Toucinho do Ceu – Bacon From Heaven
I love the fact that I learn a little bit of Portuguese Foodie – history when I share a recipe. Today, Pastry Chef Vania Soares from 42 and Bellota Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton, Westchester NY, sent me her recipe for “Toucinho-do-céu ” – Bacon From Heaven.
This is a wonderfully “Sinful” dessert created centuries ago in northern Portugal by nuns around the Eighteenth Century!
Most Portuguese desserts use egg yolks and sugar. Why mostly egg yolks? It’s because the egg whites are used to clarify wine (like a filter), acting like a brush to sweep out impurities.
The wine makers in the local region would save the yolks and give them to the nuns at the convents who make desserts which were sold, to raise money for the poor.
There are different versions of this classic dessert sold in pastry shops all over Portugal, one is made with Almonds and one made with Gila, a sweet pumpkin jelly. A convent in the city of Murca, Portugal, is rumored to have first invented this version for the dessert using Gila. Watch the video below for a demonstration of Toucinho do céu, Murça.
Some believe the recipe came from the convent of Santa Clara in Guimarães, Portugal. The convent closed in 1910 but 3 displaced nuns carried on the traditional recipes by making pastries to support themselves. Years later, the nuns niece, Palmira learned the recipes and opened Casa Costinhas in the city that is the European Capital of Culture 2012. Visit golisbon.com/guimaraes, portugaldailyview.com, cafeportugal.net, for more information and to learn about our cuisine’s origins!
2 3/4 cups ground almonds —– (300 g amêndoa moida)
1 cup water —— (0.250 Lt água)
2 1/2 cups sugar —– (500 g açúcar)
4 eggs —– (4 ovos)
2 tbsp melted butter —– (25 g manteiga derretida)
1/2 crated lemon peel —– (1/2 limão raspa)
1 tsp cinnamon —– (q.b. canela em pó)
1 tbsp flour —– (12 g farinha)
20 egg yolks —– (20 gemas)
Make a syrup with the sugar and water and heat up to 225 degrees or until a wooden spoon becomes coated. Meanwhile beat the 4 eggs and egg yolks well and set aside. When sugar is cooled, add eggs and beat well. Add the butter, lemon, cinnamon, almonds and flour. Stir well and bring to boil to thicken over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Pour into a greased and floured cake pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
Fazer a calda com o açúcar e a água até aos 108ºC, adicionar os ovos e as gemas previamente batidos e mexer bem. Adicionar a manteiga, o limão, a canela, a amêndoa e a farinha. Mexer bem e levar ao lume a engrossar em lume brando, sem parar de mexer para não queimar. Deitar numa forma untada e polvilhada de farinha e cozer a 180ºC por 25-30 minutos.
Video from: Toucinho do Ceu – Murca, Portugal