Banana Cake with Caramel Swirl

Bolo de Banana com calda de Caramelo

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Bananas are a very common fruit in the Brazilian house hold and there are several types of bananas everywhere. They are inexpensive and widely available, which means lots of different recipes for banana cake. Banana cake with caramel sauce is one of my favorites because it’s easy to make with only two bananas and it’s very flavorful.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cake flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 bananas mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp baking powder

For Caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup hot water

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F and grease a round cake pan with a hole in the middle.
  2. Add all ingredients for the cake (except for the baking powder) to a bowl and mix well until smooth,preferably an electrical mixer. Add baking powder. Gently mix.
  3. Transfer to the baking pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The cake is ready when fork comes out clean.
  4. While the cake is baking, melt sugar in a sauce pan, stirring constantly until it is golden brown. Turn heat to low and add 1/2 cup of hot water. Keep stirring to prevent the sugar from hardening. If needed, add the rest of the hot water and keep stirring until a caramel sauce is formed. Transfer the sauce to a glass cup and let it rest until the cake is finished and cooled. Once the cake is cooled, transfer it to a serving platter and drizzle with the caramel sauce.

Enjoy!

 

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Caramel and Chocolate Torte

 

 

                     ( Torta  de Doce de Leite e Chocolate)

It’s oozing with goodness!

This is a very rich dessert. It is cold, smooth, and silky. Absolutely divine! It is very easy to make but requires a few steps. I recommend to start a day before serving.

Originally, this dessert was made with “Biscoito Maria”, a type of corn starch, and sugar  cookies or “Biscoito Champagne” ( lady finger cookies), but both can be difficult to find,  so I substituted them for chocolate graham crackers, which are widely available at all grocery stores.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 box chocolate Graham Crackers
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 4 oz semi-sweet dark chocolate
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp sugar

Directions:

  1. To  make milk caramel, place condensed milk inside a digital pressure cooker, cover the can with water, and close the top. Set it for canning and let it cook until the pressure is completely out. If using a regular pressure cooker, let pressure build at high heat. Once the pressure builds, turn heat to low and let it cook for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it cook until the pressure is completely out. If you do not have a pressure cooker, fill a pot with water and let the can cook for 30 minutes. Keep hot water handy in case you need to add hot water. Do not let the water dry out because the can will explode; stay close to the pot. In all the cases, make sure there is enough water to cover the can. Once cooked, remove the can from the hot water and let it cool.
  2. While the can is cooking, pre-heat the oven to 350F. Place one and a half packets of chocolate crackers in a food processor to make crumbles. Place the crumbles in a bowl and add melted butter; mix them with a fork. Press this mixture inside a removable tart ring with the help of a spoon and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, whip heavy cream and set it in the refrigerator.
  4. Melt chocolate in a water bath. Once melted, add half and half and stir until a silky chocolate cream is formed. Set aside.
  5. Remove cream from the refrigerator and divide it in half. Place one half back in fridge and add the sugar to the other half by folding it gently with a fork to preserve the air pockets. Add melted chocolate to the cream and gently  mix to preserve air pockets. Place it in fridge.
  6. When the can of condensed milk is cooled, open and fold the milk caramel with the other whipped cream and sugar that was resting in fridge. Whisk gently until a creamy silky mixture is formed. Place this mixture back in the fridge.
  7. Both the chocolate cream and the milk caramel cream should be left in fridge for at least 2 hours to firm.
  8. Once both creams are firm, spread the milk caramel over the crust of chocolate crackers. Break the rest of the chocolate crackers into small pieces and cover the caramel mixture with the broken pieces. Then, spread the chocolate cream on top.
  9. Place the tart mold on a plate, and cover it with another plate. Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
  10.  Before serving, remove the torte from the freezer and let it stand for 5 minutes. Turn the plates over to remove the tart ring and …voila! It is ready! Wait another 5 minutes before cutting.

*Store in refrigerator. The freezer was only to help remove dessert from tart ring.

Brazilian mini Doughnuts

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“Bolinhos de Chuva”

“Bolinhos de Chuva” translates to English as ” mini rain cakes” or perhaps “rain scones”.  Bolinhos meaning “little cakes” and “chuva” meaning “rain”. The popular say for the origin of the name is that when you drop the batter in to the hot oil it forms what looks like a rain drop. Brazilians love “Bolinhos de Chuva”, it is easy to make and very much resembles a doughnut hole. It is usually served with coffee or tea but it can also be a dessert, definitely a treat. It is delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 table-spoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • zest of 1 lime or orange
  • 1 tea-spoon baking powder
  • extra oil for frying ( I like to use coconut oil)
  • powdered sugar and cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar until smooth. Add milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and lime zest and whisk until well mixed. Add flour, salt and baking powder, whisk until a batter is made.
  2. heat oil in a medium low temperature. If oil is too hot it will burn the doughnuts before the inside in fully cooked. Drop batter using a tea-spoon full.
  3. Place doughnuts on a paper towel. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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!

Brazilian Chocolate Fudge Cake

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Brazilian Chocolate Fudge Cake ” Bolo Brigadeiro”

 

Simply delicious and super easy to make! make it  as is or jazz it up with some coffee liqueur.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 12 tbsp butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • powdered sugar
  • chocolate sprinkles
  • 1/2 cup coffee liqueur and 1/2 cup milk ( totally optional if you want to bring it up notch)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre- heat oven to 350F. Grease 2 round cake pans and line them with parchment paper.
  2. Chop 4 ounces of dark chocolate in pieces and place in a sauce pan and add 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Stir until melted and creamy over a water bath. Turn off heat but leave sauce pan in water to keep chocolate mixture soft.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until creamy ( I like to use a food processor) . Add the eggs and beat well. stir in chocolate mixture, add flour, cocoa powder, salt, milk and baking powder.
  4. Place cake batter in cake pans dividing evenly and bake for 30 to 35 min or until fork comes out clean from the center.
  5. While cake is baking, chop the other 4 ounces of dark chocolate in sauce pan, add the other 1/2 cup of heavy cream and condensed milk. Stir constantly over medium heat in a water bath until mixture is bubbly and creamy. Remove from heat but leave pan in water to keep chocolate soft.
  6. When cake is done, let it cool for 30 min. During this time, put chocolate fudge in a bowl and place in the refrigerator.
  7. Remove one cake from pan into a serving platter**, remove fudge from refrigerator and spread a layer of fudge over it . Place the other cake on top and spread the rest of the fudge over entire cake. Dust with powdered sugar and sprinkle chocolate sprinkles.

** at this point, prick the cake all over the top with a fork and drizzle milk and coffee liqueur mixture all over and let cake absorb the liquid then spread the fudge and place the other cake on top and return to instructions.

ENJOY!