Portuguese Dreams (sonhos)
by Veronica Luis
Sonhos is Portuguese and it means dreams. These gorgeous little fluffy clouds are traditionally made the day before lent starts in many Portuguese kitchens like mine. It's kind of like a doughnut only better. Some people dust them with sugar or dip them in treacle. I love to eat them as they are.
500 grams of plain flour
20 g yeast
Rind of 1 lemon
(I love lemon so I add the rind of 4 lemons)
200 ml of lukewarm milk
10 tablespoons of castor sugar
1 small (200 g) sweet potato pre cooked and mashed
pinch of salt
Use a big bowl to combine your ingredients because you are going to leave you mixture to rise and it will double in size.
Combine all your ingredients and mix well, it only takes 5 minutes to mix everything together. Your mixture will be very soft but not runny. Sometimes I add a 7th egg because it's a little too firm.
Cover the bowl and leave it for 30 minutes, it should double in size. If your kitchen is cold for example in winter then leave the mixture for an hour.
When you are just about ready to cook, get your vegetable oil heating up. Don't have the heat on high, have it about half way. You want them to cook through remember, and if your oil is too hot then they will be very brown on the outside and not cooked all the way through.
Have a serving platter lined with paper towel ready for you to put the Sonhos into, once they are cooked.
When the oil is ready, take tablespoon full's of the mixture and gently lower them into the oil. Use a second spoon to push the mixture off the spoon.
Let them fry until golden brown, and turn them over. Some of the Sonhos will roll over in the oil on their own.
To eat them, you can dust them in sugar, some people enjoy them with honey or treacle. I love eating them just as they are.
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