Learn to bake cakes for Royal Tea

By Jake Cleaver, in Food and Wine · 13-11-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments
Learn to bake cakes for Royal Tea

It’s November and dare we say that Christmas is just around the corner. Maybe now would be a good time to learn to make Portuguese Christmas cakes fit for a King - no matter where you are in the world.

Following the success of their online class on how to make their award winning Pastel de Nata. The Pastelaria Batalha, located in Lisbon, will be hosting ZOOM video classes in November and December where the café owner João Batalha, a 5th generation Portuguese baker, will be sharing his secrets on how to make lots of various different Portuguese Traditional sweet treats, as well as his, award winning, Bolo Rei and Bolo Rainha (Christmas King and Queen cakes) - all from the comfort of your own home.

ZOOM calls have become quite the rage in recent times with us all not being able to gather as we did before. The video conferencing app has been allowing people to get together virtually, and with a simple internet connection you can connect from your house to the rest of the world. Or more specifically in this case, your kitchen directly to the Batalha cafés baking room.

The Pastelaria Batalha, is a family business, founded in 1990, and now has 3 cafés in and around Lisbon. João Batalha literally grew up in the cake making business, as his crib used to be placed on the ice cream counter in the Pastalaria. By age 7 he was already helping make the coffees (by standing on a chair next to the machine). By 14 he was already adept at making pastries and bread. He later decided to go to Spain to study hospitality management and after he completed his course he went to work in London for a while. He then returned back to Lisbon where, armed with what he has learned, he has taken over the family business. Since then his cakes have won several awards including, as I said before, an award for best Bolo Rei in the ‘Wonderland Lisboa’ .

Competition, and he won the bronze award for best Pastel de Nata in Lisbon twice, in 2016 and again in 2018.

What’s his secret you might ask? Well, João will tell you - if you take his class. He’s been hosting Pastel de Nata classes for a while now in the family kitchen of his bakery with great success. However, although he still runs these classes with all the necessary safety precautions, this year has been a little difficult, and João, dynamic as ever, started to try and host these Pastel de Nata classes online via ZOOM.

They went so well that now that Christmas is coming, he wants to show you how to make some of his famous Portuguese Christmas Treats as well.

All the classes will take about 2 hours and will take place in the evenings between 6pm and 8pm.

On the 14th and 20th of November he will be teaching how to make ‘Traditional Portuguese Christmas Sweets’. This course will cost 20 euros per household, and will include Rabanadas (Portuguese French Toast), Sonhos (His ‘dreamy’ Portuguese Doughnuts) and Coscorões/Filhos (Portuguese Angel/fried pastries). This is a ‘cook along’ event and you will be told what ingredients you need before hand, and you and all the other participants on the ZOOM call will, with João’s expert guidance, cook yours along with him and at the end you should all be able to sit down and taste your cakes together. A nice idea, as I always wish I could be eating what the people on the TV are.

As Christmas approaches, on the 12th and 20th of December, he will be teaching how to make his royalty worthy Bolo Rei and for those who don’t like the Kings ‘Jewels’, or candy fruits, he will also show you how to make the far less ‘bejeweled’ Bolo Rainha. These lessons will cost 10 euros per household. It should be noted that they will not be ‘cook along’ sessions, however it should leave you in little doubt about how to go about making your own afterwards. And if you do have any doubts - João is just an email away to quell them.

João has a fun and friendly style, and since the lessons have a 12 person limit, whether you are baking for the first time, already have some experience, or are a professional baker yourself just looking for some top-tips, João will have time to make sure you get it done right.

You can of course still take his Pastel de Nata course. And in this case, if a ‘cook a long’ isn’t your style, and you would rather do things in your own time, you can also download a pre recorded lesson and skip back to the bits you don’t understand.

So, there you go. No matter where you happen to be in the world you can ‘connect’ to Portugal, and learn how to make its delicious treats - all in your own kitchen.
To get involved simply dial up the links below.

For the sweet treats: https://portuguesexmassweets.eventbrite.com
For the Bolo Rei lessons: https://boloreicookingclass.eventbrite.com

And the Pastel de Nata classes can be found at:
https://www.pasteldenataworkshop.com/
And any other questions just email pasteldenataworkshop@gmail.com




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