Pan de Pascua is a Chilean Christmas and Easter cake, which resembles German Stollen, Belgian Cougnou, and Italian Panetttone in several ways. The name has become synonymous with the holiday cake in much of the Hispanic countries. Literally the name translates to Easter bread in chaste Spanish; but it is normally enjoyed during Christmas. The yeast risen cake is marked by its unusual honey and ginger flavors. This sweet and spongy fruit cake indulges the eater with tones of ginger and honey. Also, the cake is enriched by addition of almonds, walnuts, candied fruits and raisins.
The Pan de Pascua continues to enjoy rare popularity and integrity throughout Chile because more or less people associate it with religion. It finds its footage as a popular religious food that is savored during holidays. The choice of healthful ingredients is all that makes the difference to the cake. Normally this cake is served on the eve of Christmas meal or Easter meal.
History of Pan de Pasqua
It is believed that the cake was introduced by German immigrants who came to Chile in 1848. They introduced the tradition of many cakes and rich pastries along with them. The cooking influences of various food cultures can be observed in Pan de Pascua. Along with Germans, many other European settlers also headed to Chile during the late 19th century and got settled there. Each of them introduced their cooking techniques in Chile. The Arab immigrants brought with them the dry fruits, herbs and spices, and showed Chileans as to how to alter between different taste zones. The cake is heavily laid with dry fruits and candied fruits which confirm the influence of Arab style of cooking. That’s why the food connoisseurs confirm that the cake might have been introduced by German immigrants but it has incorporated the essence of other cooking forms too.
Pan de Pascua Recipe- Ingredients
Adhering to the requirements of basic recipe, ingredients like butter, eggs, flour, grounded nutmeg, and brandy (other than ginger, honey, candied fruits, and dry fruits) are needed to prepare the cake.
Pan de Pascua Recipe- Preparation
The Pan de Pascua preparation begins by whipping butter and sugar in the bowl along with eggs. Thereafter, all dry ingredients and brandy are added to the mixture, and equal parts of dry fruits are mixed and added to the mixture and baked for an hour. When done, the Pan de Pascua is served after garnishing with castor sugar.
Eating and Serving Pan de Pasqua
The cake tastes good when served with spiced alcoholic drink called cola de mono or tail of a monkey drink, which is an important feature of the Chilean food tradition. This drink is nothing but a Chilean version of eggnog. The Pan de Pascua also tastes good if served with a marzipan covering.