Tastes of Mozambique


September is a beautiful month. The temperature is hot, yet bearable, and days became longer. It’s also when south winds or suladas constantly rise, as if nature had this form of telling us about change. Summer is what lies ahead. The incognita. An exciting incognita, not a stressful one. Thankfully.


Before suladas sweep once and for all winter 2009 from my memory, I look back and perceive two main ingredients making it: 1) Very demanding tae bo classes. 2) Experimental cooking.


Somehow both are related, since I believe I was pushed into cooking (and eating) because I was afraid I wouldn’t survive the aggressive methods of my new tae teacher.


My experimental cooking means trying part of the recipes collected over a set period. In the end, there’s only one or two destined to mark our winter. I was almost getting rid of one of the recipes never tried, when I decided to give it a chance. It seemed impracticable, but at the same time it underlined a nice Mozambican flavour: cashew. So I tried it and the impossible turned into our favourite winter recipe. If you are curious about Mozambican tastes, why don’t you give it a try too?


Four Ingredients and Four Steps Cashew Nut Cake


250gr of good plain cashew nut
6 to 8 eggs
200 to 250gr of white sugar
½ to 1 tablespoon of good almond essence


1. Using any good food processor, reduce the nuts to flour consistency. If necessary, strain it.
2. Beat together egg yolks and sugar until you get a whitish cream. It’s difficult to reach the right consistency manually, but the end result can be good too.
3. Beat the whites until firm, if necessary adding 2 or 3 tablespoons of the sugar.
4. Fold into the yolks mixture: cashew flour, the whites (Softly, please!) and the essence.


That’s it. You just have to pour the mix into a well-buttered middle size tin and cook it for about 40 minutes at medium temperature. If you feel like it, you can cover your cake with good melted chocolate. The result is a very light and slightly moist cake, just like this country is.