[Sca-cooks] Search for an Iberian Recipe

rdownie at mts.net rdownie at mts.net
Mon Jun 11 17:56:07 PDT 2012

Unfortunately I can't seem to find my notes, but I do recall anecdotal references to Portuguese missionairies bringing pão de ló, a sweet cake to Japan.  I've heard the "Castela" cake name derives from the beating of the egg whites into stiff peaks ("bater as claras em castello" is the proper Portuguese baking term for this) I'm not sure how accurate these claims are.  The pão de ló in the Livro de Cozinha of  Infanta D Maria's (circa late 15th to early 16th C) version of the recipe is more of a candy, made with almonds and sugar.  The pão de ló recipe in the Arte de Cozinha of Domingos Rodrigues (circa 1680) is also more of an almond based candy.   I did find a recipe more closely resembling the modern sponge cake version in an old Portuguese convent cookbook, but there are no dates given:To one arrátel (pound) of well refined sugar, add 10 yolks, and 10 whites well beaten, and then add to them 23 more yolks, and continue beating all, with a beater (whisk?) until it thickens well, such that the batter whitens.  When it is so, add one arrátel (pound) of flour; but this is not beaten, simply bring it (the batter) together with your hand; place it immediately into your basins which will go to the oven; line them with paper, the ones which have dough/batter, and cover them with others of the same size, keeping these with the bottom upwards (fancy way of saying upside down....)and they go into the oven;  watch them, for when the pao de lo is fluffy, and colored, they should be removed (from the oven).  At the beating of the eggs you may add a little spoon of refined salt, or what you think. There’s also an article about the subject (in Japanese) by a leading kasutera maker in Nagasaki, Fukusaya: http://www.castella.co.jp/magazine/index.shtml  Faerisa
 > Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2012 17:06:02 -0400
> From: alysk at ix.netcom.com
> To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
> Subject: [Sca-cooks] Search for an Iberian Recipe
> This was posted on another list.  I thought that somebody here might 
> have an answer.  I put the questioner's address at the end of the post 
> in case someone wants to respond to him directly. Posted with permission:
> I have been coming up empty so far, not having had much experience with 
> period cookery, however, I recently finished reading Eric Rath's 
> excellent Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan, which discusses a 
> group of Portuguese-imported recipes collected in a Japanese source 
> dating to 1641.
> One of the recipes is for kasutera, also known as Pao de Castela or 
> Bread of Castile, and Rath mentions the existence of this sweet bread 
> (consisting of eggs, sugar and flour) in Japan as early as the 1570s, 
> when a Japanese Christian opened a shop which made and sold the novelty 
> sweet.
> I would love to find evidence of a surviving recipe in a Portuguese or 
> Spanish source for comparison. Rath's translation from the Japanese is 
> as follows:
> "Knead together 10 eggs, 160 momme (600 grams) of sugar and 160 momme of
> wheat flour. Spread paper in a pot and sprinkle it with flour. Place the 
> dough on top of this. Place a heat source above and below to cook. There 
> are oral instructions." (Note the heat-above-and-below instructions: 
> oven baking was unknown in Japan at the time, so baking this confection 
> involved placing a second pan filled with coals on top of the first, not 
> unlike Dutch oven camp cooking.)  After a couple experimental batches, 
> this recipe works nicely with 6 Grade A Large eggs, otherwise your 
> "dough" turns into cake batter and the bread rises too much. We also 
> discovered that several-day-old kasutera (read "stale") turns from a 
> chewy dense bread into something more like biscotti.
> Many thanks,
> Saionji no Hana
> West Kingdom
> L Joseph <wodeford at yahoo.com>
> -- 
> Elise Fleming
> alysk at ix.netcom.com
> alyskatharine at gmail.com
> http://damealys.medievalcookery.com/
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/8311418@N08/sets/
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