Because The Original Name Doesn’t Sound Like A Cake — Portuguese Almond Cake, or Toucinho do Ceu

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First things first: MY BLOG HAD IT’S FIRST BIRTHDAY!! ๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‚
She turned 1 on the 2nd of July. Let me tell you, I am pretty damn proud. It’s like keeping a plant alive: if you cry all over it enough it will grow into something kind of presentable!

Err, or something like that.

Maybe next year I’ll do something cute and like throw my blog a birthday party and take pictures of everything and it will be so goddamn cute holy crap, can 2016 be here already? 2015 sucks man. Raise your hands if you agreezy. ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿ™‹

Even tho 2015 sucks in general, this has been the year of desserts for me. ๐Ÿฐ At least in terms of really cool and fun kind of stuff. Here’s another Portuguese treat! It’s been… uhh HOLY MONKEY BREAD IT’S BEEN BASICALLY A YEAR.
This needs to be remedied… and FAST.

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Ok ok ok. So for mother’s day I decided to make somethin’ really portuguesey because hey my ma is an immigrant.
Just a super big important side note here: Generally speaking most of the recipes in Portuguese cookbooks are basically incomplete in the way we read English-written recipes. Portuguese recipes just kind of leave shit up in the air. In an American piece you expect certain steps and words to be written out — hold our hands, if you will.
A Portuguese recipe on the other hand will give you 10 ingredients and 4 steps to put together a multi-layered project because fuck you.

It’s just really outdated stuff. I’m not even pulling out my mother’s wedding cookbook from the 70s here, people. These are modern magazines from as far back as 2009! The writing is sort of like Julia Child’s The Art of French Cooking in the sense that things are thrown at you, sparsely written and you need to seriously cross your fingers and not cry too much into the bowl so that you don’t over salt your dough.

This cake that I made is actually called “Toucinho do Ceu” which literally means “Bacon from Heaven”.
Where the FUCK are the sexy metal guitar riffs when this magical chain of words are spoken??? Because SERIOUSLY HOW SEXY AND AWESOME DOES THAT SOUND???

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Problem is, Bacon from Heaven sounds more like the last orgasmic meal you eat before you die in bed at 96 in nothing but a lacy black bra, and two 35 year old men holding bottles of gin for you.
Not exactly…. cake-like, would ya say? So following the internet’s ideas, this has now been given the new Christian name of Portuguese Almond Cake. (If the Greeks can claim a whole kind of yogurt, then fuck me sideways, because Portuguese people are claiming the almond cake)

So here’s the recipe, courtesy of TeleCulinaria.

Toucinho do Ceu

*~1-ish cup (2.5 dl) water
*2 1/2 cup (600 g) sugar
*peel of 1/2 lemon
*1 cinnamon stick
*12 egg yolks
*1 1/2 cup (300 g) ground almond {NOT FLOUR}
*3 whole eggs
*extra slivered almonds for decoration (or something)

note: this recipe sounds like it doesn’t make sense while you’re making it. Especially if you look at the pictures and you see that it’s this egg custardy thing. I was confused as FUCK throughout the whole thing. Trust me. It works. Even I didn’t screw it up.

1. This first step right here is literally the basis for almost ALL portuguese desserts. The second I started cooking this up, I felt euphoric and extremely nostalgic.
Grab a medium sized pot and put your water, sugar, lemon peel and cinnamon stick in it. It’s gonna look like too much sugar for the water. Good. This is what makes portuguese desserts amazing and is not for the faint of heart.
Let it reach to boiling point.

2. Pour all of your ground almond into the sugar pot, and stir it while it boils for another minute.

3. move pot from the flame and pick out the cinnamon stick and the lemon peel. Let it cool off. Start preheating the oven to 375F.

4. Beat your 12 egg yolks with your 3 whole eggs. If your almond-sugar mixture is still too hot, start by tempering the eggs with the mixture. Just pour a little bit of egg mixture into the almond-sugar mixture and stir like a MAD WOMAN. Slowly keep adding in more egg and stiring like CRAZY until the mixture has reached almost room temp, and you can just pour all of the eggs into it.

5. Get out a springform pan and coat it in butter and SUGAR, not flour. Now pour your mixture into it. It’s going to look like a lumpy disgusting vomit oatmeal sort of mess. THIS IS GOOD. THIS IS GOOD. THIS IS GOOOOOOOOD.

6. Find a pan you can put your springform pan into, because you’re gonna be cooking this sucker, bain-marie style. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ my faaaaave. Boil a kettle of water, and lovingly place your springform pan into your casserole dish. Once the water is boiled, add water into the casserole dish AROUND the springform pan. It only needs to come up about halfway. Set it in the oven and let it cook for about 50 or so minutes. It’s really difficult to tell when it’s done because the top part while it’s in the pan, is actually the bottom. So all of the almonds float to the top. I just kept jigglin’ at it.

7. Once it UHH seems done??? remove it and let it cool off a bit, running a knife around the sides to loosen it up. Once cooled you’re gonna have to flip it over onto a plate and birth it from it’s metal womb.

8. DECORATE!! I mean you don’t have to. I just felt the need because mine had a hideous crack in the middle. I had to COVER DAT SHIT UP.

This cake can be eaten still warm. It’s just so fucking delicious and sticky in all of the right ways. It’s a clean sort of stickiness to it. I know this makes no sense???? Just bare with me here.

Best part about this dessert? DAIRY FREE!!! So okay okay, it’s clearly not vegan. I’m not even sure it could be made in a vegan manner? But if somebody does, totally let me know, because I’d love to try it just for funsies.

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The sweet sweet smell of childhood. Yes, pun intended. Pun fully fuckin’ intended. โœŒ๏ธ

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Once you add the almonds to the sugar mixture do not fear the vomit now in your pot. This will become something beautiful, like when you wake up with a serious hangover and remember your shenangians and realize holy crap that was so fuckin’ stupid, let me write a comedy article about it

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How does this cake do this??? For real? This is like those “magic custard cakes” that everybody was wetting their pants over on Pinterest. Clearly this is a case of Smoke, Mirrors, Magic and Portuguese Witchcraft.

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If this picture doesn’t convince you to bake this then you need to check to see if you’re dead. For real. Check your pulse. You might have died months ago and are just realizing it now. Don’t panic. I’m sure there’s cake in ghost-land, or else I’m just refusing to die.

Eat this cake when it comes piping out of the oven, and the sugar pulls a little as you cut it. Eat this cake at midnight in nothing but your zebra print undies. Eat this cake as fast as possible, because you’re gonna wake up and it’s gonna be gone.



9 thoughts on “Because The Original Name Doesn’t Sound Like A Cake — Portuguese Almond Cake, or Toucinho do Ceu

    • Aw thank you! The cake is seriously delicious. It’s a particularly interesting flavor… but I really hate using the cop out of “you just gotta try it” but it’s true! If you can manage to give up so many eggs and almonds is most certainly worth it.

      Honestly it’s a better egg sacrifice than to the Macaron Gods whom always laugh at us mere mortals for even trying to create their impossible cookies.

    • You are like the cutest and the sweetest ever!!! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜ you’re much too nice to be reading my older posts!

      I do seriously encourage you to try it if you want!! It’s not a very hard recipe, even though everything about it seems “wrong” as you make it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ it’s such a unique sort of texture. It’s like almost egg custardy!

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