• Portuguese custard tarts (pastéis de nata) (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson
Wear elasticised pants, that's all we're saying.
8 May 2018 - 10:32 AM  UPDATED 14 May 2018 - 11:06 AM

They're fun to say, and even more, fun to eat. Let's just say, there won't be a shortage of sugar, pastry or cream to go around with these sweet hitters.

1. Cavacas

Pastry meets cupcake in this Portuguese-style profiterole. It's made with the pantry staples of eggs, flour, icing sugar and milk and the pastry should be light and the glaze is usually of the lemon variety.

2. Bola de berlim

These Portuguese doughnuts are irresistible! The crème pâtissière is made with a generous amount of egg yolks resulting in a rich and luscious filling and you may just be left with a custardy moustache! Get this recipe here.

Portuguese doughnuts (bola de Berlim).

3. Queijada de feijão

Right next to the pastéis de nata (traditional custard tart) you'll find this sweet bean and almond version. Using cannellini beans and the same base pastry as the custard version, it's baked in 20 minutes and dusted with a very generous amount of icing sugar. Portuguese pastry chef Jose Silva of Sydney's Sweet Belem Cake Boutique shares his love of pastry and icing sugar in this behind-the-scenes peek at Food Safari Earth.

4. Caramel flan

There something so special and so seductive about a caramel flan. Similar to a French crème caramel, this Portuguese custard recipe needs only a few ingredients and is an easy recipe to make. Make sure you strain the custard to get that velvety finish. Get this recipe here.


5. Folhados doce de gila

Gila is a large type of marrow with a pale flesh and can be found in most Asian food shops where it is also known as sharks' fin melon. Candied gila is a popular pastry filling, adding a unique crunchy texture to sweets. This recipe takes a little nurturing, so it's definitely one to make over the weekend then you can enjoy a pastry hit every day of the week. It takes two days to prepare, but you can make a big batch and freeze it in an airtight container for up to a year! 

6. Coscorões

Also known as "Angel wings" this fried dough dessert usually has an orange flavour. Coated in cinnamon sugar, they're channelling the Italian crostoli and are very popular over the Christmas period.

7. Leite creme

France has the crème brûlée; Spain the crème Catalan; and Portugal the leite creme. This dessert wrangles those egg, milk and sugar pantry staples and a caramelised milk custard infused with zest and spice; always a win in our books. 

8. Rabanadas

A great way to use up day (or more)-old bread. This Portuguese fried bake is reminiscent of French toast and is so simple to make, very cost-effective and great for a crowd. For the record, it makes a great recovery breakfast idea. Get the recipe here.

9.  Malassada

Portugal plays a strong doughnut game. These round egg-sized balls of yeast are deep-fried and coated in granulated sugar and are traditionally made without any filling. Like doughnuts, you'll want to serve these hot!

10. Molotov

If you love your meringue soft and melt-in-your-mouth, then molotov has your name all over it. This poached meringue pudding is tall in height and usually drizzled with a caramel. At Sweet Belem Cake Boutique they serve theirs with a salted caramel and candied nuts.

11. Pão de deus

Known as God's bread, you'll find this at most Portuguese bakeries. This brioche-like buttery bread is topped with a sweet coconut sauce, baked until golden and dusted with icing sugar.

12. Pastéis de Nata

And no Portuguese sweet list would be complete without saluting their custard tart. Traditionally made with a sugar syrup-based custard (such as this one), this recipe for these heavenly tarts uses a simpler, more stable custard. Easier to make, without compromising on the deliciously rich filling.

Portuguese custard tarts (pastéis de nata)

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