Behind every family recipe there is love. Pure, simple love. And fond memories. Cubiletes have been a long tradition at ours and it is one of the most coveted recipes I have. Every year, on December 23rd, Amalia and my mum would make cubiletes and casadielles for Christmas Eve. The roles in the kitchen were always the same: Amalia led, my mum followed and I observed.
Amalia was generous enough to share her family recipe with my family some +30 years ago. She started giving some of these treats to my dad –back then her neighbour- on Christmas and when he got married, she taught my mum how to make them. She was one of the most loving, caring, humble and respectful people I have ever met. She wasn’t my grandmother, but I love her as if she was. It breaks my heart that today we will be doing the cubiletes without her, that we don’t have her warm smile, her loving words, her advice and experience leading the baking session. But the thing about family recipes is that they keep the essence of the person who passes it on long after they are gone. She isn’t here, but somehow she is.
Merce, Amalia’s daughter, has been kind enough to let me share her mum’s recipe with the world and I will always be grateful for that. You are a lucky bunch, trust me.
Cubiletes, a step by step recipe
You will need cup-shape moulds
Ingredients for filling
250g ground almonds –if you can toast and ground them on the same day much better-
2 eggs, beaten
8 tbsp white wine
powdered sugar to decorate
Ingredients for the pastry
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
250g unsalted butter at room temperature
3 tbsp white wine
We will prepare the filling first as we need to let it rest while we make the pastry.
In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients gently until well incorporated. Once you have a soft paste let it rest while you make the pastry.
In a medium bowl, add flour and baking powder. In a big mixing bowl, mix sugar and egg until well incorporated. When you have a yellow paste then add unsalted butter, white wine and olive oil. Once all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly add slowly the flour and baking powder mix and stir with a wooden spoon. You will know that the dough is ready when it isn’t sticky and you can handle it with your hands.
Preheat the oven at 180C.
Take a little ball of dough and place it into a cup-style mould. With your hands, shape the ball of dough into a thin layer, stick to the mould. The thinner the better. Then add the almond filling with a spoon. The filling will expand while baking so leave some space on top.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes keeping an eye on them to avoid burning.
Let them cool and then dust with powdered sugar.