Portuguese Sweets

‘Verlin Valls’

‘Berliners’ are found a little bit everywhere in the world, with their origin in Germany. In Portugal they are slightly bigger than German ones, and they’re usually filled with an egg cream. If you’ve been to Portugal in the Summer, ‘bolas de Berlim‘ are sold in pretty much every beach. It’s strange how a relatively heavy and fatty cake like this tastes so nice on the beach, it really does. But, off course, the traditional is not vegan. And how easy is it to veganise it? Very! All the taste, none of the cruelty, always the best option!

Time: 2 to 3h

Type: cakes

Difficulty: 2 pans

Makes: 6 balls

What you need:

250g self-raising flour

2 to 3 tbsp maple syrup (or demerara sugar)

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

45g vegetable spread

150ml soya or oat milk

5g dry yeast

For the filling: 200ml soya milk, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp corn flour, a sprinkle of cinnamon and turmeric, 1 tsp vanilla essence, a piece of lemon peel

oil to fry

icing or granulated sugar to decorate

Utensils:

1 large bowl

1 small bowl

measuring cup/jug

mixing spoons

pan

tray

frying pan

kitchen towels

Directions:

In a small jug/bowl, mix lukewarm soya/oat milk with yeast, mix a little and leave it to activate (should form a foamy top);

In a large bowl, mix flour, maple syrup, lemon juice, vegetable spread and roughly mix;

Add milk and yeast (once ready) and mix well using your hands until it forms a dough that doens’t stick to the bowl and hands (add a little more flour if needed);

Leave dough in the bowl and cover with a fabric kitchen cloth – leave it to rise (for at least 1h);

Meanwhile, make the creamy filling: mix all ingredients in a pan and bring it slowly to a boil, mixing frequently (it will become thicker) – remove from heat and let it cool completely (again, it will become thicker as it cools down) (don’t forget to remove lemon peel);

Once dough is ready, take it out of the bowl and separate into 6 equal balls;

Flour a tray and place the balls there; cover with the kitchen cloth again and leave it to prove for another 15 minutes;

Then, heat vegetable oil in a frying pan and once it’s very hot, fry the balls (about 2 minutes each side until golden and cooked through);

Place fried balls over kitchen towels to soak excess oil;

Once balls have cooled, slice balls in the middle and fill with the creamy custard;

Dust a little icing sugar on top and is ready to serve.

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