Portuguese egg yolk cream!

One of my favorite creams, if not my favorite is definitely the "Doce de ovos" or a close translation "sweet egg". This is what you find inside the traditional "Ovos Moles de Aveiro" but less cooked.

It's a traditional cream developed in the convents over the years by the nuns to use up the leftover egg yolks from ironing their uniforms. At the time Portugal monasteries had a lot of sugar from our colonies so a lot of the traditional Portuguese candies consist of eggs, sugar and sometimes almonds.

This cream is actually quite easy to make and only requires 3 ingredients. The only down side is that you need a lot eggs and have a lot of leftover egg whites.

So to make this heavenly golden syrup you are going to need 8 egg yolks, 125 grams of sugar and 50 ml of water, this will be enough to fill and cover a small cake. And let me tell you, you won't believe how easy it is to make!

During all of this recipe we need to be super careful to not over mix the egg yolks. We want a very silky texture to the final product and if we over mix instead of silky and transparent we end up with a velvety texture and an opaque cream. It's not the end of the world at all and you might want to make the last one in some situations, but let's stick with the real deal and what is traditional. So moral of the story is: don't over mix and add air bubbles!

The first thing you need to do is bring to a boil the water and the sugar and then let it boil for 5 minutes. while that is boiling you want to grab your egg yolks and strain them through a very fine sieve 3 times using a spatula or a knife, this removes then fine layer that is around the egg yolk and makes sure that your yolks are well mixed but without air bubbles in them.

When the sugar syrup (the sugar and water boiled) is finished we are going to add it to the egg yolks very slowly as to not end up with cooked sweet scrambled eggs. We want to add the syrup in a fine string while mixing at the same time, making sure to not cook the egg but rather rise the egg yolks temperature.

Transfer the mixture back to the pan and then, using a whisk return to a medium heat and keep whisking slightly, always being careful not to over mix, you just want to "stroll" your whisk around the bottom of you pan to make sure that you don't end up with lumps of cooked egg yolk. 

When the cream begins to thicken you are going to whisk a bit quicker but always in a calm manner, and now you start to check if your cream is thick enough, for this you need a plate and a spoon.  

Remove the cream from the heat and add a bit of it to the plate, pass it with the back of a spoon and if the cream is set it will part like the red sea and stay like that, and that's when you know it's ready. If you want a thicker cream you can keep going until your whisk starts to make a pattern on the cream.

Pour the cream onto a bowl and cover with cling film, but make sure it's touching the cream or else it will form a crust on top.

Now that it is finished and cooled down you can use it for whatever you want! The sky is the limit!


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