So what does cake have to do with this blog? Well, the other day I was baking this cake and thinking that many of the people who read me might never get to visit Portugal. And if they do it’s not likely they’ll ever get to eat a cake baked by someone’s mother – you know what I mean: the kind of flavours we grew up with. This is the kind of cake village grannies would cook for their grandchildren. So today I’m making a different kind of post and sharing with you a Portuguese recipe for corn flour cake.
A few things about this cake:
– it’s very easy to make!
– it’s from a town called Trancoso, in Central Portugal;
– it’s made with corn flour and that’s what makes it very authentic, as until the mid 1950’s or so Portugal, along with other European countries, used corn flour instead of wheat flour in most of their baking.
Trancoso was also the hometown of Gonçalo Annes Bandarra, our very own Portuguese prophet. A shoemaker by trade he made his own interpretation of the Old Testament, having composed a series of verses with prophecies. As you might imagine doing that in the 16th century got him into a lot of trouble with the Church and by the end of that century the compilation of his verses found its way to the list of forbidden books.
Well, baking this cake will only get you into trouble with other people who’ll want seconds.
250 gr sugar
100 gr butter (softened)
250 gr corn flour (not polenta)
1 tsp baking powder
150 gr raisins (I didn’t include them)
powdered sugar and cinnamon
Cream the butter and the sugar until it’s nice and creamy. Beat the eggs into the mix and whisk, whisk, whisk. Add the flour, the baking powder and the raisins. Pour the batter into a tube pan or bundt pan (previously greased with a little butter and dusted with some corn flour). Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180º C for about 30 minutes – a skewer inserted near the middle should come out clean. Dust some powdered sugar and cinnamon on top while the cake is still warm.
Enjoy a slice with a nice cup of coffee or a big mug of tea! If you want the full Portuguese experience try it with a glass of Port. 😉
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