Valentina, who is credited with creating Baba de Camelo, should receive the award for “the most Portuguese cook in Portugal”. Don’t you believe it? Let’s see: she managed to create an improvised dessert with just 2 ingredients. To top it off, she chose a name with a great sense of humor for her candy (something like “camel saliva”). And Valentina is also a sweet name, very Portuguese and very typical.
It all happened in the 40s or 50s of the 20th century. Valentina had unexpected guests and, in addition to dinner, she had to prepare dessert for them. The dilemma came later: the pantry was almost empty and there were only 6 eggs and 1 can of boiled condensed milk in it. Little confident in the final result and afraid that it wouldn’t be enough for everyone, Valentina decided to call it Baba de Camelo in the hope that the strange name would deter some of the guests from trying it.
It seems to have worked. And it also seems that those who tried it loved the result, to the astonishment of the delicious owner Valentina. The story and origin of the Baba de Camelo recipe may just be an urban myth, but we want to believe it’s true. Because the truth is liberating, isn’t it? Learn how to make a delicious Baba de Camelo with this old and traditional recipe by Dona Valentina. And free yourself! 🙂 Bon appetit!
- 1 can of boiled condensed milk
- 4 eggs
- chopped almond
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 coffee spoons of lemon juice
- Pour the contents of the boiled condensed milk can into a bowl.
- Stir well, like a wooden spoon, until you get a smooth and homogeneous cream.
- Add the yolks and wrap them in the condensed milk with a wire rod.
- Whip the egg whites until stiff. Add the sugar and lemon juice and continue beating until stiff.
- Add the whipped egg whites to the previous preparation and mix gently, without beating.
- NOTE: move from bottom to top until the cream is all the same color.
- Divide the jam into individual bowls and place in the fridge for a few hours.
- Decorate with almond kernels and serve.
- The original recipe for Baba de Camelo has evolved a lot over the years. Today, most restaurants serve it with a lower layer of crushed biscuits (maria or cinnamon-flavored biscuits). Some restaurants also serve this dessert sprinkled with crumbled biscuits instead of almond kernels.
- Ultimately, you can make this recipe with just 2 ingredients (this was the original recipe): condensed milk and eggs. Sugar and lemon juice only serve to improve the consistency of the dessert and make it less liquid.
- Beating the egg whites stiffly is essential. This is the only way to prevent liquid from forming at the bottom of the bowls, in addition to providing a more consistent texture to Baba de Camelo.
- This dessert only needs 3 or 4 hours in the cold. If it takes longer, cover the bowls with cling film so that a layer does not form on the surface.
- You can use liquid caramel to sprinkle the surface of the Baba de Camelo. The result is usually good.
- The amount of eggs can vary depending on your personal taste. As a general rule, it can vary between 4 and 7 per can of boiled condensed milk.