The Regal Bolo Souza Leão Cake

The origin of this cake from the state of Pernambuco, one of the oldest desserts from the long list of brazilian sweets, is interesting. A Creamy, sweet and rich delight, the story said that it was discovered a century and a half ago when served to the Emperor Dom Pedro II and his wife Teresa Cristina by the Souza Leão family, owner of vast sugar plantations, at the occasion of their visit to Pernambuco.

This cake was traditionally a treat reserved for the aristocratic elite of Brazil: served only on special occasions, presented on crystal platters or fine china porcelain dishes.

The cake is prepared according to a recipe that includes cassava dough, coconut milk, sugar, butter and eggs. The result is a creamy cake, which has the consistency of a very firm pudding. Some of ingredients of the Souza Leão cake were originally European, but over time they have been replaced by domestic products, easily found in the Pernambuco state. Wheat gave way to manioc and French butter was traded for what you can find in all kitchens of Brazil. Due to the expansion of the branches of the Souza Leão family over time, there are many variations of the recipe which are claimed to be the best and original!

Homemade Bolo Souza Leão

* 2.2 lb. (1 kg) sugar
* 3 and 1/2 cups (800ml) water
* 1 lb. (600 g) butter
* 2.2 lb. (1 kg) fermented manioc dough (Puba)
* 3 and 1/2 cups (800 ml) of coconut milk
* 22 Egg yolks
* 1 teaspoon salt


1) Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F (175 ˚C). Put the sugar and water in saucepan. Simmer, stirring constantly, until this turns into light syrup. Put the cold butter in the syrup, let it melt and set aside. In a bowl, mix the manioc dough with the coconut milk. Reserve.

2) New we will mix the sugar syrup, still hot, to the manioc dough and the other ingredients. Stir. Mix the yolks in carefully, one by one, slowly so they do not cook. Finally, add the salt.

3) The mixture should be passed through an urupema (straw sieve). It should also be passed through a chinois, (a sieve of very fine wire mesh). The residue that remains in the sieve should be thrown out.

4) The dough is ready. Grease a round cake mold with butter and covered with waterproof paper, which should also be greased; pour in our dough mixture. We are now ready to bake in the oven for about 50 minutes (at 350 ˚F or 175 ˚C), until the top takes a nice golden color.

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