to a coil then slice it evenly. Knee the little balls individually, make little strings and roll it up like a snail. Now just need to rest, get double size again and can go in the oven, 180 degrees like 15minutes.
Grandma’s advice is to leave the dough resting overnight, u get much more better result… traditionally sprinkle with icing sugar but i rather have with chocolate cream and coffee for breakfast… :P (not counting the calories pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee)