In recent years, both the Algarve region and Lisbon have seen an increase in awareness of the benefits of alfarroba. Portuguese chefs have also been playing around more with alfarroba in savory recipes, such as the trendy pão de alfarroba /bolo de caco de alfarroba– alfarroba bread, including the variation of bolo de caco, a type of English Muffin looking flatbread from the Madeira islands. Both of these are strange looking black bread but are very rich in flavor with a touch of sweetness, almost as if the bread was made with dark molasses.
Carob cake is a great alternative for those who are allergic to chocolate, because the flavor and appearance is almost identical. Plus, carob not only lacks stimulants found in chocolate, such as caffeine and theobromine, but it’s naturally sweet!
The recipe below has been provided with permission by Duxa on the website Sabor Intenso:
- 6 eggs (divided into whites and yolks)
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cups butter (or plain yogurt)
- 1½ cups self-rising cake flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ cup alfarroba flour
- 1 handful of finely chopped almonds (substitute hazelnuts or walnuts )
- Suggestion: Add 2 tbsp. of alfarroba liquor to the batter
- Beat the egg yolks with the sugar, vanilla and yogurt until it becomes an aerated mix.
- Sift the flours and baking powder together, then gradually add them to the wet mixture.
- Beat the egg whites to soft peaks and fold into the batter.
- Coat the almonds lightly in flour - so that they don't fall to the bottom of the mix - and add to the batter.
- Butter and flour a cake pan, add the batter and spread evenly, put in the oven to bake for around 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. You do not want this cake to be dry, it should moist.
If you have more Alfarroba recipes that you’d like to share, please do! We’re always keen to feature fantastic Portuguese and Spanish recipes on Catavino that not only entice the palate, but have withstood the test of time.