DO YOU KNOW WHICH CAKES AND SWEETS ARE A MUST-HAVE ON YOUR CHRISTMAS TABLE?
This is the most traditional Christmas cake in Portugal and cannot be missing on the table at this time. The idea, however, was brought from France, created at the court of Louis XIV, for the celebration of the New Year and the Epiphany.
It is a fruit cake, round with a hole in the middle, resembling a crown. It is made of sweet dough, with lemon and orange zest, and a little port wine. On top of it, has nuts and candied fruit.
Bolo Rainha, is a variation of Bolo Rei made with the same dough, however, only topped with nuts - no candied fruit.
Recent versions of this cake have different fillings and toppings, such as the one with chocolate.
Broas Castelares (Sweet Potato Cookies)
These cookies were invented by the Castelar brothers, also owners of the Confeitaria Francesa in 1860, Lisbon.
There are several versions of these cookies, but they are usually made of wheat and almond flour, corn starch, sugar, orange zest, but the predominant flavour is the sweet potato. They are dense, sweet and filling.
With a whimsical appearance, the Christmas Trunk was a delicacy imported from France. It is a chocolate cake shaped and decorated to resemble a piece of wood, a symbol of cosiness in the cold seasons.
Lampreia de Ovos (Egg Lamprey)
Like most of the Portuguese sweets and desserts, the Lampreia de Ovos, is made of eggs and sugar. It is a dessert shaped like the lamprey (fish) complemented with a funny decoration - glacé, egg yarn, figs, and candied cherries.
Rabanadas (a kind of French toast)
Both part of a traditional of a Portuguese Christmas, the French toast and the Rabanada are made in the same way, except for the method of frying. They are soaked in milk and egg, however, the French toast is fried in butter and the Rabana is fried in oil.
Sonhos are small balls of fluffy dough fried in oil, bathed in cinnamon powder and sugar after frying. Its dough usually mixed with pumpkin puree although it can be mixed with other flavours like orange or carrot.
These are thin, crispy pieces of dough made from wheat flour, butter and eggs. After being fried, it is rolled in sugar.
This sweet has Moorish origin and because it is weather resistant, it was suitable for long trips, especially in the Middle Age. Nowadays it is only eaten at Christmas.
Azevias are a typical Alentejo sweet. In terms of appearance resembles a patty, however its filling is sweet – flavour wise it can be made with chickpeas, sweet potato, or pumpkin.