Portuguese desserts, usually quite sweet and high in egg content, have never been a nightly habit. But bring on a special occasion or holiday, and you can find the dessert table over laden with puddings of rice, custard, meringue, platters of cookies and cakes and of course sweet bread, some will call “massa sovada” and others “pão doce”. Usually the flavoring consists of grated lemon peel or orange peel and of course cinnamon. Today you will find some cooks using vanilla more frequently. Cookies are typically brushed with beaten egg wash. They aren’t usually fancy but they’re the perfect match with hot tea or coffee. Modern versions are including the use of baking powder in recipes that previously relied solely on a beaten quantity of eggs for leavening. Eggs are separated, yolks incorporated into the batter and the stiffly beaten whites are folded in the batter before pouring into the prepared cake pan.
A Word from the Chef
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