This cake was made for very special occasions in St Michael, Azores. It was often made at Christmas time because that’s when fresh walnuts were available. My Aunt Lilia, who shared this recipe with me, said that this cake was a popular treat that everyone always looked forward to having.
This wonderful nutty cake is not too sweet with the exception of the sauce being soaked into the cake. I let the cake soak for an hour before I serve it and my family loves it! I hope yours does, too.
The Maria Biscuit is a cookie I grew up with. It’s a wheat biscuit that’s not too sweet, but has always been a treat for me growing up. We eat it with our tea and coffee. You can pick this up at any grocery store in their international aisle. These biscuits are comparable to arrowroot cookies and can use them as a substitute.
One of the dinners I shared with my family in Sao Miguel was at my cousin John Manuel’s home with his lovely family.We had the usual late dinner that didn’t start until 8:00 pm, and it was nearing midnight when it was about to end. But we still had one more thing to do: have some homemade liqueur to help settle our stomachs. That is when I had the most delicious tangerine liqueur. John Manuel told me that my mother was very good at making liqueur, and she would often have an assortment of tangerine, lemon, pineapple and milk liqueurs during the Christmas season to offer to all of her visitors. I loved hearing the stories of how my dad would make the wine in the fall, and from the leftover grape skins he made moonshine so my mom could make her liqueurs.