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A weekend at Oporto and a cake…

bolo de chocolate e gengibre

We’ll meet tomorrow with a cake and a hug…

bolo de chocolate e gengibre

Chocolate and candied ginger cake

3 eggs
250 g sugar
120 ml sunflower oil
50 g cocoa
200 g wheat flour
8 g baking powder
150 g cream (35% fat)
200 ml milk
40 g candied ginger
80 g dark chocolate (70%), chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC.
Grease and line with parchment paper a plum cake pan.
Remove the sugar coat from the ginger with hot water.
Chop the ginger. Set aside.
Beat the eggs with the sugar and the oil.
Fold in the flour sifted with the baking powder and the cocoa.
Add the cream and the milk and mix until smooth.
Combine with the chocolate and the ginger.
Pour the batter into the pan until half of the height.
Bake for 10 mintes.
Reduce oven temperature to 165ºC and bake for 1-1 1/2 hour.
(at 30 minutes make a lenghtwise cut on the top of the cake)
Remove from oven, unmold and let cool down on a wire rack.
The cake should be made the day before and kept in the refrigerator with film wrap.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Serve with candied ginger dices.

Nota:Ginger can be substituted by candied lemon or orange.

bolo de chocolate e gengibre

This is not a coulant!


Revenge is a dish best served hot… I told that I’d be back…


dark chocolate “coulant

Serves 10:

6 eggs
160 g icing sugar
225 g softened butter
40 g cornstarch
60 g wheat flour
225 g dark chocolate (70%), chopped

Grease and flour 10 small round pans (6 cms diameter).
Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler.
Beat the butter until creamy.
Add the sugar and mix until smooth.
Add the eggs while mixing.
Fold in the flour and the cornstarch and mix.
Pour the chocolate and combine well.
Pour the batter into the pans (about 100g each).
Freeze overnight.
Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC.
Bake the cakes for 20 minutes directly from the freezer.
Unmold and serve immediatly.
Serve with an ice cream quenelle.

Note: varying the size of the pans and batter quantity changes the baking time. If necessary test with one cake and adjust baking time. The cake should have a thin crisp crust.

Coulant is the original name of these cakes, patented by Michel Bras, the famous french chef who created them.
On the original recipe these cakes are made from two separate components:
- a chocolate cake dough
- a ganache

The ganache should be frozen to be enveloped with the cake batter and then frozen again. This way the batter will be completely baked while the ganache will be molten.
Except for the original coulant, all the other cakes of the kind are made from one single batter with an half baked interior.

Some people also call these cakes petit gâteaux.


1001 hours

bolinhos de coco e mascarpone

I divide myself between the 1001 hours of my day and even this way I can’t handle.
Sometimes I just want to hold my breath… for a second… but my hands have their own life and ideas come in bursts.
I can’t believe I’ve almost finished all the book recipes and despite all the work we still have I feel relieved and looking forward to revenge this absence.
Even when I’m away I’m never too far…

bolinhos de coco e mascarpone

Coconut and mascarpone cake with dates

Serves 8:

100 g sugar
50 g dehydrated coconut, grated
250 g mascarpone
5 eggs
100 g wheat flour

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
Grease and flour 8 small rectangular pans.
Mix all the ingredients.
Pour the dough into the pans.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from heat and let it cool down at room temperature.

Sautéed dates with cinnamon

75 g pitted dates, chopped
15 g butter
½ tsp cinnamon

Melt the butter in a pan.
Add the dates and cinnamon and sautée lightly.

Serve the cake with the sautéed dates.

A jam in the rain…

compota de pera e chocolate

Pears and chocolate for two

compota de pera e chocolate

Pear and dark chocolate jam

1 kg pears
625 g sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1 orange
½ cinnammon stick
Zest of ½ orange
250 g dark chocolate, chopped

Cut the pears in thin slices.
Place the pears with the sugar, the juice, the cinnamon and the zest in a pan.
Bring to boil for 5 minutes and remove from heat.
Add the chocolate and combine well until smooth.
Let it cool down and refrigerate overnight covered with wrap film.
Bring to boil again removing the surface foam.
The mixture should cook over low heat for 40 minutes or until it reaches 105ºC.
To test whether the jam is ready, place a cold metal spoon in the mixture and tilt. The jam should form a single stream.
Quickly pour hot mixture into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1 cm headspace; wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands. Process jars in boiling-water bath 10 minutes.

The return of the chestnut man

bolos de castanha

Despite some dried leaves lost on downtown streets and these sadly diminishing days, today was the first chilly day.
Fall arrived late and soaked, taking off the closet the scent of an old chill and making the eternal chestnut man return to the streets…

bolos de castanha

Chestnut cakes with vanilla syrup

Makes 70:

Vanilla Syrup:

100 g sugar
100 ml water
5 g vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean.

Bring the water with the sugar and vanilla to boil for 1-2 minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove from heat and set aside.

Chestnut cakes

200 g boiled chestnuts
125 g sugar
125 g butter, softened
175 g wheat flour
5 g baking powder
70 ml milk
3 eggs

Purée the chestnuts with the milk. Set aside.
Beat the butter with the sugar until smooth and creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time while mixing.
Add the chestnut purée, combining well.
Fold in the sifted flour with the baking powder until smooth.
Cover with wrap film and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
Grease and flour madeleine pans.
Place the pans on a baking sheet.
Fill ¾ of each pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, unmold and soak generously with the syrup.

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