From the marriage of Orange and Eggs

From the marriage of Orange and Eggs

orangerollCalling out all Orange lovers, this recipe is for you! The amazing power a single orange can bring to this roll is way beyond my capacity to describe it. And you can add it to your list of “I can’t stop eating it”.
Once more it’s heavy on eggs and sugar (well it’s Portuguese, you couldn’t be expecting something else) and it’s typical from the Estremadura region (where Lisbon is located). Although the orange flavour cuts the extreme egg taste that some other Portuguese desserts have, which I understand isn’t much appreciated by some of you.

You will need:
8 eggs
500g sugar
1 Orange (juice and zest)
2 Tbsp of flour

1. In a large bowl place the eggs and sugar. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Add the orange juice and grated zest. Whisk heavily.
3. Sprinkle the flour. Whisk one more time.
4. Butter and flour a jelly roll pan, or you can line the cake pan with parchment (baking paper).
5. Pour the mixture into the cake pan.
6. Cook in a preheated oven at 200ºC for around 20 minutes.
7. Take a cocktail stick to poke the top of the cake slightly in the middle. If it is dry the cake is done. Don’t over cook it, otherwise it will break when rolled.
8. Let it rest and cool for 5 minutes. Loose the edges of the cake from the pan with a knife.
9. Line a kitchen towel over your kitchen counter/table.
10. Sprinkle the kitchen towel with sugar (or icing sugar)
11. Turn out the cake on top of the towel. Peel the parchment (if you used it).
12. With the help of the towel roll the cake.

You can find similar orange rolls in cafés, supermarkets and at the Farmer’s Market. Like in all issues related to food some are good others are made of glue (they are heavy and flavourless – you are not able to even spot the egg flavour and the orange is only in it’s name). How to know before you buy? There are three signs you should be aware: if it seems to you too dry, if it doesn’t shine or if doesn’t have a similar consistency to a pudding/cake.

At my house this is the kind of dessert that only lasts for a couple of hours. I hope you enjoy it that much too.

Pão de Ló


A celebration.
Pão de ló is a celebration cake, an Easter tradition on every Portuguese table.

At my house it was more than an Easter cake, it was the happiness cake, always associated to the same kind of events, if we had something to share with the family, when we wanted to say thank you or I love you or just because it felt right to share your plans while eating a piece of pão de ló.
This rich egg sponge cake belongs to the Portuguese conventual recipes, which means lots of eggs and sugar. Depending on the region or convent, the baking process can change slightly, and the end product could be a dry cake or a moist cake top.

When eating it plain I prefer the second, and I would use the dry one instead of a simple genoese sponge to serve with whipped cream and strawberries or pineapple.

It was also my father’s favourite cake, and the one he would choose for he’s anniversary every year.
I stopped making this cake 13 years ago, but today, because it’s a special day to celebrate all the good memories that a single piece of cake can bring you back to, I went to the kitchen and made it again to celebrate “saudade” and to share it for the first time with my kids.

I used my great grandmother recipe, and I had bake it on a regular oven with a regular cake pan. Some of the conventual recipes requires the use of a special cake pan and the use of multiple layers of baking paper. But I am not making that process this time, I am sharing something very easy for you to try at home.

After whisking for about 15 minutes the yolk and sugar mixture will look like this
After whisking it for about 15 minutes the yolk and sugar mixture will look like this

6 eggs
7 tbsp of sugar
5 tbsp of flour
It can’t get more easy than this.

1. Butter a cake pan.
2. Separate the whites and the yolks
3. Add the sugar to the yolks. Whisk the mixture until it becomes thick, pale and foamy (15 minutes).
4. Add the flour: one tbsp at a time and very gently.
5. Whisk the whites into very stiff peaks.
6. Fold in the whites into the mixture.
7. Pour the mixture into the buttered cake pan.
8. Cook in a preheated oven at 175ºC (350ºF) for around 15/20 minutes.
Don’t overcook it, you want the top be the slightly creamy.

Enjoy it! With a glass of Port wine.


No To Food Waste: Pão de ló leftovers are suitable to make triffle.


Farofias – is this dessert a french influence?

Farofias – is this dessert a french influence?

A winning dessert, it’s impossible to eat just a portion.

It belongs to the traditional cuisine of the Estremadura region (where Lisbon is located), however as you will see, it resembles to the oeufs à la neige from the French cuisine, but instead of the caramel/praliné on top we use cinnamon powder, and we poach the whites in milk.
There is another Portuguese recipe, a conventual one called “Nuvens do Céu” (can be translated as Heaven’s Clouds) from an Alentejo’s Convent that uses chopped almonds and walnuts on top.

I am not an expert in cuisine’s history, so I can only make suppositions: were the French invasions back in 1807 responsible for this influence, or the other way around once the convent dates back to the XVII century? (If anyone knows please share it)

Curiosities aside let’s start this magnificent dessert, you will need:

250 g of sugar
6 eggs
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1125 ml of milk
1 lemon peel
1 cinnamon stick

1. Separate the whites and the yolks.
2. Whisk the whites into very stiff peaks. Add 50 g of sugar and continue to whisk.
3. In a sauce pan pour the milk, add the sugar, the lemon peel and the cinnamon stick. Bring to a medium heat.
4. When it starts to boil reduce temperature, it should boils gently.
5. With two soup spoons form the “quenelles” and poach it on the milk.
6. Turn the “quenelles” both sides to allow them to cook.
7. Remove it from the milk, and place it on a strainer, allow it to drain.
8. In a small bowl add the cornstarch and a couple of tablespoons of milk and stir, add the egg yolks and whisk.
9. Very carefully spoon some of the hot milk into this mixture and stir.
10. Add the mixture of milk, eggs yolks and cornstarch to the milk in the sauce pan. Stir and take it to a low heat. Allow the mixture to become thicker.
12. Place the poached egg whites on a large bowl
13. Pour the egg cream on top.
14. Sprinkle with cinnamon



Bom proveito! (Enjoy it!)