by Edite Vieira
from The Taste of Portugal
(Grub Street, 2000)
In The City and the Mountains, the brilliant Portuguese writer Eça de Queiroz recalls his leaving Paris to return to his native Portuguese village for family reasons. What a nuisance. But then he realized that there might be compensations awaiting him: ‘I thought how good Aunt Vicencia’s golden soup would be. I hadn’t savored it for years, nor the roast suckling pig, nor the rice, made at our home!’ He confided afterwards: ‘I ate with delight Aunt Vicencia’s golden soup…’
Golden soup is a dessert served usually during the Christmas season in the Minho province and more specifically in Viana do Castelo.—Edite Vieira
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
7 egg yolks
6 slices sponge cake (it can be stale cake), in thin slices
1. In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar with the water and bring to the boil to make a thick syrup and registers 225°F to 230°F (105°C to 110°C) on a candy thermometer.
2. Remove the syrup from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, carefully dip each slice of cake into the syrup, and place them on a large serving dish.
3. Beat the egg yolks and slowly whisk them into the remaining syrup. Return the pan to the heat for one moment and stir, to thicken, without allowing the yolks to curdle.
4. Pour this custard over the slices, sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve when room temperature.
Recipe © 2000 Edite Vieira. All rights reserved.