Algarve Cataplana and Fig, Almond and Chocolate Tea Cake Recipes from Tastes Like Home Episode 3

Iceland May 2019

Recipes for the iconic Algarve Cataplana and Catherine’s Fig, Almond and Chocolate Tea Cake from Episode 3 of Tastes Like Home.

Catherine Fulvio said “The Cataplana is one of my favourite seafood dishes in the world and it was wonderful having the opportunity to go to the local market to gather the ingredients for it.  Another local delicacy was snails which to be honest, would never be my first choice, but I’m now converted and I can report that they were really delicious! But the highlight for me was the Portuguese Table, whereby visitors can book to dine in a local family home and enjoy classic Portuguese cuisine and hospitality”.


Contestants Recipe: Algarve Cataplana 

Serves 4-6 

For the Base / Sautée

2 large Onions diced 

1 large ripe Tomato or 2 smaller ones peeled and cubed

Peppers (yellow, green and red) to give colour and cut into julienne strips

50g Chorizo sausage

100ml olive oil

250ml white wine

1 Bay leaf

Fish/ Shellfish

8 – 10 Razor clams

200 g Clams

200 g Mussels

200 g Cockles

200 g Langoustines/Large Prawns

200 g Monkfish (chopped into chunks, salted well – or any firm fish will work)

200 g Grouper (chopped into chunks, salted well – or any firm fish will work)

4 tbs Coriander finely chopped


Heat oil in a large cataplana or saucepan with lid over medium-high heat.

Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cut the onions, garlic & peppers into thin slices. Add the vegetables and allow to braise or until vegetables are tender, 6-7 minutes approx

Once the vegetables are braised add half the chopped coriander, season with salt, Stir in tomatoes and wine and bring to a boil.

Once the sauce has reduced, add the fish, clams, cockles and mussels.  Mix well and close the lid & allow cook for 5-6 minutes

Open and add razor clam and prawns again close the Cataplana pan and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes, checking the seasoning half way though.

Once cooked scatter with the remaining coriander before serving.

Serve at the table, with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.


Catherine’s Recipe: Fig, Almond and Chocolate Tea Cake

Makes 1 x loaf

5 eggs

170g golden caster sugar

80g wholemeal flour

100g plain flour, sifted

50g ground almonds

4 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

70ml cold camomile tea

4 tbsp 70% chopped chocolate or chocolate drops

5 dried figs, pre-soaked in brandy, then finely chopped

For the topping

120g sifted icing sugar

2 tbsp cold camomile tea (you may need a little more) 

Zest of 2 lemons

4 fresh figs, sliced into thirds

Edible flowers (eg pansies or borage), to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Line a 900g loaf pan with parchment.

Add the eggs into the bowl of a mixer, begin to whisk, adding the sugar slowly until pale and mixture holds its shape. Fold in the plain and wholemeal flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder and baking powder to form a thick batter.

Stir in the chocolate and the chopped figs together with the camomile tea. Transfer to the lined loaf tin and bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer is inserted and it comes out clear.

Transfer to a cooling rack.

For the topping, mix the icing sugar, lemon zest and camomile tea to form a thick smooth paste.

When the cake is cold, place it on a cooling rack with parchment under (to catch the drips) and spoon the icing over the top, leave to set slightly. Transfer to a serving platter and arrange the fig wedges and edible flowers on top.

Enjoy with a glass of port or of course, a cup of tea!

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