Yule logs for the Costa del Sol

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Yule log, or rather ‘Tronco de Navidad’ in Spain. / on

One of the pioneers of the local pastry culture drew inspiration from abroad and used, among other things, adapted English recipes

In Spain, the Christmas period is also associated with cakes and sweets. In addition to the typically Andalusian “mantecados” and “polvorones”, some pastry shops offer cakes with “adapted” French, Belgian and English recipes.

One of the oldest and most numerous pastry shops on the Costa del Sol is called Lepanto. Historically, Lepanto is known in the context of the naval engagement of 1571. In Malaga however, Lepanto has engaged the inhabitants of the Costa del Sol with the pastry culture since the 1960s.

“We don’t bake bread”

About 60 years ago Konditorei pastry and culture was foreign to Andalusia. This is why Pedro Pablo Lepanto is considered one of the first to import and promote this sophisticated style on the Costa del Sol.

He launched his confectionery business in 1964 by opening the first Lepanto in Marbella. Later, a purple cafe appeared in the central Larios street in Malaga. It was a new concept with its sophisticated furnishings, gold framed mirrors and crystal chandeliers and it immediately impressed the locals.

Pedro Pablo Hoz and his daughter Monica. /

SMA

Eventually, Lepanto cafes arrived in Fuengirola and Torremolinos, where they literally became glamorous places of dolce vita – the sweetness of life. However, the production headquarters are located in Benalmádena where the father of the Malaga pastry shop, Pedro Pablo Hoz, has his office.

“On the Costa del Sol, we wanted to adapt a new concept with an emphasis on the artistic aspect. We tried to combine a pastry or a confectionery and a coffee as they do in France, in the Scandinavian countries and in Germany”

“When we started there were a lot of ‘panaderías’ (bakeries) around here, but we wanted to adapt a new concept with an emphasis on the artistic aspect. We tried to combine a pastry or confectionery and a coffee as they do in France, Scandinavian countries and Germany. At the beginning we even used the German word “Konditorei”, and I hasten to add that we don’t bake bread, ”Pedro Pablo Hoz told SUR in English.

Absorbing foreign experiences and being open-minded is the formula for any successful business. Over the past five decades, the pastry chefs of Malaga have exchanged experiences in different countries, including England

Mutual benefit

Pedro Pablo Hoz emphasizes that absorbing foreign experiences and open-mindedness is the formula for his successful business.

He remembers how they started to follow not only the exquisite French-inspired decor for their cafes, but also the traditions of French pastry making. Eventually, they adapted the technology of Swiss chocolate.

Over the past five decades, their pastry chefs have exchanged experiences in different countries, including England. In addition, Lepanto also welcomes foreign chefs to help them improve their skills.

A few years ago, a young British pastry chef did an internship in the Benalmádena factory where he learned how to make “colinetas”, a typical Spanish Christmas pastry and other marzipan desserts.

“A few years ago, a young British pastry chef did an internship in our factory. Here he learned to make “colinetas”, a typical Spanish Christmas pastry, and other marzipan desserts. At the same time, he presented his methods of making our English cakes, ”added Pedro Pablo Hoz.

Today, English cuisine is often represented in Lepanto with plum cake, butter cookies and a wide range of cakes made with dried or fresh fruits.

“A lot of English cakes are made with almonds and raisins. And that is what the province of Malaga is famous for. This is why the tradition of English pastry making is easily recreated here. I recently found a recipe with the name “Raisin Almond Cake with Sherry” on the BBC Good Food [a global food media brand]. This means Andalusian products also inspire English bakery, ”said Mónica Hoz, one of Pedro’s children, who is actively involved in the family business.

The sweetest season

One of Lepanto’s typical Christmas pastries is the “tronco de Navidad” (Yule log), a sponge cake shaped like a sweet roulade. Some Lepanto customers call it by the original French name – bûche de Nöel. However, some English speaking guests are asking for a ‘Yule Log’ because it looks like a miniature log burnt on a fire pit used in the UK and US as a winter tradition.


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