18 November 2018

Pecan Pie / Tarte de Nozes Pecã.


Pecan Pie is the theme for the 33rd edition of the Sweet World challenge.
Pecan pie is an American creation.
Pecans are native to North America. The nuts were propagated by Native Americans as far north as Illinois and the southern part of Iowa, according to Edgar Rose, a former engineer and self-made pecan pie expert who lives in Illinois.

Pecans grew along areas watered by the Mississippi River, spreading a bit to the east into Alabama. Following the Civil War, commercial developers brought in a few varieties of pecans to grow in Georgia (the state is now the main commercial grower of pecans in the U.S.). Grafted pecan trees also became prevalent in Louisiana in the mid to late 1800s. The name of the nut itself is derived from the French word "pacane", which is taken from the Algonquian word for “nut.” That may help explain why some believe the French invented the pecan pie after settling in New Orleans, though there’s seemingly little evidence to support that.

The earliest printed pecan recipes began popping up in Texas cookbooks in 1870s and 1880s. The first recipe that most closely resembles what we know today as pecan pie was published in 1898 in a church charity cookbook in St. Louis, but it was sent in by a Texas woman.

By the beginning of the 20th century, recipes for pecan pie had started appearing outside of Texas, but the pie wouldn’t surge in popularity until the mid 1920s. That’s when the manufacturer of Karo syrup began printing a recipe for pecan pie on cans of the product, as James McWilliams noted in The Pecan: A History of America's Native Nut. Wide distribution of Karo syrup introduced many people to pecan pie, who found it was quite simple to make.

Technically classified as a “sugar pie,” the classic pecan pie recipe promulgated by the makers of Karo syrup uses a cup of the product in the mixture, along with eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and of course, pecans. Alternatives for Karo syrup include brown sugar and molasses, and some recipes add bourbon, rum, or whiskey into the mix. Pecan pie is nearly always baked in a traditional pie crust verses a crumble crust or a cookie crust.

As with any classic dish, near-countless variations have emerged. Popular additions to the traditional pecan pie include bourbon, whiskey, shredded coconut, and chocolate. There are also pecan pie-cheesecake hybrids, pecan hand pies, and, strangely enough, pseudo-healthy versions involving chia seeds. Molasses or brown sugar sometimes serve as a substitute for the corn syrup, an ingredient that’s gotten a bad rap from nutrition advocates in recent years.

The dense combination of butter, sugar, corn syrup, and eggs create the gooey interior of pecan pie, which complements the crispiness of the top layer. While baking, the pecans rise to the top, leaving a gooey layer of sugary custard below.

Early 20th century recipes for pecan pie occasionally contained items such as milk and raisins, but once the Karo syrup recipe spread across the country, the ingredients changed little (barring personal tweaks and individual preferences). The majority of pecan pie recipes published today are still based on the traditional Karo syrup recipe.
How did it become a Thanksgiving staple?
With the advent of corn syrup and a pecan surplus, the popularity of the pies spread across the country. Pecan harvesting begins in late September and extends into November, making the timing just right to fuel pecan pie baking for the holiday.

Font: Eater - A brief History of Pecan Pie.


15 November 2018

Raspberry flecked Sour Cream Cake / Bolo de Natas Azedas e Framboesas desidratadas.


Today is National Bundt Cake Day and, as a true Bundt lover, I couldn't miss it.
In case you've never noticed, there's 29 Bundt Cake recipes here on the blog.
My choice today is this absolutely divine Nigella Lawson recipe. A cake that I've already made and that is absolutely divine and to die for!
As Nigella wrote in the book (At My Table): "this cake is perfect for slicing and eating with a cup of tea or coffee. The sour cream makes for a firm but velvety soft crumb and the freeze-dried raspberries that are folded into the batter punctuate it with sharpness".
Happy National Bundt Cake Day.

25 October 2018

Sweet World Round Up (32nd edition) - Pavlova.

32nd edition of the Sweet World and we've asked you to make a Pavlova!
In case you've missed it, you can read everything about Pavlovas and check the recipe I've presented in this post.
Thank you so much to everybody that joined us this month and made gorgeous Pavlovas.
Meanwhile, don't forget to check Susana's blog and the theme for our 33rd edition!
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Pavlova foi o tema lançado para a 32ª edição do nosso Sweet World!
Caso tenham curiosidade em saber as origens desta magnífica sobremesa, consultem o post que aqui publiquei e experimentem a receita que lá vos deixei, ou escolham uma das 14  receitas que andam aqui pelo blogue, pois são todas maravilhosas.
Muito obrigada a todos os que nos presentearam com os resultados das suas maravilhosas Pavlovas e aqui vos deixo o desfile deste mês.
Já sabem, caso queiram participar na 33ª edição do Sweet World, o tema já está apresentado no blog da Susana!



16 October 2018

Blackcurrants, Goat's Cheese, Hazelnuts & Rosemary Soda Bread for the World Bread Day 2018 / Soda Bread de Groselhas Pretas, Queijo de Cabra, Avelãs e Alecrim, para o Dia Mundial do Pão 2018.


It's World Bread Day and, of course, once more, I couldn't miss it for anything in the world!
Every year, as soon as I receive Zorra's e-mail invitation, I start looking for recipes and trying to decide which kind of bread i'll be making. Such an excitement for a bread lover as I am!!
This year, I've decided to make a simple yet super delicious Soda Bread!
The combination and burst of flavours in this bread is so exciting and marvelous, that I couldn't be more pleased with my choice.
The recipe is from the most gorgeous and beautiful book I've bought this year! "Time" from the amazing Gill Meller, a fantastic Chef that I totally adore and, I've once introduced in this post.


15 October 2018

Pumpkin, Saffron and Orange Soup for the Virtual Pumpkin Party / Sopa de Abóbora, Açafrão e Laranja, para a Festa Virtual da Abóbora.


It's Virtual Pumpkin Party Day 2018 and, I so love to cook with pumpkin, that I couldn't miss this day for anything in the world!
It's my 3rd year participating in this fabulous initiative and, here and here, you can check my previous contributions for this fabulous event.
This year, I've decided to make this amazing Ottolenghi soup. A recipe from his brand new, and absolutely FANTASTIC book "Simple".
This is a recipe for soup lovers and to be enjoyed now, that the days are getting cooler and cooler. Full of warmth and autumnal flavours, this soup is a must try!
Just in case you want to have a look and check all the fabulous bloggers that are celebrating this virtual day and all the fantastic delights they've cooked, check Sara's blog and enjoy the pumpkin feast.

20 September 2018

Fig Pavlova for the 32nd edition of the Sweet World / Pavlova de Figos para a 32ª edição do Sweet World.


After a wee Summer break, the Sweet World challenge is back for its 32nd edition and the theme for this edition is my most beloved Pavlova!

Pavlova, as you know, is something that I truly adore and if you look under the "Pavlova label", you'll find 14 Pavlova recipes for this dessert so, you're spoiled for choices...

1 September 2018

Sweet World Round Up - Chaja Cake / Bolo Chaja.

After a very hectic Summer and not having had the time to write this post in time, here it is! Finally!! the round up of the 30th edition of the Sweet World.
We've asked you to make a Chaja Cake and, just in case you don't know what is a Chaja Cake, you can read everything about it in this post.
Only four of us made the cake but, saying that, the all four cakes are super gorgeous and beautiful and we are very grateful to the ones that support the SW month after month. Thank You!!

Meanwhile (and unfortunately I couldn't make it), Susana challenged you all to make a Clafoutis for the 31st edition of the SW and hers look so gorgeous and delicious...
The SW is now taking a Summer break and will be back on the 20th of September with a new exciting theme. Stay tuned and drool over these gorgeous Chaja Cakes!
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Olá, olá!!

Depois de um Verão em Portugal, onde matei saudades de Lisboa, da família, de amigos da vida e amigas foodies e bloggers; um Verão com alguns altos e muitos baixos momentos; um Verão com altas e baixas temperaturas; com dias de praia e Sol e calor e dias de chuva, chuviscos e céus cinzentos...
e após umas férias que, por motivos pessoais e familiares e tristes, se prolongaram mais que o previsto...

muito, muito atrasado e acompanhado de um enorme pedido de desculpas, aqui vos deixo, finalmente, o Round Up da 30ª edição do nosso SW, cujo tema foi o Bolo Chaja.
Caso não tenham lido ou desconheçam as origens do Bolo Chaja, leiam este post e ficarão a saber tudo.
Apenas 4 de nós tiveram tempo ou paciência para o testar mas, dito isto, sejam 1, 4 ou 5.000, a felicidade e gratidão será sempre enorme para com todos os que, mês após mês aqui estão, ávidos por conhecimento e dispostos a conhecer e descobrir novos sabores e combinações.
Muito, muito OBRIGADA a todos, SEMPRE!!

Entretanto (e infelizmente eu não consegui participar), A Susana lançou aqui, o tema da 31ª edição do SW.
Viram que lindo e apetitoso ficou este Clafoutis da Susana?

O SW está agora de férias e voltará no dia 20 de Setembro com mais um, muito interessante e delicioso tema (eu adoro!!! aviso já!).
Esperamos poder voltar a contar com a presença de todos os "veteranos", "noviços" e "curiosos" participantes.
Até lá, deliciem-se com estes lindos Bolos Chaja!


20 June 2018

Chaja Peach Meringue Cake for the Sweet World / Bolo Chaja com Pêssegos e Suspiros para o Sweet World.


Chaja Cake is the theme for the 30th edition of the Sweet World.
Chaja (chajá) is an Uruguayan dessert.
Delicious layers of sponge cake, meringue, whipped cream, and peaches.
This cake was invented by Orlando Castellano in the late 1920's at the Confitería Las Familias in Paysandú.
The unusual part is that it's named after a large, odd-looking local bird, el chajá (also known as a "crested screamer"), which has pockets of air under its skin. Apparently, those pockets of air, were the ones that inspired Mr. Castellano to add the crushed meringue to the cake.
I couldn't find much more information about this cake but I'd be happy if any of you know more about it and want to share it with us.
Actually, apart for the addition of the meringue, to me, this cake, is nothing more than a Victoria Sponge with peaches instead of strawberries or raspberries but, saying that! it's a very moist and delightful cake.
So? Do you want to make a Chaja Cake? Rules, as always, are simple:
  1. You have until the 20th of July to make and publish your Chaja Cake. 
  2. That same day, 20th of July, Susana will let you know on her blog, the theme for the 31st edition of the Sweet World. 
  3. You'll have to leave your link in this post, in order to be featured in the monthly round up that will be published here on the blog, on the 15th of August. Yes! This time and again, as I'll be in holidays, I can't post the round up before that date.

18 June 2018

Celebrating Life Cycles with Thatchers Family Reserve.





This really was one of those moments that you'll always remember.

It was September 6th 2017 and my dear friend Scott, had just finished a three year course at Warwick University.

No sooner had him received his certificate than he was packing his rucksack and taking a final look at his bedroom before heading downstairs to a living room full of his closest friends and family. He was about to embark on the most courageous journey of his life. Flying 10,000 miles to another continent, to work and travel for a year in Australia.

It was time to find himself, as the cliché goes, and what better way to do it than to head to the other side of the world all on his own?



11 June 2018

Victoria Sponge Cake - Sweet World.


As you can read here, Victoria Sponge Cake is the theme for the 29th edition of the Sweet World! 29th!! Do you believe it? Amazing!! to say the least!!
Sponge Cake is a cake based on flour (usually wheat flour), sugar, butter and eggs, and is sometimes leavened with baking powder. It has a firm yet well-aerated structure.
In the United Kingdom a sponge cake is produced using the batter method, while in the US, cakes made using the batter method are known as butter or pound cakes. Two common British batter-method sponge cakes are the layered Victoria sponge cake and Madeira cake. The Victorian creation of baking powder by English food manufacturer Alfred Bird in 1843, enabled the sponge to rise higher than cakes made previously.
Cakes made using the foam method are not classed as sponge cakes in the UK; these cakes are classed as foam cakes, which are quite different. These cakes are common in Europe, especially in Italian patisseries. The cake was first invented by the Italian pastry chef Giovan Battista Cabona (called Giobatta), at the court of Spain with his lord, the Genoese marquis Domenico Pallavicini, around the middle of the 16th century.
The sponge cake is thought to be one of the first of the non-yeasted cakes, and the earliest attested sponge cake recipe in English is found in a book by the English poet Gervase Markham, The English Huswife, Containing the Inward and Outward Virtues Which Ought to Be in a Complete Woman (1615).
Though it does not appear in Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy (1747) in the late 18th century, it is found in Lydia Maria Child's The American Frugal Housewife (1832), indicating that sponge cakes had been established in Grenada in the Caribbean by the early 19th century.
Variations on the theme of a cake lifted, partially or wholly, by trapped air in the batter exist in most places where European patisserie has spread, including the Anglo-Jewish "Plava", Italian Génoise, the Portuguese Pão-de-ló, and the possibly ancestral Italian Pan di Spagna ("Spanish bread").
Derivatives of the basic sponge cake idea include the American chiffon cake and the Latin American Tres Leches Cake.

27 May 2018

Sweet World Round Up - Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake) / Bolo Picada de Abelha.


Two days late and for that, my sincere apologies! here it is, finally, the round up of our 28th edition of the Sweet World.
This month, we asked you to make a Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake). In case you've missed it, you can check the recipe I've presented in this post.
I'm very happy and proud with the the gorgeous cakes presented and so, a big Thank you to everyone that have made a Bee Sting Cake and enjoyed, not just making, but also tasting it.
Meanwhile, don't forget to check here, the theme for our 29th edition!
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Dois dias atrasado, facto pelo qual peço desde já milhões de desculpas, cá está finalmente o Round Up deste mês.
Bee Sting Cake ou Bolo Picada de Abelha, foi o tema lançado para a 28ª edição do nosso Sweet World!
Os bolos apresentados são todos lindos e assim sendo, só me resta agradecer muito a todos os que fizeram e apreciaram esta especialidade alemã.
Obrigada a todas!!
Aqui ficam então os lindos Bee Sting Cakes deste mês e, já sabem, caso queiram participar na 29ª edição do Sweet World, o tema já está apresentado aqui, no blog da Susana!