I have been planning and talking about this project-of cooking and baking my way through my Portuguese grandmother’s recipes and those of her four sisters-for a few months now. To have my first recipe completed feels like a huge accomplishment! The first recipe I have chosen is from one of my aunts, Elvira. My Tia Elvira lives in Idaho, and is originally from the island of São Jorge. São Jorge is one of nine islands of the Archipelago of the Azores, located in the Atlantic Ocean. I remember this cake being made by Tia Elvira’s mother (my great-grandmother), Isabel, when I was little. It’s a simple cake to make, and it’s a comforting one. It goes great with coffee and tea in the morning or for an evening snack. Although it was easy to make, making sure I had the correct measurements down was funny as most every Portuguese cook just cooks from memory, and it is some memory! I had to do some conversions with the measurements I was given, but it turned out really well.
Below is the recipe:
Yields: 10-12 slices
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup whole milk, warm
1) Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a Bundt cake pan with cooking spray or butter.
2) In a medium bowl, beat sugar, butter, and egg yolks until creamy and smooth. Add flour, baking powder, and milk, and beat until all ingredients are well incorporated into one another.
3) In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks, and gently fold them into the batter.
4) Pour batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.