Torrijas Recipe (Cardamom French Toast)- Andorra Food

If French toast and churros had a baby, Andorran torrijas would be it. They are sweet and fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside, coated in a layer of cinnamon sugar. This sweet fried bread makes for an irresistible breakfast or dessert. 

Torrijas recipe | Andorra food

Welcome to Andorra, the fourth country of our cooking challenge. Neither of us had much prior knowledge on Andorra or its cuisine, other than the fact it is a tiny country in the Pyrenees, nestled between France and Spain. When I say tiny, I am talking a micro-state with a population of 77,000 tiny!

Unsupringinly, Andorra’s cuisine very closely resembles the Catalan region of Spain (which is a place I am a lot more familiar with). There is also a distinct French and Italian influence evident throughout Andorran cuisine. This means there aren’t a huge number of dishes that are distinctly Andorran. Instead, you’ll find many adaptations of dishes from these surrounding regions.

Common Andorran Vegetarian Dishes

Andorran cuisine isn’t very vegetarian friendly as most of their traditional meals feature meat in some form or other. However, here are the very few vegetarian dishes that are popular in this little country:

  • Pa Amb Tomaquet bread rubbed with tomato, olive oil and garlic
  • Coca– Pastry that comes as either a sweet or savory snack, with a variety of toppings including roasted vegetables, fruit and nuts
  • Crema Andorrana– An Andorran take on creme brulee where the custard dessert is topped with meringue
  • Torrejas– sweet fried bread coated in cinnamon sugar, similar to french toast

Torrijas recipe | Andorra food

Making Andorran Torrejas

Given that vegetarian options for a savory Andorran dish are basically non-existent, we decided to go with a sweet dish instead (no complaints here). Torrejas are a very popular dish in both Spain and Andorra that is traditionally made during Easter time.

Waht is the difference between Torrejas and French toast?

Similar to French toast, torrejas are made by dipping stale bread into an egg mixture and frying it on a pan. However, there are a few key differences between the two dishe:.

  • Torrejas are soaked in sweetened milk before getting dipped in egg mixture. This makes the bread even lighter and fluffier than typical French toast.
  • Torrejas tend to be a bit sweeter than french toast. They are commonly dipped in cinnamon sugar and served as a dessert as oppose to a breakfast dish. Having said this, we have nothing against a good sugar rush in the morning, so we happily served these up for breakfast.
Torrijas recipe | Andorra food

Ingredients for Torrejas

  • Bread– Traditionally, a thick baguette-shaped loaf is used to make Torrejas. We’ve made torrejas using both baguette and a brioche loaf, both work really well. You can use whatever bread you like, just make sure it’s starting to go stale (or toast it slightly before using). The drier the bread, the more it will hold its form after absorbing the soaking liquid.,
  • Pantry staples- You’ll need white sugar, cinnamon and honey (optional but highly recommended to put on top the torrijas). We also used lemon zest, cardamon pods and a cinnamon stick to infuse with the milk mixture and give the torrejas more flavour.
  • Refrigerated items- You’ll need eggs, full-fat milk and butter.

Steps to make Torrejas

Just like french toast, Torrijas is a fairly straight-forward dish to prepare and come together in a few simple steps:

  1. Cut bread into thick slices. If using a loaf of bread and not a baguette, cut each piece in half. Arrange slices in baking dish.
  2. Bring milk to gentle boil in saucepan with sugar, cinnamon stick, cardamom seeds and lemon zest. As soon as milk is boiling, take off heat and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Pour milk mixture through a sieve over the pour on top of slices of bread. Leave to soak for 30 minutes. Mix together cinnamon and sugar in a large shallow bowl.
  3. Heat oil in large frying pan. Beat eggs in wide, shallow bowl. Dip one piece of soaked bread into egg mixture at a time, then place straight onto frying pan. Repeat to fill the pan. Fry each side of bread for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly brown. Once cooked, coat each slice with cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve warm with a drizzle of honey.
Torrijas recipe | Andorra food

Serving Suggestions for Torrejas

Unlike french toast, where elaborate toppings tend to the star of the show, we’d recommend keeping it simple when serving up torrejas. Whilst there are variations on the toppings of torrejas, we really enjoyed them coated in cinnamon sugar and a drizzle of honey. They really don’t need much more than this.

Torrejas recipe | Andorra food

Torrijas Recipe (Cardamom French Toast)

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

If French toast and churros had a baby, torrejas would be it. Fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside, infused with cardamom and coated in a layer of cinnamon sugar- they make an irresistible breakfast or dessert. 

Ingredients

Torrejas

  • 1 loaf brioche bread or 2 baguettes, slightly stale
  • 4 cups full-fat milk
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods, scraped for seeds
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 eggs, whisked

To serve:

  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • Honey

Instructions

    1. Cut bread into thick slices. If using a loaf of bread and not a baguette, cut each piece in half. Arrange slices in baking dish.
    2. Bring milk to gentle boil in saucepan with sugar, cinnamon stick, cardamom seeds and lemon zest. As soon as milk is boiling, take off heat and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Pour milk mixture through a sieve over the pour on top of slices of bread. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
    3. Mix together cinnamon and sugar in a large shallow bowl.
    4. Heat oil in large frying pan. Beat eggs in wide, shallow bowl. Dip one piece of soaked bread into egg mixture at a time, then place straight onto frying pan. Repeat to fill the pan. Fry each side of bread for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly brown.
    5. Once cooked, coat each slice with cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve warm with a drizzle of honey.

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Torrejas recipe from Andorra (better than French toast!)
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I am on a mission to discover the BEST destinations & dishes from around the world. In fact, I’ve visited 54 countries and cooked 196 cuisines in this very pursuit. Whether it’s hopping on a plane or into the kitchen, come join the adventure!

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