[Sca-cooks] bizcochos and monstacholes

V A phoenissa at gmail.com
Wed Jun 4 12:28:02 PDT 2008

On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 10:05 PM, Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

> What are bixcochos? Are these similar to biscotti?

Indeed.  It's basically Spanish for "biscotti" (or "biscuit" in English or
French) -- meaning, literally, "twice cooked" because they are baked in two
stages to dry them out completely. :-)  That's why cookies of this variety
*need* to be dipped in some kind of liquid to get soft enough to eat.
Usually they are served with sweet or spiced wine (in fact, modern biscotti
are traditionally served with vin santo, an Italian dessert wine...and, of
course, we are all used to encountering biscotti alongside coffee or tea in
the modern world).

> What are monstacholes? Recipe/redactions please?

I didn't write up a redaction, I just worked straight from the original,
since it had some proportions in it already.  This is from Lancelot de
Casteau's Ouverture de Cuisine (1604).  The complete text is on Thomas
Gloning's site: http://www.uni-giessen.de/gloning/tx/ouv3.htm

Pour faire monstachole.  Prennez vne libure d'amandes pellees & estampees,
libure & demye de blanche fleur, quatres onces de canelle, demye o*n*ce de
noix-muscade, vn satin de cloux de gerofle en poudre, dix grains de muscq,
deux libures de blanc succre tamizè, six iaunes d'oeuf, deux o*n*ces de
beurre, faites paste auec vn peu d'eau de rose, que la paste soit vn peu
ferme, puis formez voz monstacholes [sic] dedans des formes cauees aussi gra
*n*des & aussi petites que les voulez auoir, & le mettez sur des hosties &
sur le papier, & les cuisés da*n*s le four point trop chaud.
Take a pound of peeled and ground almonds, a pound and a half of white four,
four ounces of cinnamon, half an ounce of nutmeg, a [satin] of ground
cloves, ten grains of musk, two pounds of sifted[?] white sugar, six egg
yolks, two ounces of butter.  Make them into a dough with rose water, and
let the paste be a little stiff, then form your monstacholes in hollow molds
as large or as small as you want to have them, and put them on wafers and on
paper, and bake them in an oven that is not very hot.

I left out the musk and used less cinnamon than the recipe calls for (I was
running out... :-) and instead of molds, rolled them and cut them into
rounds and baked them on parchment paper, probably at around 325 degrees F
but I can't remember exactly.  They were way to dry to eat hard, but they
were fabulous in hypocras.  At home after the event I served the leftovers
with coffee and tea, and they went very nicely with that too.

> I made hypocras for a Royal Luncheon once. Either of these might be a good
> thing to serve with Hypocras if I make it again.

Definitely!  You could also, of course, just serve them with a sweet dessert


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