Brazilian Lemon Mousse Torte

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Yum! so cold, refreshing and creamy!

This recipe is originally made with a very soft cake known in Brazil as “pão de ló” which uses a lot of whole eggs and a mousse primarily made with raw egg whites. I wanted to reduce the amount of eggs  so I changed the cake for  an American cake known as “angel cake” made with only egg whites and  a mousse with no eggs at all.

Ingredients for the mousse:

  • 1 can fat-free condensed milk
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 2 oz of Limoncello ( Italian lemon liqueur)
  • lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Ingredients for angel cake:*

  • 1 cup of cake flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 12 large egg whites room temperature
  • 11/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract

*You can also use angel cake from a box

Directions:

  1. In a large glass bowl whisk condensed milk and lemon juice set aside.
  2. Whip cream in a food processor, then slowly  fold it into condensed milk mix . Cover bowl and set it in freezer for 1 hour or until cake is cooled.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare cake.
  4. Heat oven to 375F.
  5. Sift cake flour and 1 cup sugar. Set aside.
  6. Beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until foamy. Slowly add 1 cup of sugar and lemon extract.
  7. Pour dough in a large rectangular glass or ceramic dish.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool for 30 minutes.
  9. Once cooled, loosen the sides with a knife and place cake on a board. Cut in slices about 1 inch thick.
  10. Mix limoncello, half and half and sugar in a shallow bowl.
  11. Remove mousse from freezer.
  12. Dunk slices of cake one by one in limoncello mixture and place on the bottom of a large rectangular glass or ceramic dish. Spread half of the mousse on top. Make another layer of cake slices dunk on limoncello and spread the rest of the mousse on top. Sprinkle lemon zest, cover and place dessert in freezer for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, let it stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!
  13. Keep in freezer.
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No Nooddle “Vegetable Lasagna””

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You are right! lasagna is not a typical Brazilian food but like any other country, Brazil loves Italian food. Many Italians immigrated to Brazil from as early as the 19th Century after suffering  economical crises  in Europe with the Industrial Revolution, mostly were agricultural workers  without land that immigrated to Brazil to work on its coffee plantations .  Many ships left the Port of Genoa (Italy) and arrived at the Port of Santos ( Brazil). Brazil is today home for  one of the largest community of Italians outside Italy.

Anyway, enough with History and back to the dish. I love this recipe because it has no noodles, it is low carb and absolutely delicious, easy to prepare and scrumptious!

ingredients:

  • 6 large zucchini sliced lengthwise, about 4 slices per zucchini.
  • 4 large red bell peppers sliced lengthwise , about 4 slices per bell pepper.
  • 1 small butternut squash diced ( cut into very small pieces).
  • 3 carrots diced ( cut into very small pieces).
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach.
  • bunch fresh basil.
  • 2 garlic cloves.
  • 3 apples, skinned and diced.
  • 2 celery stalks finely chopped.
  • 1 shallot finely chopped.
  • 4 ripped Roma tomatoes diced.
  • 1 can 28oz organic crushed tomatoes.
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese.
  • 2 cups skim milk.
  • 1/2 pint half and half cream.
  • 1 tbsp corn starch.
  • fresh mozzarella cheese sliced.
  • dash nutmeg.
  • 1tsp fennel seed
  • 3/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese.
  • flour.
  • salt.

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Place zucchini slices on a large baking sheet, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and flour over them.Set aside.
  3. Place red bell pepper slices on another baking sheet, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt. Set aside.
  4. Place butternut squash and carrots on another baking sheet, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt. Set aside.
  5. Place zucchini on top rack of the oven and red peppers on the bottom. Roast them first for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  6. Then roast squash and carrots for 20 minutes . Remove from oven and set aside. Keep oven heated to 350F.
  7. While vegetables are roasting and resting aside. prepare the sauces.
  8. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in sauce pan, add diced tomatoes, apples, celery, shallots and garlic. Let it cook until all are soft. Add can of crushed tomatoes and smooth sauce with a hand mixer. If you don’t have one , use a blender. Add fennel seeds and salt to taste, let it cook over medium heat until bubbly then reduce heat and let it cooking.
  9. Dissolve corn starch in cold milk, then transfer to a sauce pan, add half and half, salt to taste and nutmeg, stir constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and add half of the Asiago cheese, stir and set aside.
  10. Place one layer of sliced zucchini on the bottom of a large Pyrex or ceramic rectangular dish. Pour all the roasted butternut and carrots on top. Pour half of the tomato sauce on top. Make a second  layer with the sliced roasted red peppers. Put all the fresh spinach  and fresh basil leaves all over. Sprinkle all the feta cheese o top. Drizzle with olive oil. Pour all the white sauce on top. Then make a final layer with the rest of sliced zucchini. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce on top. Place the fresh mozzarella slices all over. Sprinkle the rest of the Asiago cheese on top. Drizzle with more olive oil and place it in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let set aside for about 10 minutes before serving.
  11. Enjoy! oh! and by the way, it is even better the next day!

Brazilian Seafood Stew

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This is a traditional Brazilian dish, known in Brazil as “Vatapa“. It is very popular along the coastal States specially the States of Bahia and Espírito Santo. This dish was heavily influenced by the African culture through the Africans who were brought to Brazil as slaves to work on the Plantations during Colonial times. There are several ways to prepare this dish depending on what State. It is best cooked in an iron skillet or dutch oven. Originally, it is very spicy but that is totally optional, the recipe I present here is definitely more mild. I showed this recipe on national television on the “Home Show” in 1992, since then I have made a few changes adapting to a better and lighter version.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined.
  •  1lb red snapper cut into pieces ( can also use rock fish or orange roughy).
  •  1lb scallops .
  •  1/2 large onion finely chopped.
  •  2 cloves garlic, chopped.
  •  4 Roma tomatoes, chopped.
  •  1 can 16 oz, organic tomato sauce.
  •   1 can light coconut milk
  •  1 lime.
  •  1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.
  •   salt to taste.
  •  pinch crushed red pepper
  •  1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro.

Directions:

  1. Squeeze lime juice over seafood and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat, cook onions and tomatoes until they are soft, stir in garlic.
  3. Add tomato sauce, cover and let it cook until sauce is bubbly.
  4. Add coconut milk, salt and crushed red pepper, let it cook until bubbly again.
  5. Meanwhile, bring some water to boil add place raw shrimp in hot water for 3 minutes, drain.
  6. Add shrimp fish and scallops to sauce, let it cook in sauce until sauce is bubbly again, about 10 minutes.
  7. Garnish with cilantro.
  8.  Stew can be served over white rice, it is delicious that way too!