Chila Cake (Bolo de Chila)

Chila cake
This is another recipe from our lovely friend Anja ( ) and she made it for her wonderful hubby, Micha, for his 60th birthday. Chila (or Gila) is Portuguese for fig-leaf gourd/pumpkin and gets used a lot in Portuguese desserts and jams.

It’s also called Black-seed squash, Malabar gourd, Pie melon, Angel’s hair – Cabell d’angel in Ctalan – and Courge a coucroute de cheveux d’ange in France (which translates to something like sauerkraut hair of angel…I think at least!).
Chila cake
You use a fork to scratch out the uncooked squash and it produces spaghetti like strands. I often cook Spaghetti Squash, but this is a different kind of squash which also makes strands but after it has been cooked. They are different in colour and taste too, so don’t mix them up! Or do and tell me how it works out!

Anja used Egg Threads another Portuguese speciality which you probably won’t find outside of Portugal. What it is, is egg yolks that have been boiled in a sugar syrup. They are widely used in Portuguese desserts and much loved by the sweet-toothed among us. I can happily live without them, but Anja swears by them. If you do get a chance, give them a try. Feel free to simply leave them out of the recipe if you can’t get hold of them.

I found a different recipe for a Chila Almond cake that looks really good too on the blog:

But now onto Anja’s great cake! It contains no flour and is lovely and moist, deelicious.
Chila cake
200g sugar
3 eggs and 3 yolks
300g coarsely ground almonds
50g melted butter
Pinch of salt
150-200g forked chila pumpkin
1 tsp orange rind
100g egg threads, optional

1. Beat the eggs and sugar together until creamy. Add the almonds and butter and mix well.
2. Fold in the pumpkin, rind and egg threads, if using.
3. Butter and flour a loaf tin and pour in the batter.
4. Bake at 180C for 50-60 minutes. It is quite a fragile cake, so allow to cool a bit before taking it out of the tin.

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Finally found this recipe

I had been looking for this recipe for weeks online and could not find it. It was made by my beloved aunt who passed away a few years ago and I have always liked her very much. Thank you!


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