Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fresh watermelon and rasperry water

The heat has finally arrived with a bang. At such times, what helps us to endure the hot weather are fresh clothes, slippers and lots of refreshments. Yesterday in the afternoon, when I got home, I decided to have a cold watermelon and raspberry fresh water to cool myself.

600g peeled and seeded watermelon
10 raspberries
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons yellow sugar
1L cold water
mint leaves

1. Crush the watermelon with the raspberries, lemon juice and sugar.

2. Pour this liquid into a jar and add the water. Stir well.

3. Add the mint leaves and the ice and it is ready to serve.

It really refreshes oneself when it is served very cold on a hot summer day!

[ Originally published in Portuguese as Água fresca de melancia e framboesas ]

Monday, June 11, 2012

Moist chocolate sponge cake

This moist chocolate sponge cake exerts strong powers over me, specially after the first slice. It is so damn good! Let the hidden powers of the Gods do not stop me from repeating. Thankfully, I don't eat this cake alone.

8 eggs
180g brown sugar
10 egg yolks
85g self-raising flour
15g powdered cocoa
30g powdered chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 230ºC.

2. Mix the eggs with the sugar and whisk for five minutes.

3. Whisk the egg yolks and add them to the previous mix. Use an electric mixer to keep whisking for more two to three minutes.

4. Mix the flour with the cocoa and the chocolate. Wrap the mixture above with this chocolate dough carefully.

5. Pour in a round shape, with 26 cm, lined with parchment paper and bake it in the oven for 11 minutes.

The moist chocolate sponge cake feels like it has chocolate mousse inside. Once you cut the first slice, the "mousse" flows from the inside like a river of thick yummy chocolate that leaves us with only one option: grab a spoon and use it to eat and stop only when there is no more. I dare you to try it!

Have a pleasent week!

[ Originally published in Portuguese as Pão-de-ló húmido de chocolate ]

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ice-cold green tea with lemon and cinnamon

Once it gets hotter, I start thinking about cold drinks. Fruit juices and smoothies are an excellent option as the ice-cold infusion and tea based drinks are. Here at home, we have been experimenting the latter.

1L water
3 green tea bags
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
1 small lemon cut into slices

1. Boil the water.

2. Put the water in a jar, add the tea bags and let it steep for no more than five minutes.

3. After removing the tea, add the cinnamon stick, honey and stir. Allow to cool.

4. When cool, add the lemon slices and put in the refrigerator.

5. Add ice cubes when serving.

A cup of ice-cold green tea with lemon is a refreshing delight in a hot day. It is like cooling one's feet in a fresh water stream after a long walk or like taking a nap in the shade of some pine trees with the sea as the background in a scalding hot day.

Have a nice week!

[ Originally published in Portuguese as Chá verde gelado com limão e canela ]

Friday, June 1, 2012

Grapefruit, strawberry and rasperry juice

As soon as the first hot days start appearing, nothing better than a full glass of fruit juice to refresh ourselves. Yesterday, when I arrived at home, in the middle of the afternoon, it was very torrid. I decided that it was time to consider opened the fruit juices season around here.

400ml grapefruit juice
150g strawberry
50g raspberry
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and liquefy them.

2. Add some ice cubes.

The bitter taste of the grapefruit rules. For those who don't like it, one can replace the grapefruit juice with orange juice, preferably made from oranges from Algarve, which are very sweet and tasty.

Enjoy your juice!

[ Originally published in Portuguese as Sumo de toranja com morangos e framboesas ]

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Traditional Portuguese moist sponge cake

The first sponge cake with a kind of egg yolk based filling that I ate was from Rio Maior, where I spent part of my teenage years and where I still have many good friends. One could find it in almost every coffee and cake shop and gastronomically speaking it was - still is - an ex-libris of this small town.

One of these weekends, coming from the West region and going to Santarém, I passed through Rio Maior, a land of salt but without sea, and I immediately remembered its delicious traditional sponge cake. Although I didn't find the original recipe, here it is my version.

8 eggs
10 egg yolk
180g brown sugar
100g plain flour

1. Preheat oven to 230ºC.

2. Mix the eggs with the sugar in a mixer for 5 minutes.

3. Beat the egg yolks. Add them to the mixture prepared earlier and beat for more 3 minutes.

4. Sift the flour into the mixture and stir with a spoon or wire rod.

5. Put the mixture in a round shape cake tin with approx. 26 cm covered with parchment paper.

6. Bake for 10 minutes.

This sponge cake is delicious. The core is completely wet. Its appearance sometimes is not very photogenic, but it is so yummy that one cannot stop eating it until the last slice.

I wish you all a good day!

[ Originally published in Portuguese as Pão-de-ló húmido ]