S for “Saudade” and… Chocolate Cake

My random S today came easy and without any effort and all because of you!

After publishing my first post here, I went back to my normal daily routine; did some lunch, studied Spanish, finished my homework for the next class and life just carried on. Until I logged in again and came across so many messages, missed calls, emails, comments on the post and hundreds of views! Suddenly that’s what I felt; Saudade, and I just wanted to have you all around our big table eating chocolate cake with us!

Saudade it’s a very typical Portuguese word and is much deeper than just simply missing something or someone and sometimes it’s even hard to explain! And I felt Saudades of my mum, she would have loved the drawing and would have been super proud because that’s what mums do whatever you do in life…unconditional love!

So thank you, family, friends, friends of friends and you all for being there!

I ended my day with a full heart and a full stomach after having ruined my 29th day of diet (more info to come on this)!

We started the day having cake for breakfast as we do on special days, we exchanged cards and simple presents and although the years taught me not to have too many expectations, this year I had a sweet surprise! And we wrote on T’s little T book; each of us wrote him a message about this day…his little book of messages from family and friends on special occasions or when they just simply pass by…

The Restaurant:

After a long time wanting to try  Ten con Ten  (10+10=20!!!!) I thought this would be the perfect occasion. Yes, that’s how much I think about details on special occasions! I confirmed the good atmosphere and the cosy decor that everyone goes on about, the food was nice but far from being my favorite but I would go back for a drink and a light bite. Anyway, I figured that if I was going to ruin my diet I would do it in style so by the time the starter came I already had a glass of cava and ate all the olive bread there was in the basket (which was delicious) and in an almost shy way I asked for more – they brought me a full basket just of olive bread (for the love of God, put yourself together Susana)!!

We ended with the possible photo and the only one we took of the two of us, as it was so cold outside.

And my very own V&C necklace from the cutest handmade jewelry shop with the sweetest name ever “Dime Que Me Quieres”…I may have given some discreet hints about the shop in the recent weeks but never thought I was heard! For almost the entire pregnancy that’s how we called T, he was our baby V&C as we could not decide on the name and agree on anything! We both wanted a Portuguese name, easy to say in English but also used in Spain…deep inside we knew we would end up here some day!

presente
Dime Que Mi Quieres

The Cake:

Finally the cake!!! The choice of cake is very important, something you really learn after a while living in England. I wanted chocolate as I could enjoy a 2 in 1 sin (chocolate and cake) and it had to be a bundt so I could use my beautiful Nordic new tin I got for Christmas. After deep Pinterest research on my bus rides I found this spiced chocolate bundt cake recipe, the idea of adding cinnamon and ginger to chocolate looked nice and warming for a cold day! Chocolate cakes look simple but it’s difficult to find one that ticks all the boxes: taste, moisture and easy to make. This one was all of that and more, you can check the original recipe here.

I seldom follow any recipe exactly (something I inherited from my mum and that used to drive me crazy, I could never know exactly what she did…ohh the eggs were a bit too large I’ll add a bit more flour…Oh dear God)! Anyway I do my own little changes, sometimes big changes, but I do make notes of it. I tend to replace some of the ingredients for healthier ones without telling anyone, definitely without telling André…but for this day I kept it almost full on!

I didn’t use the mixed spices nor the crystallised ginger as I didn’t want the spicy flavors to be very strong so I only kept the cinnamon and the ground ginger. I added 1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste to the cake mixture. I am addicted to this since the day Pippa Middleton revealed it on the Waitrose Magazine (a UK supermarket) years ago, not that I believe she ever baked a cake in her life but this really makes wonders for your cakes and cookies. I also replaced around 25g of the butter for coconut oil.

For the chocolate glaze I used half of the portions as it was all the chocolate I had and that was enough to cover all the cake very well, I added a pinch of cinnamon (just because I love it) and another 1/4 tsp of vanilla bean paste and for a glossy shine 1 tsp of butter. Quick, easy and super yammy! If you don’t have or like vanilla you don’t need to add it, it will still be a very tasty chocolate cake. The same goes for the tin, if you don’t have a bundt cake one you can use any other, but if you like me dream of having one, add it to  your Birthday wishing list, I got mine from Docinho de Acucar will be impossible to resist to this shop!

One last tip! If you are going to spend time and energy baking a cake always use good quality ingredients…high quality cooking chocolate, butter and good eggs make the trick!

Today is Thursday and it’s a very good night to go out in Madrid. A big majority of people have what they call jornada reducida on Fridays, a shorter day at work and therefore on Thursdays the restaurants are even fuller, there is people outside in the bars having a drink and some tapas and there is noise! So, I will be out for girls dinner, we call it Quedadas Hispano-Lusas: a group of Portuguese and Spanish friends simply catching up and will definitely be another opportunity for me to practice all the verb tenses and the crazy amount of irregular verbs Spanish language has!

Let me know what you think of the cake and keep tuned on Instagram updates!

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