Pão-de-ló de Alfeizeirão (a very sweet mistake).

004 (Large)-1Photo by Ilidia @maisacrequedoce

Alfeizeirão has one of the most popular “pão-de-ló” (sponge cake) recipes in Portugal, and its fame expands far beyond the borders of the region where it is baked. Unlike other “Spong-cakes” this “Pão-de-Ló” is not dry, no Sir! Beneath it’s top crust lies a scrumptious egg crème filling that will knock-you-out of your seat.

Fact or myth? 
The story reports that the original recipe belonged to the nuns of the Convent of Cós and it was shared with some ladies from the small surrounding village. One fine day, King D. Carlos visited Alfeizerão, and to honour this illustrious visit, one of these ladies was summoned to make a sponge cake for the king. The pressure of  this immense responsibility was such, that her cooking was incomplete  and  instead of the expected dry “pão-deLó” the final result was a moist, half baked, delicious egg cream filled cake. This resulted in enormous success as it deserved the preference of the king and general public praise and applause. Fact or myth, we really don’t care. It’s a fine story and this “Pão-de-Ló” is superbe :-)

So what’s the whole thing with eggs, huh? (you might rightfully ask)
Portuguese nuns were responsible for  the creation of many of the country’s traditional desserts. In order to keep their habits properly stiff, the nuns used egg whites as starch.  As a result, they were left with a lot of egg yolks, and being the industrious and resource efficient  ladies that they were, they combined those yolks with vast quantities of sugar to create the best desserts ever.

Join us at The Portuguese Conspiracy SupperClub the next 28th of February 2013 @ L’Atelier Dalston and taste this and many other Portuguese delights!

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