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!

 

Pumpkin Coconut Pie

Cooking Brazilian

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YUM!  Pumpkin Pie with a Brazilian twist!

Pumpkin and coconut combinations are very popular in Brazilian cuisine.   It makes delicious fudges, cakes, ice creams and soups. It is a perfect pair ! Oh! and vegans, just omit the Chantilly cream or substitute it for vegan   cream or gelatto from your local store.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of fresh mashed pie pumpkin .
  • 1 cup brown sugar.
  • 1 can coconut milk.
  • 1 tsp cinnamon.
  • 1 tsp nutmeg.
  • 1 tsp ground cloves.
  • 8 oz ginger snaps.
  • 1/4 cup  almond, sun flower or coconut oil.
  • 1 pint whipping cream*.
  • 3 tbsp sugar.*
  • 1 tsp vanilla.*

*If Vegan, omit these ingredients.

Directions:

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 F. Grease pie pan with oil.
  2. In a blender or food processor, grind the ginger snaps and place it in pie pan. Drizzle the oil over it and press the  crumbles down. Place it in oven for 10mim.

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Brazilian Truffles

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Also known in Brazil as “Brigadeiros” or as my family likes to call them “Brazilian Fudge Balls”. They are very popular in birthday parties but great in any occasion and widely available in any bakery, coffee shops and pastry shops over there.

The original recipe is a simple mixture of condensed milk and cocoa powder then rolled on chocolate sprinkles. I changed the recipe a little by using dark chocolate bar and rolling truffles on finely shredded chocolate chips. A few years ago it was difficult to find chocolate sprinkles and even now if it is not Valentine’s season you can maybe find a small container and it is expensive. I find that shredding your own chocolate instead of sprinkles also makes them tastier.

The picture you see in this recipe has truffles rolled on sprinkles and on finely shredded chocolate chips. Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

8 Ounces Dark Chocolate broken into small pieces.

1 Can Condensed Milk ( I like to use the fat free ).

3 Tbsp Butter.

8 Ounces Chocolate Sprinkles or 12 Ounces pkg Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips.

24 Mini Cupcake Paper Molds.

 

Directions:

1) If using chocolate chips set them in freezer.

2) Melt butter and dark chocolate in bowl or pan in a water bath over medium heat. Stir constantly until thickens. It is ready when you see the button of the pan.

3) Remove from water bath and pour chocolate mixture in a glass bowl and let it cool for about 30 minutes.

4) Once cooled cove with a plastic wrap and set it in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

5) Remove fudge from refrigerator. Pour chocolate sprinkles on a plate. If using chocolate chips, remove it from freezer and chop them in a food processor using a shredder blade and pour it on a plate.

6) Use a tsp to scoop fudge or a cookie dough scoop, shape them into balls using the palms of your hands, then roll them on chocolate sprinkles or shredded chocolate chips. Place them in mini cupcake paper molds arranged on a platter. Keep them refrigerated!

 

Pasta Trentino

Nothing says fall like the fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season this time of year. A few weeks ago we took the kids to an apple orchard in Wilcox, AZ for a day of fun picking fresh fruits.

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After our adventure, we had plenty of apples on hand, which meant plenty of recipes to try.

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I decided to make Pasta Trentino.

The sauce is basically an apple-tomato ragu sauce over a favorite pasta. It’s so delicious and easy to prepare, I make this recipe very often whenever I have extra apples that need to be used.

This recipe is named after the Trentino region of Italy known for their wonderful apple orchards.

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

1 package Mezzi Rigatoni pasta

1 can (12 ounces) San Marzzano crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 cup olive oil

2 shallots, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

4 celery stalks, finely sliced

5 medium crispy apples skinned and diced

3/4 cup vegetable broth or water

2 Teaspoons fennel seeds

2 tablespoon dry basil

1/2 CUP shredded Romano cheese

1 bunch of fresh basil chopped

6 slices of prosciutto*

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to pkg directions, drain and set aside.
  2. In the same pot used to cook the pasta cook the prosciutto slices until golden brown and crispy, remove prosciutto and set them on a paper towel to dry then crumble them.
  3. Heat the olive oil in the same pot where prosciutto and pasta were cooked and saute celery, shallots, garlic and apples until apples and celery are soft stirring frequently to prevent garlic and shallots from burning.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and vegetable broth or water. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil.
  5. Use a hand blender or regular blender to smooth the sauce, add Romano cheese, fennel seeds and dried basil. Let it cook over low heat for a few minutes until bubbly to allow spices to release flavors.
  6. Add pasta, folding gently with the sauce.
  7. Transfer pasta to a serving platter and garnish with crumbled prosciutto and fresh basil.

Serve with your favorite salad and a good wine. Bom apetite!

* Prosciutto is Italian bacon it is not smoked, you may use regular bacon or even turkey bacon instead.