Brazilian Coconut and Caramel Swirl Cake.

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In Brazil this recipe is called “Bolo de Coco com Baba de Moca”*. It literally means, “Coconut Cake with Young Woman’s drool”. I know it is a strange name but maybe it has to do with the fact that a young woman is sweet? I don’t know for sure! Anyway, I always had trouble making cakes from scratch in the US it never seemed to work until I found the wonderful American cake mixes. It works perfectly every time and the combination of coconut and caramel makes all the difference. The flavors are great together, you would not guess it started from a box.

Ingredients:

1 Pkg of your favorite brand of white cake mix.

1 Can of coconut milk ( shake well).

1 Cup of shredded coconut* optional.

1/2 Tsp coconut extract.

1 Cup of sugar.

1/3 cup hot water.

3 Eggs

Vegetable oil.

Directions:

1)  Heat oven to  350 F. Grease a flute cake pan or arrange cupcake molds, whatever you prefer.

2) Prepare cake according to package directions but substitute the water for coconut milk and save the remainder for the syrup. Add  coconut extract and bake cake according to package directions.

3) While cake is baking, melt sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat stirring constantly until caramel color. Add hot water and reduce heat to low, keep stirring until there is no candy sugar formed. Then add the remainder of the coconut milk and keep stirring over low heat until forms a syrup. Pour in a glass container and set aside to cool.

4) When cake is ready, go over the sides with a knife to loosen if using flute pan and set aside to cool. If doing cupcakes just set them aside to cool. Meanwhile, place coconut caramel syrup in refrigerator for 30 minutes. the syrup has a tendency to separate so mix it again with a spoon as needed.

5) When cake is cooled, flip it over with a help of a plate, swirl the coconut caramel syrup on top saving some to add to the slices on a plate.

* I would like to apologize to the Portuguese speaker since I could not find a way to correctly spell ” Bolo de Coco com Baba de Moca”. I don’t have the Portuguese language characters in my computer and there are a few accentuation missing that can  change the meaning of words.

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Pasta and Roasted Tomatoes with Herbs

Pasta, Brazilian Food, cooking

This recipe is fantastic! It is easy, prepares in 30 min or less and is so flavorful. The aroma of the roasted fresh tomatoes and herbs will make your mouth water, It is a very light dish and mainly vegetarian but you can kick this recipe with some prosciutto or bacon for the meat lovers.

Cooking in Brazil, I would roast Roma tomatoes cut into quarters but I substituted to grape or cherry tomatoes. They are sweeter and it saves a step!

Ingredients:
1 Pkg of pasta of your choice( Rigatoni, Penne, Moatacioli )
1 lb Red grape tomatoes
1 lb Golden grape tomatoes
Olive Oil
2 tsp Herbs the Provence
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste.
A bunch of fresh basil chopped
6 slices of prosciutto( optional)*

Directions:
1) Heat oven to 375 F.
2) Cook pasta according to pkg directions, drain and set aside.
3) Place tomatoes  in a rectangular Pyrex dish. Drizzle about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle herbs the Provence and salt and pepper to taste. Make sure all tomatoes are well coded with oil and herbs. Set in oven for 20 min.
3) Meanwhile, cook prosciutto  until crispy, drain on paper  towel and crumble them.  If  using ready- made bacon, just heat in microwave for 30 sec, pat dry and chop pinto small pieces,
4) When tomatoes are ready, place pasta in to a large elegant bowl, add the tomatoes with herbs and all the liquid that formed, add a bunch of fresh basil, Asiago cheese and gently toss.
5) Garnish with more fresh basil and and prosciutto or bacon if using them.

* Prosciutto is Italian bacon it is not smoked but you can use regular smoked bacon or even turkey bacon.