Sonhos are fried cakes like small doughnuts but much lighter in texture. There are many variations on the theme all over Portugal. Generally speaking, fried cakes are intended for the Christmas season, but, being so popular, sonhos are made at other times as well, and some specialty patisseries sell them freshly made on a daily basis.—Edite Vieira
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
Pinch of salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to form a ball. Take the pan off the heat and place it in the sink half filled with water.
2. After cooling the mixture a bit, beat in the eggs, one by one. Continue beating to aerate the dough. When ready, deep-fry spoonfuls of the dough in hot oil (360°F/180°C) until golden. Remove and drain on paper towels.
3. To serve, dust the sonhos with a mixture of confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon. Serve warm.
Recipe © 2000 Edite Vieira. All rights reserved.