Polana is the name of an upscale neighborhood in Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, and it is also the name of the Grand Hotel in that same city. This cake is yet another example of how the Portuguese have carried their own recipes to other lands where they were often altered with indigenous ingredients. In this case cashews, which are one of Mozambique’s principal cash crops, give this elegant dish its unique taste.


1 pound raw unsalted cashews

1 pound white potatoes

2 cups sugar

2 sticks butter

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon peel

9 egg yolks

4 egg whites


Heat oven to 350°F and roast the cashews for 15 minutes shaking occasionally; cool. Meanwhile cook the potatoes in water to cover for 20 minutes or pierce with a fork, wrap in paper towels and microwave on high for 7 minutes.

Process the cashews in a food processor until they resemble cornmeal. Remove and place in a large bowl. Mash the potatoes or press through a ricer and add to the cashews. Cream the sugar, butter and grated lemon peel in another bowl until light and fluffy. Mix the butter with the potato and cashew mixture. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each addition. Beat the whites into peaks and fold them into the batter. Butter a spring form pan with a hole in the center and sprinkle with flour. Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool the cake on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove sides of the pan and, using two large spatulas, remove cake from the base and place on a rack to cool.

Serve at room temperature.


Makes 1 9-inch round cake.


country : Mozambique

course : dessert


source : Cuisines of Portuguese Encounters : Recipes from Portugal, Madeira/Azores, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola, Mozambique, Goa, Brazil, Malacca, East Timor, and Macao / Cherie Y. Hamilton