The Baztán Valley in Navarre II

This post follows on from my previous one on a trip I made to the Baztán Valley. The first part can be found here.

Today I am going to jump straight into the main recipe, one of my favourite Spanish puddings. As I have admitted in the past, I love custard. Some people think custard a little sweet, well this pudding balances that sweetness with unsweetened whipped cream. With a bit of caramelised sugar on top this one is a winner and not that difficult to make at all.

4 Complete 1

The finished pudding with Soletilla sponges

My recipe for thick, set custard used for fillings and trifles can be found here.

This pudding is called Goxua and the name comes from the Basque language. Continuing on therefore with the Basque lesson from the last post on Baztán….. the “X” in Basque is pronounced as an “SH”. So Goxua would be pronounced as Goshua. This should not be confused with the “TX” sound as in the Basque country white wine called Txakoli. I am no expert on the Basque language, so I asked the locals, and the combination of “TX” is pronounced “CH” as in chicken!

The word “goxua” actually means “sweet” in Basque.



Ingredients for 2 people:

200ml Milk

1 Vanilla pod

½ Lemon

1½ tsp Cornflour

2 tbsp Vanilla sugar

1 Egg

small knob Butter

150ml Whipping Cream

2 “Soletilla” sponge fingers (Please see notes below)


Put most of the milk in a pan. Split the vanilla pod and add into the pan together with the peel of the half lemon. Just bring to the boil then remove from the heat. Leave to infuse for an hour in the pan.

Beat together the cornflour, vanilla sugar, egg and the milk reserved from the 200ml. Slowly sieve the infused milk into the egg mixture beating well.

Put the egg mixture back into the pan and simmer gently until thick. Remove from the heat and stir in a small knob of butter. Leave to cool.

1 Making the custard

Custard starting to thicken

Beat the cream until stiff.

2 Beating the cream

Whipping the cream

Take a couple of glass moulds, slightly wider than tall. Put half the cream in the base of each mould, followed by the sponge fingers and finally the custard. Put in the fridge to chill.

Just before serving, sprinkle quite a bit of sugar onto the top of each pudding and caramelise quickly with a cook’s blowtorch.


  • The whipped cream has no sugar but this is offset by the sweetness of the custard layer. Caster sugar can be added to the cream if preferred.
  • The Soletilla sponge fingers are like English trifle sponges.
  • If you have no vanilla sugar just add a couple of drops of vanilla essence.
  • I am told that in some areas they put a layer of jam onto the sponge base.
5 Complete 2

The finished pudding


As part of the trip we decided to stop in the town of Amaiur / Maya. The town is famed for being the last town to fall in the Spanish conquest of the Kingdom of Navarra and now gives its name to a Basque nationalist political party. More importantly it has a working flour mill that grinds organic corn that is made into the locally famous Talos.

Although the associated websites are only available in Spanish, French and Basque they might be of interest to some readers:

For the town please use this link.

For more information on the mill and pictures of talos please try the following link:

The recipe that follows comes from the miller himself. He can also be seen preparing a stuffed talo in the following video. Although it is in Spanish it is worth a look too see just how they are made. Just use this link to view the video:

And finally the recipe as given to me by the miller. As it uses cornmeal they are difficult to form as this flour has no gluten. I enclose the recipe for completeness, but be warned that although it might look simple it is very much an art to get it just right.





Ingredients for 6 talos:

1 Kg Whole grain corn meal

800ml Hot water

25g Salt

Optional fillings:

Txistorra (Chorizo-like sausage typical in Navarre)



Mix together the ingredients to form a plasticine like dough.

Take balls of dough, about two golf balls worth at a time. Flatten the dough into rough discs by hand then place the dough onto a thin, floured cloth. Beat out to a thin disc using the flat of the hand.  The discs should be about 20cm in diameter and about 3mm thick.

Heat up a hot plate or a frying pan to a medium heat and add just enough oil to moisten the pan or plate. Flip over the talo into the pan. Peel back the cloth leaving the talo behind. The idea is to seal the talo on both sides, so when it starts to brown a little and it is free to slide around the pan turn it over. Repeat the frying on the other side.

Whilst the talo is frying, break up the txistora so that it can be spread easily across a talo.

Once the talo has been flipped onto the second side, leave it till it starts to expand and fill with air. Don’t expect it to puff up like puff pastry, just a slight increase and the appearance of a separation between top and bottom. Take it off the heat and split in half with the help of a knife.

Put a good quantity of txistora and a cheese that has good flavour but melts well, on one side and put back into the pan covered with the other half. Give it another couple of minutes on either side so that the cheese has melted well and the two halves are stuck together.

The talo should be crisp on the outside with the cheese well melted on the inside.


The really difficult part is getting the talos to puff up and therefore being able to split them in half. If you have problems, just cheat and use two separate talos to sandwich the filling! it will still taste delicious.


Well I hope you enjoyed the post for this week, two recipes for the price of one. I do recommend watching the video on making talos. It is of course in Spanish, but just watching a maestro at work makes it worthwhile.

As always, please feel free to leave your comments.

2016 Lincoln W. Betteridge


One thought on “The Baztán Valley in Navarre II

  1. Pingback: The Batzán Valley in Navarre II | Other Man's Flavours

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