This recipe for a marvelously-delicious orange cake, spiced with clove and cinnamon, comes to Flavors of Brazil from Koshermap Brasil, a São Paulo blog-guide to all things kosher (kasher in Portuguese). São Paulo is home to the largest Jewish community in Brazil and the second largest such community in South America, yielding in size only to Buenos Aires. Brazil has been the destination of choice for many Jewish immigrants throughout the centuries. The oldest synagogue in the Americas, Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel, is located in Recife, Brazil, and was founded during the Dutch occupation of that city between 1630-1657.
The recipe clearly derives from northern European spice cakes, and it probably came to Brazil in the memory of immigrants. Although the earlist Jewish settlers in Brazil were Sephardic, principally from Portugal, the present-day Jewish community in Brazil is mostly Ashkenazi of Polish and German descent. This cake would taste familiar to Jewish families of similar descent almost anywhere in the world.
The blog specifies that this cake is traditionally made to celebrate the Jewish holiday Shavuot. However, it's a perfect coffee-break, afternoon-tea-party cake anytime of the year.
RECIPE - Kosher Clove and Cinnamon Cake (Bolo Cravo e Canela)
5 large free-range eggs, separated
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp ground cloves
1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 oranges, squeezed
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup neutral vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose or cake flour
grated orange peel (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Generously grease a cake pan (tube or bundt pan preferred) and dust with flour.
Using a manual or electric cake mixer, beat the eggs whites and sugar together in a glass or copper bowl until the whites form soft peaks. With the mixer at lowest speed, add first the egg yolks, one at a time, then the cloves and cinnamon, the orange juice, the baking powder, the oil and finally the flour, a bit at a time.
When completely mixed, pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpic inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack. When completely cool, unmold the cake. If desired, sprinkle a bit of the grated orange peel on top to decorate before serving.