My friends all went to the beach on Monday and kindly invited me out on Sunday. I declined early because I was still at the Portuguese 4th of July party drinking wine like the world was ending. When my friends asked why I wouldn’t be able to go I
drunkingly told them because I already had too much to drink, so I would be hungover and possibly couldn’t go to the beach the next day.
Confession time: This is a lie. I’m so fucking lazy I couldn’t bare the idea of getting up at 9am so I could leave to go to the beach at 9:30am. Nope nope. Fuck that noise. I ain’t getting up that early. What do I look like to you? An early morning Wizard? There’s a reason I’m unemployed, people.
So, I was going to resign to the fact that I was going to sit on my ass and finally catch up on Game of Thrones (I’ve been avoiding Drogo’s death. I KNOW I’M ONLY ON SEASON ONE I AM SLOW AT THESE THINGS BARE WITH ME) when my sister intercepted me.
“You gotta bake some shit with all of the eggs we have. They’re gonna go in the garbage soon.” Whiskey says.
“Wait what? You mean that basket of eggs?”
Pause. Let me explain here. My godmother (from this moment forward remember that all of my relatives and mother’s friends are Portuguese) raises chickens out in nowheresville and gives us eggs like every two weeks, which sounds so super awesome, because hey, free eggs and they’re farm fresh, right?
Let me tell you a thing: There are too many eggs in this house. We don’t go through them fast enough, and these suckers go bad, quickly. Before you know it, a basket of like 30 innocent looking eggs are all cracked open and smell like the most disgusting sulfur shit you have ever smelled in your life. Whiskey and I stopped eating eggs for two weeks because 3 or 4 eggs were rotten. Dark times. I actually had to eat bread for lunch.
So what desserts require a lot of eggs? Maybe lemon curd (nobody eats lemon desserts in my house, thanks assholes), ice cream (can’t will die), uhhh I guess creme brulees or some shit, I dunno, I’m no baking wizard.
“Wait! Our people use lots of eggs!” I exclaimed to no-one since my sister was already outside watering our trees.
And that was when the Pão de Ló came into my mind, almost like a calling from higher beings.
“What is a Pão de Ló?” you ask, cocking your head to the side. Well, my friends, take my hand, and I will be your Portuguese dessert spirit animal.
Pão de Ló is basically a sponge cake,
or a genoise cake for you baking snobs, like me that is made with like four ingredients and uses no leavening agent and rises by the magic of air and some egg wizardry.
yes magic is the running theme today, okay?
There’s regional differences between all of them, and some have holes in them (a b-b-bunt cake?) and some are just regular cakes. Ovar has the best version of this, and I will fight any person, Portuguese included, if they disagree.
According to the Portuguese wiki page, we introduced the dessert to Japan, and in Italy it’s called “Spanish Cake”.
Thanks, Spain. Like poor Portugal needs you to overshadow us more with your sheer landmass and people thinking we’re just a region and not a real sovereign country.
Just a quick warning, do not attempt this recipe unless you have a shitload of eggs to get rid of.
You will not have that many eggs unless you reach such a large quantity.
Alright alright alright. I guess I’m just salty. Let’s cut the crap and get to baking, yes? Get ready for the easiest mo’fuckin’ cake you’ll ever make. No joke. You literally can’t mess this up.
and somehow I did
I followed the recipe from here. It’s in Portuguese, btw, so have fun reading that. I also have made this cake (rather, observed) before, so I’ve gone through the liberty of being so benevolent and not only translating, but nutmeg-afying the recipe.
Follow the pictures below and watch me screw everything up.
Pão de Ló
Serves: However many slices you want, man. I don’t know?
*180 grams (about 1 cup, I guess. A little less. I hate metric, fuck you standard world measurements) sugar
*100 grams (about 1/2 a cup???) all-purpose flour
1. Preheat your over to around 400 but not more than 430 degrees. Pull out your stand mixer with the whisk attachment. If you’re gonna do this with a handheld, you’re gonna have a bad time. If you’re gonna do this with just a whisk and your arms, you will be ripped for the summer, your welcome. Crack all 8 of your farm fresh eggs that are going bad and throw the all of the sugar in there. No need to be foofy and do this shit in parts.
2. The recipe here says to beat it for 5 minutes, except NO and beat these eggs for TEN minutes. That’s right. You want these eggs to be so fucking fluffy they ultimately collapse under the weight of their puffery and lies once removed from the oven. I have pictures down below to show you the difference, and HOW THOSE 5 EXTRA MINUTES MEAN THE WORLD TO THIS BATTER, MAN.
3. Separate your egg yolks and save the whites for some shit (I still have to think of what I’m baking next). Plop all ten of those babies in there and beat it for another 5 more minutes, completely disregarding the original recipe, because I am wholly Right.
even though i still messed up
4. At this point you will be feeling cocky as hell, because hey, the first dessert you’ve made in a while that hasn’t started and ended with tears, right? You will prance around the kitchen in a long tee shirt you got from free from attending those “be environmentally friendly, ya shitheads” events they have on campus, because you were too obsessed with trying to flirt with the cute campus beekeeper.
It doesn’t work
5. Okay, so let me explain to you something. Years ago some family friends bought us a traditional cake “bowl” for this, and it comes with traditional papers that are supposed to be wrapped around the cake. Since I’m, ya know, just gonna make an assumption that most of you won’t have this cake bowl, just take your tallest pan of anything and put sheets of parchment paper. Just rip some up and just like crumple it in there. Double bag it. The cake is supposed to be oblong and lumpy like my soul.
6. Take your flour and sift it (if you feel like it. Whiskey yelled at me and told me I’m a horrible baker because I’m lazy and inconsistent. I can’t help cutting corners. I’m just trying to be efficient here, jeez.)The original recipe says to whisk it. For whatever reason in my pea-brain I decided to think this was a very bad idea, because the batter would fall or something. no idea if this is true don’t listen to me so I just folded it in. be warned: the flour HIDES in the batter. Fold that and keep folding it longer than you expect. Or just be smart and do a quick whisk. Don’t make my mistake friends.
7. Pour out your cake into your messy papered up cake pan. Once you get to the bottom, do not panic if you see there is still a lot of flour. Mix it really quick and keep pouring. Do not panic if you see it sink into the bottom of your cake pan. Just stir it quickly and gently. Once you’re done panicking, pop the pan into the preheated oven and set your timer for anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes. The cake should turn brown and still jiggle a bit like a cheesecake. If you’ve never baked a cheesecake from scratch, I can’t help you.
8. If the cake is browning too much, throw some foil on it, delicately, since the paper sort of prevents you from covering it properly. Once you feel it in your bones that it’s done, remove it and don’t touch that sucker. Let it settle for like half an hour or else it’ll spread out. As it cools it’ll collapse like a souffle full of false promises. Once cool, tear into that asshole however you want, because you can’t really get normal cake slices and feast on its delicious soft wet interior like the barbarian you are.
Watch as my confidence collapses like my hopes and dreams.
See? Trust me, amigos. I know my shit.
Okay, confession time: This cake is supposed to be wet, but…. not exactly as runny as I have it. I actually had to scoop out the extra yolky-shit away because I totally undercooked it. It’s supposed to be more…. cakey and almost just as wet. IT’S HARD TO EXPLAIN OKAY? I’m just heart broken because it looked so beautiful from the outside and was mushy and disgusting on the inside, kind of like how all of my relationships with men start. Full of promise and nothing but disappointment once you get inside them.
Whoa wait that shit got too deep sorry
My mother returned home from gallivanting at the beach with my godmother, who proceeded to complain about me not having made a cake for her. Sorry not a mind wizard here. Eh? Eh????
She reminded me there were strawberries going bad in the fridge that I must use today. Great. I’d just spent all day baking a cake, and now I still gotta think of some shit to do with my least favorite fruit? Bahh, stay-at-home daughter problems.
Pulled out the berries and grabbed a bag of lemons and hunted for a recipe and found this one at Bakingdom which has pictures so beautiful and perfect I want to vomit all over myself because I will never achieve such kawaii cuteness.
Changed some shit around because I hate disgustingly sweet lemonades. I ain’t need no diabeetus.
But it’s more like I’m a bitch and can’t handle my sugar.
Serves: Half a gallon (I guess. I didn’t even pour it out of the tupperware)
*1 lb strawberries (half rotten will even work here. Trust me)
*1 cup fresh lemon juice (like 9 lemons)
*1 cup (200 grams) sugar
*5 cups cold water
1. Lets get this shit started. Pull out your mother’s old as hell scale that has to be from the fucking 70s or early 80s because damn this shit is ugly. Put 5 cups of cold water in a pot with your 1 cup of sugar (that I even was bored enough to weigh out) and boil that baby to make sure those sugar crystals are all melted in and make this huge simple syrup soup.
2. Sit your ass down for this, because you’re gonna be squeezing lemons for a long time. Squeeze the lemons like you have an anxiety issue and you need to release your stress into something that cannot feel pain. Please be sure to not play with the lemons by lewdly inserting your fingers into them like I did. Once you’ve had your fun and reached a cup, pour that juice into the simple syrup soup.
3. Pull out your blender and throw all of your
rotting fresh strawberries into it. Use whatever button you think would turn the berries from whole to pulverized slush. Be sure to occasionally open it and shove the berries around because I’m dumb and put them into the most awkward way to blend. Please do be pleasantly surprised when you discover that blended strawberries alone look like a smoothie, and then immediately feel embarrassed and pity yourself for not having known that before.
4. Grab a mesh strainer and a container for your strawberry slush. If you’re really smart like me, you’ll pull out a square container and try to literally fit a round peg into a square hole. (takes some elbow grease, but hey it works!) Strain your slush so it becomes strawberry liquid and removes most of those annoying crunchy-ass seeds.
5. At this point you can combine everything together and stir for fun. However I’m not sure how long the lemonade lasts with everything mixed in together. Methinks the strawberries get too sour, SO keep ’em separate. When you want, grab a soup spoon and scoop out some strawberry liquid and throw it in your cup and add the lemon simple syrup soup and stir stir stir for something that even I like.
Okay, this shot was staged. I had already poured in the sugar. I felt like being a real fancy baking blogs like the others, mama.
…except it doesn’t work because my kitchen is weird, my equipment is ugly and I bake almost everything at night with no natural lighting.