Photography by Stella Pereira

Photography by Stella Pereira

Sonhos “Portuguese Pumpkin fritters "

By Stella Pereira | @stellamarpereira


Hello everyone, I’ve been so excited about sharing this recipe with you. “Sonhos” means dreams in Portuguese and they are usually served during the festive season. Whatever time of the year it may be, it’s the first thing I’ll ask my mum to make, when visiting them in Portugal. They are known by many names, depending on the region you find yourself (filhoses, belhoses, bilharacos…).

When I saw all the beautiful pumpkins in our farmers market, I couldn’t help but make “Sonhos”, from the first pumpkins that were roasted. They can be coated in sugar and cinnamon, but I like to dip them in Port ganache. A little indulgent treat to ease us all in to these cooler days. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do. I used Natoora Onion squash to give it that deep orange and for its meatiness and flavour.



150g cooked pumpkin puree

3 medium sized eggs

130g plain flour

180ml water

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp sherry

2 tbsp sugar

1tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

Orange zest

Pinch of salt

Oil for frying

for the Ganache


100g Finely chopped dark chocolate

30g Port

70g heavy Cream


To make pumpkin puree:

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Cut pumpkin in quarters, place on tray skin-side up and roast for approximately 25 minutes or until flesh is soft. Scoop out flesh and blend after they have cooled completely. Set aside.

For the “Sonhos”

To make the choux: Place water, pumpkin puree, sugar and butter, into a medium-sized saucepan over moderate heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until all the butter has melted. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and add flour in one fair swoop. Mix vigorously until well incorporated and dough forms a ball.

Turn the dough into a large bowl and allow to cool slightly. In a separate bowl, break eggs and beat lightly. Add in stages to the dough whilst mixing on medium speed. Add the spices, sherry and orange zest. Beat until you have a smooth glossy paste.

Heat the oil in a deep pan. Meanwhile, place the batter into a piping bag with large round nozzle. Gently squeeze the batter directly into hot oil. Using a scissors, cut into desired sizes as you squeeze out the dough. Carefully turn when golden brown on one side and with a slotted spoon, remove once browned on both sides.  Drain excess oil on kitchen paper and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (alternatively, serve with warm Port ganache).

Make the Ganache

In a small saucepan, simmer cream and port, stirring occasionally. Add the chocolate into a large bowl. When the mixture begins to bubble remove pour onto chocolate and stir until all the chocolate has melted and a smooth ganache has formed.