Brazilian Sweet Bread ” Rosca Doce”

 

 

Brazilians love sweet bread!  there are many varieties of this delicious treat and you find them in every bakery around the country. Sweet bread was brought to Brazil by the Portuguese, it is as popular there as it is in Brazil. Great with butter and honey or fruit preserves, it is usually  served at breakfast or in the afternoon accompanied by a cup of bold strong coffee or” café au lait”

Ingredients:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons of butter softened
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated coconut sugar or brown sugar

 

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add milk, 1/2 cup sugar,salt, vanilla, eggs, butter and 1/2 cups of flour and whisk all together, it will look like a cake batter.
  2. Then add remaining flour and knead until dough is elastic and easy to handle.
  3. Turn dough onto the counter top and grease the bowl. Set dough back in bowl and turn greased side up. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and place dough in a warm area and let it rise for ate least 1 hour. I like to place mine outside , the warmth of the sun is perfect.
  4. Cover a cookie shit with parchment paper and set aside
  5.  Punch  dough and place it on a lightly floured kitchen counter. Divide dough in half. Then divide each half into three parts. Roll each part into a 16 inches string approximately and braid them. Makes 2 braids. Place them on cookie shit and let them rise for another hour.
  6. Heat oven to 325F. Bake them until  golden brown, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven, brush bread with water and sprinkle granulated coconut sugar pr brown sugar on top.

ENJOY!

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“Caipirinha” a Brazilian National Cocktail

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“Caipirinha” is an unique Brazilian cocktail made with limes, sugar and distilled sugar cane known by several different names being “Cachaça” the most popular but it is also known as ‘Pinga”, “Aguardente” and “Caninha”.  It is basically fermented sugar cane juice and it can be very strong by itself, many people will drizzle honey, others will have a pure shot before a meal, it is known to open up an appetite.

Cachaça may not be easy to find at liquor stores in the US but Caipirinha is becoming popular at bars around the nation and Cachaça can be order on line and it  may be substituted for Rum or Vodka. When using Rum this cocktail is known as “Caipirissima” and if using Vodka it’s “Caipirosca”. A Caipirinha must have Cachaça.

The original Caipirinha is made with limes but there is a variation using passion fruit also very tropical ,Brazilian and delicious.

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Ingredients”

  • 1 lime
  • 2 ounces of Cachaça
  • 2 tbs sugar ( I like to substitute the sugar for agave nectar)
  • ice

Directions:

  1. Rinse lime well and dry. Cut lime in quarters and remove the white skin, then cut the quarters again in half.
  2. Place ice in a cocktail shaker, add lime slices, muddle gently just to release some juice, add Cachaça, sugar or agave. Shake well and transfer all to a Rocks glass. Poke limes and stir with a cocktail straw, garnish with a slice of lime.
  3. No cocktail shaker? just place the ice in the Rocks glass, add the limes and muddle a little using a muddler or the end of a butter knife, add cachaça and sugar or agave. Poke and stir well using a cocktail straw, garnish with lime.
  4. ENJOY!  and SAÚDE!

 

Shrimp and Hearts of Palms “Au Gratin” Camarão com Catupiry

This is a  very rich and creamy dish usually made on Sundays when family, extended family and friends gather for a big lunch. It is made with an unique type of cream cheese you can only find in Brazil, although it can be order on line these days, it is similar to a combination of Mascarpone and cream cheese. It is called Catupiry, it was developed by Italians in the State of Minas Gerais but the name comes from a Brazilian native language “Tupi” and it means “excellent”. It’s an excellent cream cheese!

This dish is perfect served on top of white rice and butternut squash steamed

Serves 6 people

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb uncooked shrimp with tail on
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Olive oil
  • 1 jar or can of hearts of palms
  • 1/2 pkg of cream cheese
  • 1 container of Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 can small diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of fresh shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 bunch fresh parleys finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add shrimp let it cook for about 5 minutes or until its nice and pink, drain water, place shrimp in a bowl, melt butter and drizzle over.
  2. In the same pot used to cook shrimp, drizzle olive oil over a medium heat, add can of diced tomatoes, a half   can of water and chopped garlic. Let it cook for about 5 minutes. Add heavy cream, salt and pepper and  blend using a hand mixer, if you don’t have a hand mixer , transfer to a blender then transfer back to the pot once smoothed. Let it cook until bubbly. Change heat to low and add Mascarpone cheese, parleys, stir and remove from heat.
  3. Remove shrimp tails and place shrimp on bottom of a rectangular 13X9 glass or ceramic dish.
  4. Drain water from hearts of palms cut them in slices and place them all over on top of shrimp.
  5. Cut cream cheese in small cubes and place them all over the top. Pour sauce over, sprinkle bread crumbs and  shredded Asiago cheese over the top.
  6. Heat oven to Broil, place dish in oven and broil for 10 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly.

Steamed Rice and Butternut

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1/2 butternut squash chopped in small cubes
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • parleys for garnish

Directions:

  1. If using a rice cooker, drizzle with oil, add rice and chopped butternut, dissolve salt and garlic in water and add to the rice cooker, close top and set it to white rice. Once cooked, transfer to a plate and garnish with parsley
  2. To cook over the stove, drizzle oil in a pot turn heat to low, add rice, butternut and stir, then add salt and garlic dissolved in water, stir again and turn heat up to medium, cover pot and let it cook until tender, approximately 15 to 20 minutes but you need to watch in case water dries fast, then keep adding a bit of water as needed.

Brazilian Chocolate Mousse Torte “Pave de Chocolate”

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“Pave de Chocolate” is my signature recipe. I kept this recipe as a secret for a long time. It was one of my best kept secrets, now revealed for you to enjoy.

It is decadent, creamy, cold and dreamy!

This recipe was originally made with “lady finger” cookies but they were really hard to find in the USA back in the day so I substituted for graham crackers.

It’s now easy to find lady fingers, but I kept the graham crackers in the recipe. They make the recipe more affordable and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of honey graham crackers
  • 1 Can fat free condensed milk
  • 1 Cup of skim milk
  • 4 oz Coffee liqueur
  • 1 Pint whipping cream
  • 4 oz unsweetened 100% dark chocolate
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 13×9 rectangular glass or ceramic dish

Directions:

  1. Put chocolate chips in freezer.
  2. Melt dark chocolate in a water bath
  3. Pour condensed milk in a food processor or blender add the melted chocolate and mix well, pour in a large bowl, set aside.
  4. Put whipping cream in food processor and whip until very fluffy. Add whipped cream slowly to chocolate mix folding with a fork to preserve the air pockets. Cover and place in freezer for 30 min.
  5. Mix milk and coffee liqueur in a bowl. Dip graham crackers one by one in this mixture and place in rectangular dish forming one layer. Spread some of the chocolate mousse on top. Repeat this procedure, layering the crackers and mousse until the crackers are finished. The last layer must be of chocolate mousse.
  6. Put frozen chocolate chips in a food processor using a shredding blade and shred to pieces. Sprinkle all over the chocolate mousse.
  7. Cover the dish and place in freezer for at least 2 hours.
  8. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving.
  9. Keep in freezer between servings.

Brazilian White Truffles

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Brazilian white truffles or “Brigadeiro Branco” are sweet and smooth the perfect holiday and party treats.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can fat-free condensed milk
  • 3 tbsp powdered milk
  • 1 empty can of condensed milk of heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Chambord or raspberry extract (optional)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • **

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients (EXCEPT WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIPS) in a non-stick pot over  medium heat. Stir constantly until bubbly and thickened.
  2. Pour into a glass bowl and let it cool. Once cooled set it in the refrigerator and set white chocolate chips in freezer for 2 hours.
  3. Remove white chocolate chips from freezer and finely shred them using a food processor. Pour shredded white chocolate chips in a bowl.
  4.  Remove fudge from refrigerator and using a teaspoon scoop fudge and roll it over the shredded chocolate chips forming a ball. Place them in mini muffin paper liners. Decorate the center with one sugar pearl or a clove. Keep them refrigerated until ready to serve. p1010427

** This is a basic recipe but you can stuff fudge with a white green seedless grape or small strawberry.

ENJOY!

 

Pumpkin Bundt Cake glazed with Caramel Coconut Sauce

 

p1010415Make this wonderful cake to serve for breakfast on Thanksgiving day and over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. A great companion for a cup of coffee or tea.

This wonderful moist cake combines the flavors of a traditional American pumpkin cake with exotic Brazilian caramel coconut sauce. Pumpkin and coconut are a very popular combination in Brazilian desserts and caramel coconut sauce is a Brazilian signature, so sweet and loved, its popularly known as “Baba de Moca”meaning literally ” young woman drool”. This recipe can also be vegan if you substitute the eggs for apple sauce and everyone is happy.

Ingredients for cake:

  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour or 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs ( or 1 cup apple sauce if vegan)
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup natural apple sauce
  • 2 cups mashed pie pumpkin or 2 cans of pumpkin filing
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp  nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • peel from one orange
  • 1/2 tsp saltP1000914

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 can coconut milkp1010418

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F and grease a Bundt cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl beat sugars, oil and eggs until smooth.
  3. Add all dry ingredients, then apple sauce and mashed pumpkin,mix well ,if dough seems a bit dry add an extra 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil.
  4. Pour in Bundt cake pan and bake for 1 hour or until fork comes out clean. Let it stand for 15 min before removing from pan.
  5. While cake is baking, melt 1 cup sugar in a sauce until it starts to form a caramel sauce turn heat to low and slowly add coconut milk, stirring constantly until very bubbly and slightly thickened. remove from heat and pour in a glass bowl and let it cool. Sauce will thicken more as it cools. Drizzle sauce over cake and save some in bowl to drizzle over individual pieces. Enjoy!

Feijoada: Witches Brew or Black Bean Stew

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For our Halloween special edition, we made eye balls with pickled red pepper, sour cream and olives. Totally optional!

“Brazilian Black Bean Stew” known in Portuguese as “feijoada” is a hearty combination of several different pieces of  beef and pork meat cooked with black beans. It’s usually served with white rice, finely shredded and sauteed collard greens , orange slices and garnished with tomato vinaigrette.

There are different views about the origin of this dish. The popular view is that this was a creation of slaves that were brought to Brazil by the Portuguese during colonial times. The popular view believes that, once the good parts of the meat were served to the slave owners, the pieces thrown away like the ribs and pigs feet would be used by the slaves and cooked in with the beans in a big iron pot.

However, some historians and food connoisseurs believe that feijoada is a variation of other European dishes that combine beans and meat like the cassoulet, which is a combination of white beans and meat substituting the white beans for black beans originated of South America. Others believe it was created in the XIX Century.

There has been a lot of changes to the classic recipe for feijoada and lighter versions are very popular without the pigs feet and other unwanted parts. In my recipe, I only use short ribs, chicken sausage and lean ready cooked bacon.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of dry black beans
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of table salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 6 pieces of short ribs
  • 1 package of 4 smoked chicken sausages cut into thick slices
  • 6 slices smoked ready bacon cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil

Directions:

  1. Marinate short ribs with balsamic vinegar and sea salt, cover and place in refrigerator.
  2. Place beans, water salt bay leaves, onion powder, garlic in a pressure cooker over high heat until pressure builds, approximately 15 min. *
  3. Turn the heat to medium and let it cook for 1 hour. Then turn off the heat and let the pressure built cook for  for 30 min. Don’t open the pressure cooker until all steam is completely out.
  4. Drizzle some olive oil in a crock pot and transfer the beans. Cover, turn heat to medium and let it slowly incorporate flavor.
  5. Meanwhile, drizzle a large skillet with olive oil. Brown the balsamic-marinated short ribs and chicken slices. Cover and let them cook until balsamic becomes a glaze.
  6. Add meat and bacon to the crock pot. Turn heat to high and let it cook until beans are bubbly. If beans are too thick, add a cup of hot water.
  • If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can use a crock pot. Start the cooking process the night before. Place beans, water, olive oil, salt, garlic, onion powder and bay leaves in crock pot at medium heat and let it cook overnight. In the morning, add hot water if necessary and turn heat to high; let it slow cook until beans are tender. Then proceed to cook meat and follow same steps.

For the vinaigrette you will need:

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • dash salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

To prepare:

  1.  Mix all ingredients in a nice ceramic bowl and garnish individually.