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Horchata de chufa, tigernut cake and Saint John's Night

>> Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tigernut cake 1

Horchata de chufa or tigernut milk is a staple drink consumed during the scorching Spanish summer throughout the country. Tigernut milk can be made at home by processing the tigernuts in a food processor, then passing the thick slurry that's obtained through a muslin or cheese cloth and pressing the solid residue to extract as much liquid as possible. I recently made horchata for the first time... What an enriching experience, to crush the poor little tigernuts, sieve this tigernut puree and watch the tigernut milk flow through the cloth... It almost made me cry. That's what I call going back to one's primal roots. Well, not exactly to my roots, as I've never even been close to my primal roots, since I was born and raised in the city. However, I adore this kind of traditional skills, essential to survive without supermarkets and horchata street stalls (but not without my Thermomix... ahem). The thing is that the making of horchata leaves you with a reasonable amount of deliciously smelling residue. It was a pity to throw it away, therefore I looked for some interesting recipe to put it to good use, and I found a cake. Being that tigernuts eaten as a snack and horchata are as popular in the South-East coast of Spain as the celebration of Saint John's Night, I thought the cake arrived timely...

If you happen to find some plump and healthy tigernuts, here goes the recipe for horchata, as simple as it can get (
this store carries all things tigernut you need for the cake, tigernut oil and flour included):

Horchata de chufa or tigernut milk (from this blog)

  • 250g dried tigernuts
  • 1 liter water
  • 100g sugar (you can use other sweetener if you like, I use agave syrup)
Horchata de chufa 1
  1. First soak the tigernuts overnight in water. That's essential. I leave them in the refrigerator. The wrinkly little guys will get plumpy.
  2. The next day, drain the tigernuts, which will be hydrated by now, and put them in the bowl of a food processor. Add 700 ml of water and puree thoroughly. I puree mine for as long as 2 minutes.
  3. Lay a cheese cloth or something similar on a sieve or funnel placed on a container to collect the juice. Pour the tigernut puree, tie together the ends of the cheese cloth and press the mixture by wringing the cloth. Wring until there's no more liquid coming out.
  4. Add the sugar and the rest of the water to the milk, stir to dissolve. You can choose to add this same amount of water in the form of icecubes instead, if you intend to drink the horchata immediately. Otherwise, put the container in the fridge and chill thoroughly.
Horchata de chufa 2

And then you can enjoy the horchata, which is really delicious, or make the tigernut cake:

Bizcocho de chufas or tigernut cake
  • 200g sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 150g tigernut oil (substitute by sunflower oil)
  • 250g horchata
  • 20g baking powder
  • 350g all-purpose flour
  • 50g tigernut flour
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Tigernut cake 3

You need to dry the horchata solid residue in the oven in order to use it in the cake. Half a day at 50ºC... not very energy-saving. Although interesting as an experiment.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Cream the eggs with the sugar till pale. Add the horchata and the oil, mix lightly.
  3. Sieve both flours with the baking powder, add to the liquid and mix carefully to avoid any lumps.
  4. Line a rectangular cake pan with parchment paper. Brush the paper with oil. Pour the cake batter and bake for 30 minutes. Be careful not to overbake the edges.
Tigernut cake 4

The cake is moist and fluffy, only with a slight horchata undertone. It looks and tastes really very similar to the bicas. It has a crunchy feel due to the high amount of fiber in the tigernuts. I loved it, though maybe it's not suitable for everyone because of the whole-flour feel it has. I will make it again, no doubt. It's different, original and very nourishing.

Tigernut cake 2

18 comentarios:

singerinkitchen June 24, 2010 at 5:51 PM  

Necesito que me mades nueces de chufa! WOW! La ultima vez que tome esta leche fue 2002. Muy rico!

Joy June 24, 2010 at 6:06 PM  

I have never heard of tiger nut. I love the recipe.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) June 24, 2010 at 6:16 PM  

I have learned something new today since I have never found tiger nuts in this part of the world. It says it is a perfecxtr substitute for people who are allergic to cow's milk.

easy-salad-recipe June 24, 2010 at 6:18 PM  

I made this once time and my husband loved it. Thanks!

Belinda @zomppa June 24, 2010 at 6:50 PM  

I've never had tiger nut either...and good to know that it's good for folks who are allergic to cow's milk. That cake looks delectable!

Emily Malloy June 24, 2010 at 9:13 PM  

Wow! That looks so delicious :-)

Nancy June 25, 2010 at 1:27 AM  

Hi Miriam, what lovely photos and recipes. In Mexico we also drink Horchata but made with rice. I would love to try the "original" Horchata :) It sounds great and so does the cake, delicioso!

Jessica June 25, 2010 at 6:32 PM  

Thanks for sharing these recipes. I have never heard of tiger nuts either, but I will definitely investigate...I love finding new tastes and textures!

Anonymous June 25, 2010 at 7:18 PM  

Wow!! These look great! I've always had Horchata made from rice but never Tigernuts...That is s definite must try :)

tasteofbeirut June 25, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

Fascinating post Miriam; enlightening as well; my son used to love horchata but Mexican-style, made with rice I think.

Alina June 26, 2010 at 11:27 AM  

I've never heard of tigetnut either! But such milky, nutty drinks get me thrilled! I wonder if this can be made with any other type of nuts?..

Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking June 26, 2010 at 12:48 PM  

Horchata with tigernut, that's something new to me! Sounds super delicious, I'm gonna try to see if I can find some tigernut here in Sweden!

Trix June 26, 2010 at 2:45 PM  

I am now officially dying with curiosity to taste tigernuts! That milk looks so refreshing, and good for you for not wasting the pulp.

Sarah June 26, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

Everything looks so good. I have never heard of tiger nuts. I think they make horchata with pineapple in Mexico.

Cristina June 26, 2010 at 11:12 PM  

Miriam - such a beautifully presented cake and you've so piqued my interest in tigernuts! Great post...

Miriam July 6, 2010 at 11:41 AM  

Noelle: haha, there's a link in the post for all things tigernut! It's a Spanish company, but they serve online... maybe you can order them there! Otherwise, just tell me and I can send you some!
Joy: thanks! They're very popular all over Spain.
Val: it is a healthy substitute indeed.
ESR: wow, then you know what I'm talking about.
Belinda: thanks!
Emily: thanks!
SF: gracias!
Jessica: hope you find them!
T&C: thanks!
ToB: yes, it's made with rice.
Alina: horchata can be made with any type of nut, only the chufa milk has a really distinct flavor.
Linn: I'm sure you can find them online!
Trix: they're delicious!
AOFP: in Mexico they use rice, as far as I know.
Cristina: thanks!

Carol Egbert July 12, 2010 at 4:01 PM  

I never heard of Tiger nuts that this sounds interesting thanks

Lami December 1, 2010 at 10:28 PM  

Having washed and sun-dried large quantities of the tigernuts, I mill it into powder, air it for about two days and it stores very well. So to make the milk, I simply soak some powder in water overnight (in refrigerator), filter it over fine mesh sieve and voila! I love tigernut milk. This way, I drink my milk anytime without having to stress my blender wet-milling large quantities at once.
This is quite easy cos we have lots of sunshine in West Africa.
This recipe is super if you have a large family or you run a restaurant. Enjoy! Lami


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