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Carrot Muffin with Orange Frosting

In Portugal we have a lot of words. We have way to many words. We have a thousand words for the same thing and a thousand meanings for the same word. We don’t need more words. We’re fine. We got it covered.
So do you know what madeleines are? If you were born after the 90’s, you probably don’t. But muffins are just the new madeleines. When I was a kid there was no muffins in Portugal. We had madalenas (which is the portuguesation of the french name) and queques (which is the portuguesation of the english word cake), but they were just the same cake. Some people will say this isn’t true. But they’re stupid. It’s the same fuckin cake. Trust me.

“Queques? But who the hell still have queques? Such a jurassic thing! Nowadays people want muffins and cupcakes!”

First time I baked muffins was in chef school. It was a nice recipe indeed, with shit loads of fat and oily as fuck, just as a good traditional muffins recipe should be. The kind that people see as healthy because muffins are just sponge cakes.
After baked, the cakes were removed from the silicone forms. And my bakery chef says “And here you have your muffins.” And I say “That look exactly like queques.”. And he says “Exactly like queques? These are muffins! Totally different!”. And I was just thinking to myself “If you weren’t my teacher, I would punch you a fuckin queque down your throat.”.

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Carob and Orange Moist Cake

The best oranges in the world come from the Algarve.
Many aromas and tastes remind me my country, but very few foods are best representative of the south of Portugal than the orange.
Orange is on of my favorite fruits. Even living in Norway, where basically all the fruit tastes like crap (yes, sorry to inform you, my norwegian friends, but it’s true), I’m still eating oranges on a daily basis. Unfortunately, and just as the great, great majority of fruit in Norway, it’s imported. Normally from South Africa, sometimes from northern Spain. And just like almost all the imported fruit, it’s crap. This have nothing to do with the country where it comes from, of course, but simply with the fact of being harvested too soon to be exported.
Everytime I go home and I taste an orange it’s like I remember the true taste of the fruit. “Oh yeah, that’s true, this how oranges taste like!”.
My region have many fantastic products, namely ALL the fruit. But some of my favorite are, undoubtedly, orange, carob, almonds and figs.

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Apple and Molasses Cake

I started my first chef internship at the bakery of Pestana Palace, Lisbon.

At Pestana, we used to use these huge convection ovens, that you could fit some sort of car in to carry the trays. It was the first time I saw that in my life. On my first trainee day, I was in a dead angle, and I crossed with a girl carrying one of these cars. So, as the gentleman I am, I helped a turning the car. What I didn’t know was that that car had just came out of the oven. I burnt both hands.

At Pestana Palace, the pool was the old lake of the palace and, for that reason, people use to call the Lake House to the pool bar. Every morning we would serve a different cake at the Lake House. In a certain morning, I got the task of baking an apple pie to serve there. When the pie was ready and nicely packed, I took to the Lake House. On my way there, I slipped and fell in the middle of the floor. Me and the apple pie.

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