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