My trip to Lisbon during the 2009 holiday season filled my head and my heart with so many inspirations and aspirations. What a beautiful city, full of historic and cultural beauty as well as the physical beauty of the people themselves. While all the senses are overwhelmed in Portugal - your taste buds in particular are sure to be in heaven from morning to night. From the first cup of strong and delicious Portuguese coffee to the last night cap - Portuguese cuisine is spectacular.
One dessert charmed me from the moment I heard it's name - and it was love when I tasted the delicious little cakes. Papo de Anjo - literally translates to double chins of Angels, and the taste is as sweet as the reference. These little egg custard cakes, served drenched in a simple syrup sauce are subtle and sweet. Made from egg yokes, the cakes are filling and can be served in a variety of ways.
The recipe is believed to have been created by nuns or monks. The folklore being that the clergy used so many egg whites in starching laundry - there was an abundance of yolks that would go to waste.
Some recipes call for including egg whites in the beaten yokes, I chose a more classic version to make on a perfect weekend this winter. The cakes can be prepared a full day before you serve them - as they are infused with the syrup you soak them in until ready to serve. You can also boil the cakes in the syrup before serving - but again you don't have to. I didn't for this serving.
Also, as the yolk cakes are very simple, you can add rum, vanilla, or even orange peel. You will think something is missing as you prepare this dish - but the cakes are suprisingly tastey. They definitely taste like egg yokes, which I didn't expect to enjoy - but they are delicious.
8 egg yolks ,1 egg white , 2 cups sugar, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat egg yolks until they double in size ( I prefer to do it by hand with a wisk), add i1 beaten egg white. Continue beating until mixture is spongy in texture.
Pour into a muffin pan that have been buttered.
Set tins in one inch of hot water in a shallow pan and bake in 350° F oven about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Dissolve sugar in water and bring to a boil, add vanilla extract. Remove from heat.
Use a tooth pick to make several holes in each cake and drop them into syrup.
Refrigerate until serving. (longer the better - preferably overnight so papos will absorb more of the syrup)
* should make approx 24 cakes