Weekend Wanderings: La Palma’s Salinas De Fuencaliente

The Fuencaliente (Hot Fountain) region in the South of La Palma has been getting a lot of attention lately due to increased volcanic activity. While the Canary Islands are a volcanic wonderland, not all volcanoes have gone sleepy. La Palma’s Teneguia last erupted in 1971 and a recent “seismic swarm” indicated that it’s far from being tame.

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View from Volcan San Antonio over La Palma’s volcanic landscape with Volcan Teneguia to the right and the Salinas de Fuencaliente in the distance

Can you imagine salt flats in the middle of these active volcano fields?

Neither could I.

Yet there they are. Las Salinas de Fuencaliente are some 35,000 square metres of salt flats and the salt produced here is sold throughout La Palma under the brand name Teneguia (like the volcano on the photo above).

It’s a scenic drive from the town of Fuencaliente down to these salt flats, but the Salinas themselves are a photographer’s dream. The black lava rocks, the white salt mounds and the blue water of the ocean form the most beautiful contrast — probably more so on a sunny day or during sunrise, which I sadly didn’t get to experience this time…

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The garden of salt

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The salt pans out of black rock attract heat, allowing the highest concentration that can be reached (360 gram per litre)

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White mound, black mound, white mound, black mound…

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Let’s not get distracted from the red soil!

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Winter in the Canary Islands does not look that different, does it?

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View towards the new and old lighthouse Faro de Fuencaliente

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It can get windy here

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Panoramic view from the restaurant terrace

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The Feijoa Cake That Was A Lime Pie

Feijoas

I really need to make my peace with feijoas – and I hope this blog post is a first step in the right direction. Three weeks ago, New Zealand’s supermarkets began to offer feijoas again and I had the crazy idea to use them to bake a cake. I was soon to find out how crazy this idea really was.

My first attempt followed this recipe. Never before have I been so little convinced of a home-baked cake. Ever! Dislike! -1 (twice)! Some further research forwarded me to a great blog that actually revolves around feijoas only. In the recipes section I’ve picked the feijoa strudel. Apart from the fact that my strudel did not look like one (my fault), the ratio between dough and filling seemed so wrong that the whole thing came across dry and without much flavor. Not completely discouraged yet I went ahead for try number 3. Turns out I had another crazy idea at this point: I felt like mixing the feijoa pulp with lime juice for more flavor (which was definitely missing in the first two recipes).

Sadly, after two tries by now, I still haven’t found the correct feijoa-lime-ratio. My first attempt resembled a smoothie because of too much lime juice (no bad taste though); and my second attempt suffered from a clear lack of feijoa taste (surprise, I am running out of these fruits). End of story: If you are searching for a feijoa cake recipe that tastes like a super delicious lime pie you are on the right page (wondering how many of you are out there). You are also on the right page in case you are browsing the web searching for desperate wannabe chefs who could need a little advise.

I am probably going to give this recipe another shot using twice as much feijoa pulp and lime zest only (no juice). But this won’t be before I made my peace with these f… ruits.

For the base:

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 125 g melted butter

Mix everything and cover the floor and sides of your baking dish. Bake the base for 10 minutes in your preheated oven at 180°C.

For the filling:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • The juice of 2 limes
  • The pulp of 6 feijoas
  • 400 ml condensed milk

Mix the egg yolks and the lime zest. Slowly stir in the condensed milk and beat until fluffy (at least 5 minutes). Add the lime juice (or not) and the (double amount of) feijoa pulp.

Pour the creamy mix into your baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 180°C. Cool everything down to room temperature and store it for 6 hours in your fridge. Serve like this, or with whipped cream and a tiny bit more lemon zest on top. Enjoy!

Please let me know if you have a good feijoa recipe – doesn’t need to be a cake or dessert! Oh, if you thought this could actually be a wonderful recipe for a lime pie you are probably absolutely right. Just skip the feijoas :-)

If you like desserts please read my post “Tiramisu – Treat Of All Treats” (including a perfect recipe – yes I can!).

Tiramisu – Treat Of All Treats

Tiramisu

One of the coolest things when travelling is to discover different food and new recipes; and I am looking forward to share my discoveries with you. To kick-off this post series I decided to go with my all-time-favourite dessert (yes, ignoring starter and main dish today): a self-made Tiramisu.

I prepared my first Tiramisu some years ago while visiting a friend in Genoa, Italy, and so I claim to have a classic but delicious recipe for the best of all treats – ever! Follow 10 easy steps for some Italian flavour at your place:

  • Brew 400 ml coffee, add some sips of Amaretto liquor and cool the mix in your fridge
  • Mix 4 egg yolks with 75 grams of sugar and 400 grams of mascarpone
  • Whip the egg whites until frothy and fold into the mascarpone mix
  • You will need around 300 grams of ladyfingers (biscuits)
  • Dip each biscuit briefly (!!) in the cold coffee mix (I dip only two thirds of one biscuit)
  • Cover the bottom of your cake pan with dipped biscuits
  • Cover the biscuits with a first layer of the mascarpone mix
  • Add another layer of dipped ladyfingers before finishing with mascarpone on the top
  • The dessert should refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving (that is the hard part ;-) )
  • Just before serving, add cocoa powder or chocolate drops on top

As I wrote earlier, this is a classic Italian recipe. If you are a fan of experiments and would like to see some variations, I can recommend the following changes:

  • Use speculoos instead of ladyfingers (no need to add Amaretto due to the spicy biscuit taste!)
  • Use red fruits rather than any biscuits and quark instead of mascarpone for less calories
  • Top your Tiramisu with sprinkles of Limoncello for an Italian lemon flavour

Enjoy!!