Tocino de cielo

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Similar to a crème caramel, this traditional Spanish dessert dates back to the 1300s and the city of Jerez, where egg whites were used to clarify wine, so the leftover yolks were given to the local nuns. With them they created this rich caramel dessert, and Tocino de cielo actually translates as 'heaven's bacon', referring to its religious origins.

First published in 2015
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Almond crumble

  • 50g of plain flour
  • 50g of ground almonds
  • 50g of butter
  • 50g of golden caster sugar, or light brown sugar


  • Steam oven


Set a steam oven to 100°C
Add 100g of the sugar and 100ml of the water to a small pan over a medium heat. Allow to caramelise until dark golden brown, then set aside
  • 100g of sugar
  • 100ml of water
In a separate pan, boil the remainder of the sugar and water together for 8 minutes to make a syrup. Leave to cool
  • 600g of sugar
  • 150ml of water
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and gradually add in the cooled syrup. Keep whisking until fully combined in a smooth and creamy mixture, trying not to let it foam
Pour the mixture into a rectangular baking tin with deep sides. Pour over a little of the caramel sauce, reserving most of it to serve. Steam for 35 minutes then allow to cool and set
Meanwhile, make the almond crumble. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
  • 50g of plain flour
  • 50g of ground almonds
  • 50g of butter
  • 50g of golden caster sugar, or light brown sugar
In a bowl, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the ground almonds and sugar, then spread out over a baking tray and bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Allow to cool, then break up any lumps
Once the tocino is set, turn out onto a large board or plate (the easiest way to do this is to clamp the plate on top of the tin and flip upside down)
When ready to serve, cut portions of the dessert and spoon over some of the caramel sauce. Add a spoonfull of the almond crumble, and garnish with a few blueberries and fresh mint leaves
First published in 2015

With a focus on simple, authentic Spanish cuisine, chef José Pizarro has been at the forefront of bringing true tapas to London.

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