Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bola de Berlin

Today is my blog's anniversary! In the summer of 2007 I started discovering the online crafty community and fell in love with reading much that I created my (sometimes neglected) own. There has been a lot of changes in my life in these 7 years, naturally, and I love to see that documented on the blog. A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine asked me why had I never written a post about the name of the I have decided to celebrate this special blog-anniversary day with a little piece on that and a recipe.

I must start saying that I love cakes and all sweet things. That's the main reason why I'm not in speaking terms with my weighting scales, but I think that life wouldn't be as fun without cake so I keep eating them! love affair with the Portuguese cakes called "Bolas de Berlim" started when I was child on holidays in Montegordo (a beach in my beloved home country of Portugal). The sea water was warm and I loved nothing else but swimming and playing in it…except when I heard a man walking down the beach, all dressed in white, singing “ooooooohhhhh bolinhas berliiiiiiiiim”! That was it; I was out of the water as quickly as I could and straight to my parents’ parasol asking “please, please, please” for one “Bola de Berlim”. The man carried a wicker basket and inside were these lovely golden cakes in the shape of a ball ("bola" in Portuguese)…he’d stop whenever people approached him wanting to buy these delicious cakes and you would see him surrounded by kids and grown ups alike in no time.

Nothing tastes like it to this day…maybe it’s the taste of sweet memories that make it extra special for me. I named my blog after my favourite cakes because I wanted it to be as sweet as them. I know...but it's true :)
Bolas de Berlim – Recipe (found in an old family recipe book)
* For the dough:
   – 0.5kg flour
   – 25g baker’s yeast
   – 75g sugar
   – 1 dl lukewarm water (to dissolve the yeast)
   – 1 egg
   – 3 egg yolks
   – flour (for sprinkling)
* For the Portuguese Pastry Cook Custard (filling):
   – 0.5l of milk
   – 1 lemon peel
   – 60g of flour
   – 150g of sugar
   – 6 egg yolks
First, dissolve the baker’s yeast in lukewarm water. then mix it with the flour, egg, egg yolks and sugar. Knead the mixture well, until it acquires the consistency of a bread dough, then sprinkle it with flour, place it in a container and cover with a cloth.
Leave it to ferment for about an hour in a warm place. Then knead it lightly and cut off 50-gram-pieces of dough. Shape these into small balls. Arrange the balls of dough on a narrow, spread out cloth sprinkled with flour, and leave them to ferment until they double in size. Pick them up carefully one at the time and fry them in moderately hot cooking oil. then drain and sprinkle them or coat them in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon in the proportion of five parts of sugar to one part of cinnamon. Open them up in the middle with scissors and add the filling.
For the Portuguese Pastry Cook Custard: mix the sugar with the flour, add the egg yolks and then add the milk little by little, stirring continuously. Heat this up with bubbles, stirring continuously especially near the side of the pan. remove from the heat and pour into a cold container.