International, Portugal and Madeira News from Paul Abbiati:
Merry Xmas to all blog readers!
Russian Ballet Xmas Day
8pm Xmas Day – Ballet Gala: Russian Ballet “Christmas Season”, organized by “Paladar à Música – Madeira Congress Centre
Booking:[email protected] / or contact: 918 479 077
Madeira cake competition
Let us know in the comments section how your Xmas Madeira cakes baked!
Blues in Paul do Mar
On Thursday night the Madeira based BLACK DOG BLUES BAND played in Paul do Mar, Calheta.
Image of Paul do Mar fishing village in Calheta region Madeira from Wikicommons
Xmas Market Night in Funchal: Friday 23rd December evening
The longest and most famous night of the year in Madeira’s Funchal City Market is tonight. The Xmas Market ‘The Noite do Mercado’ is tonight the 23rd December.
From the official Tourism website:
“Shopping for the final Christmas gifts on the night of the 23rd is a tradition that leads thousands of Madeireans to the Market streets. In this contagious buzz, numerous tourists are also involved, where you can feel the true spirit of the “festivity”…
Gigantic window of local products
The surrounding streets of the Market are closed to traffic and become a gigantic window of local products display: fruits, vegetables, flowers, sweets and typical drinks from Christmas. At the same time, the bars are opened, turning this occasion into one of the longest and cheerful nights in Madeira…”
Friday headlines in the Portuguese Press
From Portugal Daily View
“All the main Portuguese newspapers are carrying news of EDP’s privatisation on their front pages, after the government announced yesterday that China Three Gorges was the winning bidder for the government’s 21% stake in the utility.
Publico Newspaper reports: “China’s Three Gorges was the winning bidder for the state-owned 21% stake of Portuguese utility EDP for €2.7bn.
The Portuguese government has also opened the door to a dispersion of capital in BCP by Chinese banks
Troika could admit a revision of the deficit targets for Portugal
Other main stories include how the troika could admit a revision of the deficit targets.
Madeira Xmas recipes
From the official Tourism website:
1 l aguardente (sugar cane rum)
1 l water
Rinds of 6/7 tangerines (large and ripe)
Finely cut the tangerine rind, with no white so as to not be bitter.
Steep the rinds in the “aguardente” for 15 days.
Once the steeping time has passed, add water and sugar and heat to make simple syrup.
Add simple syrup to the “aguardente”, removing rinds and filtering the liqueur.
It is now ready to serve!
Madeira Honey Cake
Ingredients for the leavening:
500 g unleavened flour
30 g leavening (baker’s yeast) about 3 dl water
Knead the flour with the yeast, make a ball, cover with plastic and let rise for 2 to 3 hours.
1000 g unleavened flour
350 g sugar
300 g butter
150 g lard
clove (about 1.5 g)
fennel (about 1.5g)
15 g cinnamon
50 g nuts
50 g chopped almonds
400 g mixed crystallised fruit
150 g sultanas
15 g baking soda
juice of 1 orange
8 dl Madeira molasses
2 dl Madeira wine
Mix the butter with the sugar until creamy, add spices and juice of an orange and a little lemon zest. Melt the molasses and lard together and add to mixture. Add the flour and baking soda and mix for about five minutes. Add to this dough the leaven previously kneaded and continue to mix for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Lastly, add the crystallised fruit and mix for an additional five minutes.
Let rise for 24 hours.
Place the dough in greased and wax paper-lined pans (only the bottom of the pan) and decorate the cakes with almonds and nuts on top. Bake them in a 190o degree oven, for 25 minutes.
Honey cake is broken by hand.
NOTE: Use pans with removable bottoms, with a diameter of 15 cm and a height of 4 cm and place dough 3 cm high.
Images from the Diario Newspaper unless stated.