Friday, February 25, 2011

Bolo de Iogurte

Yogurt Cake. There's not much I can blog about on this one. It's pretty simple. I'm posting this for all of you out there who just want to bake a plain Jane cake. What I can say is that it's pretty moist and makes a good looking bundt cake.

For most of you who know me, I'm not a big fan of boxed cake mixes, or anything pre-packaged. I am not knocking those of you who do, it's just a matter of preference.  The fresher the better my friends. So when I'm feeling really lazy and want to make something last minute, or just want to eat a piece of plain cake, I bake this.

This particular cake calls for yogurt of course, but if you want, you can play a little with it. Sometimes if I don't have any plain yogurt on hand, I'll throw in vanilla flavored yogurt, Greek yogurt or kefir. Instead of vanilla, you could add lemon, orange or almond extracts. I've even added a few teaspoons of cinnamon to the batter.

I added a glaze to this one. It's pretty plain and simple.You don't have to add it, but if you want to, the recipe is below. 


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Here's what you'll need:

1 bundt cake pan or a rectangular 9" X 13" cake pan (buttered and floured)
1 cup yogurt
4  eggs (room temperature)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon (if desired)

In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In another large bowl, mix the sugar and eggs and beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla and oil and continue to mix. Add the flour mixture and yogurt alternately starting with and ending with the flour. Mix well.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Let bake for about 40-45 minutes depending on your oven or if a knife/toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Glaze recipe:

1 cup powdered sugar
6 tbsp milk or cream (add a little more if you need to)
1 tsp vanilla or any flavor extract

Mix all the ingredients well with a wire whisk or cake mixer until it is smooth and pourable. Pour over cooled cake.

Serves 12

As always, Enjoy!

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Couve-flor assada com creme de leite

Baked cauliflower with table cream. This dish is quick and easy. Very little ingredients go into making this dish. This recipe is something I picked up while vacationing in São Paulo a few years ago. I couldn't believe how delicious and easy it was to make.

Table cream can be found in most grocery stores in the ethnic aisle. It isn't that hard to find here in the U.S. anymore and relatively inexpensive. Most people find it next to the condensed milk. I know a few of you have probably seen it and wondered what the heck it was. Well, I'm going to give you a quick explanation. 

Table cream is like a heavy cream, except it is not pourable. It is not used to substitute sweetened condensed milk, as table cream is not sweetened, the taste is completely different. It does not need to be refrigerated like sour cream, only if opened. This is the type of cream that we normally use in Brazil and many Latin American countries. In Brazil, we add table cream to thicken sauces, pour over fruits, pour over flavored gelatin and to add texture to mousses.  Because it has a neutral taste, it can be used on many types of dishes.

Here's what you'll need:

1 head of cauliflower
1 7.6 oz can of table cream
parmesan cheese 
salt to taste

Rinse and cut the cauliflower into four pieces. Be careful removing the stems. You can either boil or steam it. After the boiling process begins, let cook for about 8 to 10 minutes. Make sure you don't over cook. Check every so often by inserting a knife into it. If the knife slides easily, remove it immediately from the water to stop the cooking process.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.


Place the cauliflower in a baking dish. Open the can of table cream and give it a good stir. Pour it all over the cauliflower sparingly making sure to cover it completely. Add a little salt to taste and finish it off with parmesan cheese. Let bake for about 10 minutes or until golden on the top.

Remove from the oven and serve it right away.

Serves 4











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Friday, February 11, 2011

Espaguete com alho, óleo e bacon

Spaghetti with olive oil, garlic and bacon. Yum! Italian you say? Well, yes it is. But with so many Italians in Brazil, many of their foods also became our own. Italian's migrated to Brazil in the early 19th century. With so many migrating, we started incorporating many of their foods into our lifestyle. Like the United States, Brazil is diverse, we have foods from so many countries. Not only Italy, but also from Germany, Africa and France along with so many others. 

 

If you're anything like me, you'll love the garlic and bacon that accompany those lovely strands of spaghetti. I normally like to use pancetta. Sadly, I didn't have any in my fridge, oh well. The title does say bacon, so that's what we are going to use.

 

For a pound (16 ounces) of spaghetti, you will want a pot that holds at least 5 or 6 quarts of water. 

 

Here's what you'll need:

1 pound of spaghetti

Good olive oil

Grated parmesan cheese

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 pound of bacon, not honey cured, cut up into small pieces

Torn basil or chopped Italian flat leaf parsley. 


Bring your water to a boil. Add a good amount of salt to the water, as this is what will give the pasta flavor.

 

Once your pot of water is boiling, add the spaghetti. Prepare the garlic and bacon. Put a little olive oil into a saute' or frying pan, add the bacon. Fry the bacon until slightly crisp then add the sliced garlic. Try not to have the burner on high as this will burn the garlic. You'll want to stir everything until the garlic is slightly golden. Remove it from the stove.  Set aside but leave everything in the pan. 


At this point your spaghetti should be cooked or almost ready. Remember, a good pasta is made al dente.  Drain the pasta and immediately add it to the saute'/frying pan with the garlic and bacon mixture. Add enough olive oil to coat the spaghetti and toss everything together, be sure not to add too much oil. Add a little bit of grated parmesan and the basil/flat leaf parsley. Toss well.

Serve in a fancy dish and top with more grated parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Enjoy!

 

 






 




 


 

 


 

 

 

 

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Bolo de Fuba com Extrato de Limão

Hello all! I've been procrastinating this week but I've finally been able to sit and input this recipe. Bolo de Fuba com Extrato de Limão, which means, Cornmeal Cake with Lemon Extract. I really like this cake and I hope you do too. There are different variations of cornmeal cakes in Brasil. This one in particular uses lemon extract. Why you say? Well, just because it tastes so good.

With some of my recipes you will find I like to use unbleached all purpose flour. There is no particular reason for this and it doesn't change the recipe if you use regular flour. With so many processed foods out there, I like to make recipes with the best ingredients possible. I'm also a butter person. I like the taste and texture it gives to baked goods. I don't knock those that like to use margarine. For most of my recipes you can also use margarine, but if I specify butter, then it's better to use it.

This is a good summertime cake, but I like it anytime. Although this cake is moist, it isn't as moist as your usual cake. Depending on the bundt cake pan you use, it can be a beautiful centerpiece for your table. Check out the recipe and get baking!


Cake

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
   1/2 cup yellow extra fine cornmeal
      2  tsp aluminum free baking powder (you can use the regular one too)
   1/2  tsp each  baking soda and salt
      1  cup (2 sticks butter) unsalted, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
       1 Tbsp lemon extract
       4 large eggs (room temperature)
       1 cup buttermilk, plain kefir or plain yogurt, stirred to loosen

Glaze  (optional)
       1 cup sugar
   1/3  cup lemon juice


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
You'll need a 10-12 cup bundt pan. Butter and flour the pan well.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat the sugar, butter and lemon extract until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. With your mixer on low add the flour mixture and yogurt alternately until smooth. The batter will be thick, so use a spatula to pour it into the prepared pan and smooth the top of the batter so it is level.

Bake for about 55 - 65 minutes until a cake tester or wooden toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for about 5 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, start making the sugar glaze if desired.

Whisk the sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl until combined. Sugar won't be 100% dissolved. That's okay.

Carefully remove the cake from the pan, remember, the cake is still somewhat hot. Invert the cake onto a rack with a baking sheet underneath. Brush the sugary lemon glaze all over the cake. Let the cake rest for a few hours or overnight before serving.

Serves 16 - 18

 

As always, Enjoy!
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Pudim de Tapioca

The other day I was in the mood for something sweet and creamy. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted. Then I remembered this recipe I made a few years ago. Pudim de Tapioca. If you like tapioca and coconut then this is for you. It's pretty simple to make and doesn't take much time in the kitchen. Pudim de Tapioca simply means Tapioca pudding. This particular recipe is from Alagoas, Brazil.

You will need a regular sized bundt cake pan or 2 mini bundt pans with a hole in the middle that hold six mini cakes each. The first process is to caramelize 1 cup of sugar  to then pour it inside the pan trying to cover the sides and bottom of the pan. Be careful not to burn the sugar as it can burn easily. It needs to be a nice golden brown color. You will also need another pan to put your pan/pans in a water bath, bain-marie .

I used 1% milk, but the higher the fat the better the consistency. I'm not a lover of fat free/skim milk. I have never tried it in this recipe, but you are more than welcome to.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

1 liter of milk
1 cup tapioca ( I used instant tapioca)
2 cups sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
6 eggs
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla






Put the tapioca in a large bowl. Boil the milk and pour it into the bowl where you put the tapioca. Cool for about an hour. Try to stir it once in a while or else it will stick together after it cools.

After it has cooled, add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Carefully pour the mixture in the prepared pans. Put your pan/pans into another pan and slowly add water.





Leave in the oven for 45 - 50 minutes depending on your oven.

When it's done, carefully remove it from the water bath and let cool for a half hour before you put it into the refrigerator. It can also be eaten warm.





This recipe serves 12. You can absolutely cut this recipe in half if you are not feeding that many. Enjoy!














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Friday, January 21, 2011

Torta de Atum

Hello all!  This recipe that I am going to introduce you to is not only delicious, it's pretty easy and versatile. Torta de Atum simply means Tuna pie. I don't consider it a pie really as it is more like a salted cake. This recipe is great for potluck, parties, picnics or even just as a snack. The batter is real easy to make and the fillings can be pretty much whatever you want it to be. You can use well seasoned cooked shredded chicken instead of the tuna if you like.

Although I prefer the solid white albacore, I am using chunk light in water because it has more flavor. You can use albacore or chunk light in water or oil. It's just a matter of preference.


Ingredients for the batter:

With this, you can either use a hand mixer or a blender.

1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and mix well, making sure there are no lumps.

Set aside

Filling:
Here I am adding what I like. You can add or omit the veggies. If you opt to put just the onions and the tuna, you will have more of a cake like recipe. If you add the veggies then it will be moister. Important, the tomatoes make all of the difference, try not to omit that. 


1 large onion, chopped
1 can tuna, about 5 oz.
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup of canned or frozen peas or 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (optional)
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)
salt to taste
oregano to taste






Mix the filling in a large bowl.





Next, butter a 9 X 13 baking dish.

Pour a little of the batter onto the bottom of the dish and move the dish around to cover the entire area. Put all of your filling into the dish then finish with the rest of the batter.





Put into a preheated 350 degree oven. About 50 - 60 minutes, depending on your oven. When a toothpick inserted comes out clean, it's done.





Let stand at room temperature for a while. As it cools, it becomes firmer and easier to cut.



Let me know what you think! Print

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Brigadeiro

Brigadeiro, Portuguese for Brigadier, is a simple Brazilian chocolate bonbon, created in the 1940s and named after Brigadier Eduardo Gomes. The shape is reminiscent of that of some varieties of chocolate truffles. It is usually served at birthday parties, but I serve it at any kind of party.

This recipe that I will be showing you is easy and traditional. There are a few ways of making them. Some people like using cocoa or Nestle's quick and some opt for margarine instead of butter. I will be showing you using cocoa and butter. After you have made it, you can try different ways depending on your taste.


Let's start with the ingredients. You will need the following:

1 can 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons  butter
chocolate sprinkles
miniature paper bonbon or cupcake liners

Next, in a medium sauce pan, on medium to low heat, add the sweetened condensed milk, 1 tablespoon butter and the cocoa. When adding the cocoa, I like to use a whisk so that it doesn't form any lumps. Stir often until you see that the mixture becomes thick and you are able to see the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes. The mixture will have a smooth like texture, almost like fudge.



Pour the thickened mixture onto a plate or flat casserole dish and spread it out. This will cause it to cool quicker so that you can work with your hands.



After it has cooled, about 10 minutes or so, separate the little bonbon/miniature cupcake liners. Place them on a plate or counter top. Place chocolate sprinkles in a small bowl. Use the remaining tablespoon of butter to butter your hands. This is very important. It keeps the brigadeiro mixture from sticking to your hands. With a teaspoon, scoop some of the mixture and place it on the palm or your hand and form a small ball.



After you have formed the small chocolate ball, carefully drop it into the chocolate sprinkle bowl and flip it around to coat it.


Place them into the tiny bonbon cups you prepared earlier.


After you are done filling the bonbon cups, place them on a beautiful tray or dessert pedestal. Depending on the size you make your brigadeiros, you should have between 25 and 30.

This mixture may be consumed unrolled, with a spoon or used as a topping or filling for cakes, brownies and other pastries. If you so desire, you can put chopped nuts, shaved coconuts or even multicolor sprinkles. It's up to you. Enjoy!
 


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