August 16, 2011


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While browsing one of my Filipino cookbooks, RECIPES OF THE PHILIPPINES, compiled by Enriqueta David-Perez, I found these unfamiliar small cakes called Capuchinos. I have never heard of these tiny airy cakes made with lots of eggs. The cakes which are Spanish in origin are dipped for half a second in thin syrup before serving. I thought at first that they are coffee flavored because of the name. Researching online for its origin was frustrating. Entries for the cakes are scarce but I was able to find one or two articles and a recipe from a Miami (Cuban) restaurant. Both the cakes and capuccino coffee come from the Capuchin monk's habit; capuchino cakes from the pointed cowls and the coffee, its dark brown color and also the pointed cowl.  

light airy eggy capuchino and a cup of capuccino 

The recipe from the Filipino cookbook has flour, butter, sugar, and brandy and they are baked in small muffin cups which in my opinion is similar to chiffon cake or mamonalthough it has baking powder; the one from Miami has very little sugar and cornstarch added to the batter. I chose to make the one from Miami because I love airy light cakes. I made cones out of parchment paper and baked them on ice cream cone servers but these can be baked in lined muffin cups.

Capuchinos 1
5 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup sugar
½ cup water
peel and juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cakes: Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Beat egg yolks and sugar for 15 minutes until thick. Sift cornstarch over egg mixture and gently fold  until mixed. Transfer into a pastry bag, snip the tip of the bag and fill paper cones or paper liners 2/3 full. Bake for about 12 minutes or until tops are rounded and golden.When done, peel off the paper cones and pour syrup over them. 
  • SyrupPut sugar, water, lemon peel, and¼ teaspoon lemon juice to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Add brandy and vanilla. Cool completely before using.
Here is the recipe in its entirety from RECIPES OF THE PHILIPPINES. 

Capuchinos 2 
5 well-beaten eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup melted fat
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons brandy
  • Beat the eggs and sugar well. Add the melted fat then add the dry ingredients. Add brandy. Place in greased muffin pans and bake in hot oven. Before serving, dip in thin syrup for half a second. Set in a cool place to dry.


maiylah said...

that looks delcious!
Spanish in origin, and you found a recipe from a Cuban restaurant? interesting!

chef_d said...

They look so light and airy, I can just imagine eating them with a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee...delicious!

Quay Po Cooks said...

I LOVE airy light cakes too. This one looks extremely airy and light. Got to try this recipe.

Guia Obsum said...

Wow! So light and airy, it looks like a dream! :)

Unknown said...

I never heard of that before either. It looks lovely.

Celita said...

All the Cuban bakeries I grew up going to in North Jersey had this - there are two shapes - the circular cones and just the blunt ends - dipped in an annisette/lemon cinnamon sugar syrup - and yes, the sponge is very light. Usually the tops are slightly golden toasted. Look for them in Cuban bakeries in Florida too.

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