Brazilian Cornmeal and Fennel Seed Cake

I have just gone back to Brazil for a few weeks 
and I used this opportunity to look at Mum's recipe book. 
I missed baking cakes and I asked her what was her best recipe for cornmeal cake, 
which is my favourite. 
This recipe was given to us by a lovely lady who once worked for us called Sônia and it was transcribed by my Mum to her book with her beautiful writing.
The most beautiful writing I have ever seen.

I missed this cake's deep sweet flavours with the entrancing aroma of the fennel seeds.

 I missed reading my Mum's recipes and looking at her calligraphy.

As it happened, she had all the ingredients necessary to bake 
this moist treat in the pantry, so I went to work.

In 20 minutes we could smell comfort and joy throughout the house and in 45 minutes we were smiling, drinking freshly made coffee and eating this delicious traditional brazilian recipe.

There is one thing I need to say here:
 Thanks, Sônia

You will need:

3 large eggs
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of oil
1 cup of white flour
2 cups of finely ground cornmeal
1 heap tablespoon of baking powder
2 heap{ish} tablespoons of fennel seeds {I love it, so I do not economize here}

Blitz everything in the liquidizer, except the fennel seeds, for about 30 seconds or until all is blended.
Add the fennel seeds, mix with a spoon and pour into a greased and floured baking tin, preferably similar to the one you see in the first picture as it makes the cake very tall and cooks evenly. Also it gives a brazilian traditional look to it.
You can, if you want, add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese or grated coconut or even 1/2 a cup of tinily diced guava marmalade {goiabada, which you can find in any south american or portuguese shop, just ask for the name and they will know what you are talking about}.

Bake in 200 degrees Celsius for about 40 minutes or until you insert a long toothpick and it comes out clean.

You can also sprinkle with some ground cinnamon after it has been baked and still hot. This is is completely optional and i would suggest you do it only after you have tried the original recipe, so you can see which one you like best...

Enjoy it in the company of people you love and a cup of fresh coffee.
When you cannot be with them sit down, take a deep breath in, cut a thick slice and let the memories come to find you, like I often do...

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