Thursday, April 13, 2017

Chocolate and banana clafoutis to celebrate Easter

Banana and chocolate clafoutis / Clafoutis de banana e chocolate

We are a couple of days away from Easter and to celebrate it I have brought you a delicious dessert I created months ago – I love, love, love clafloutis and I wanted to add a tropical twist to this traditional French dessert. Passion fruit and white chocolate came to my mind – it is a beautiful flavor combination – but since the pulp is too moist it would not work. So I switched to bananas and changed the white chocolate for a dark one so the combination would not be too sweet.

It was absolutely delicious! I have made this recipe several times since then for it is so simple to put together and the result is so wonderful.

I wish you all a beautiful Easter break! xx

Chocolate and banana clafoutis
own creation

2 large eggs
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa poder, sifted
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
¼ cup (60ml) whole milk, room temperature
¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream
2 bananas (about 250g in total), sliced
¼ cup (42g) dark chocolate chips – the one I used has 53% cocoa solids
1 colher (sopa) demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter a 1-liter capacity heatproof baking dish – the one on the photo is 20cm wide and 3.5cm deep.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour, cocoa, cinnamon and salt and whisk until smooth again. Whisk in milk and heavy cream. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Spread the banana slices and the chocolate chips over the mixture. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until puffed, golden and a nice crust forms from the demerara sugar. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-5

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Orange, rye and nutmeg slice and bake cookies

Orange, rye and nutmeg slice and bake cookies / Biscoitos de laranja, centeio e noz-moscada

Today’s post is about how much I love the Internet and it is probably the 15th time I tell you that. :)

I had been testing recipes with rye flour, but was not very happy with the results: when I made breads, for example, it was fine, but for cookies, muffins and cakes the flour was too thick and the baked goods were not as light as I wanted them to be. So I decided to put the rye recipes aside for a while.

Months later, while browsing one of my favorite Instagram profiles, I learned about a food store that sells spelt flour (which is hard to come by here in Brazil) and there I found a different type of rye flour, called “fine rye flour” – I bought it and retested all the recipes I had made before, and the results were wonderful!

One of those recipes is for these slice and bake cookies, deliciously fragrant from the orange and nutmeg: the rye flour lands them a nutty flavor and a beautiful color.

Orange, rye and nutmeg slice and bake cookies
slightly adapted from Deb’s recipe

1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
½ cup (70g) fine rye flour*
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
2/3 cup (93g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
200g (7oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, rye flour, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, place sugar and orange zest and mix them together until sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and mix until light and creamy – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the making of the recipe.
Beat in yolks, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients and mix only until a dough forms – don’t overmix.

Divide the dough into two equal parts. Place each on a piece of parchment paper; shape dough into logs. Fold parchment over dough; using a ruler, roll and press into a 3.5 cm (1.4in) log – like Martha does here. Wrap in parchment. Chill in the fridge until very firm, about 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F; line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Unwrap one log at a time (keep the other in the fridge). Cut into 5mm (¼in) thick rounds; space 2.5cm (1in) apart onto prepared sheets. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, 12-14 minutes. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then carefully slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.

* for the cookies to be light in texture, make sure the rye flour you use is finely ground

Makes about 50

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Chocolate cashew brownies for another budget-friendly Easter

Chocolate cashew brownies / Brownies com castanha de caju

Close to paying bills and getting up early in the morning to go to work nothing makes me feel more like an adult than realizing that time really flies – saying it out loud every so often basically turns me into my grandmother. :D

Days ago I thought about what I would make to celebrate Easter this year and I remembered these chocolate cookies – when I searched them on the blog I was surprised to find out that the post is from two years ago!
I read the post and well, I continue refusing to buy expensive chocolate Easter eggs – so on top of getting old I am still cheap. :D

Brownies are a hit with everyone I know, not to mention how easy to make they are: out of a 20cm square pan you get 16 brownies and wrapped nicely you easily have 3-4 gifts covered – I have used cashew nuts for I wanted the brownies to have a Brazilian touch, but feel free to replace them with any other nut you fancy.

Chocolate cashew brownies
own creation

½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened and chopped
100g dark chocolate, finely chopped – I used one with 53% cocoa solids
¾ cup (130g) light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon table salt
¾ cup (105g) unsalted cashew nuts, toasted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 20cm (8in) square pan, line it with foil leaving an overhang on two opposite sides, and butter the foil as well.

In a large saucepan, combine butter and chocolate and cook over low heat, stirring, until both are melted. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Whisk in both sugars. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth. Stir in the vanilla, flour and salt, mixing just until incorporated. Stir in the nuts.
Spread batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out with moist crumbs. Cool completely in the pan over a wire rack. Cut into squares to serve.

Makes 16

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mayo marinated roast chicken

Mayo marinated roast chicken / Frango assado marinado em maionese

I have told you that I am a very visual person and that beautiful food photos get my attention instantly, and a while ago I found out that my husband is just like that too. :)
Now, every time I see something delicious on a magazine or cookbook I immediately show him the picture – that has made my life so much easier! :)

I was reading Bon Appétit the other day and saw this insanely golden chicken – it caught my eye right away. When I read it was marinated in mayonnaise I was even more curious about the recipe, so I lifted the IPad and told him (I might have screamed, I am not so sure): “LOOK at this chicken!” to what he replied: “please make it for lunch next weekend?” :D

So in a matter of minutes the menu was decided and I got to learn that marinating chicken with mayo makes it really, really tender and beautifully golden – and all those spices combined with the onion and garlic added a wonderful flavor to it.

Mayo marinated roast chicken
adapted from Bon Appétit magazine

1 large onion, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup mayonnaise
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 1½ pounds total)
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

Make the marinade: in a food processor, process onions, garlic, lime zest and juice, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper until a rough purée forms. Transfer to a large baking dish and stir in salt, black pepper and mayonnaise. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours (overnight is even better).

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a large and shallow baking dish with a double layer of foil and brush it with olive oil. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and scrape off the excess marinade. Place chicken onto the foil, skin side up, drizzle with the olive oil and roast for 60-70 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Serve immediately – I served it with watercress salad, like it was on the magazine, and it was delicious

Serves 2

Friday, March 24, 2017

Bolo de fubá (Brazilian corn flour cake) - the first recipe I made in life

Bolo de fubá da tia Angélica / Brazilian corn flour cake

Most of you already know that I started cooking at a very early age – it was purely out of necessity, but it became a true passion over the years. The first recipe I ever learned how to make was this corn flour cake, or “bolo de fubá”, and it was my great-aunt Angelica who taught me how to make it – she would then after that cake teach me how to cook all sorts of food, mostly by phone. <3

I hadn’t baked her cake for several years for I no longer had her recipe, but after searching all over my place, including very old notebooks I finally found it – it is really, really delicious and exactly how I remembered it: tasty and very light in texture.

I have made other cornmeal cakes over the past years, but this is the one that got me in the kitchen for the first time ever in my life, the recipe that showed me how magical and wonderful cooking and baking can be – if it wasn’t for this cake, this blog would probably not exist, and that makes this recipe even more special for me.

Bolo de fubá (Brazilian corn flour cake)
my great-aunt Angelica’s recipe

1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
1 cup (120g) corn flour (fine cornmeal - fubá) – not corn starch, the same corn flour used in these tartlets
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large eggs
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (224g) granulated sugar
¾ cup (180ml) canola oil
1 cup (240ml) very hot whole milk

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter and flour a 20x30cm (8x12in) rectangular baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on medium speed until foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar, and then beat the mixture on high until thick, glossy and very light in color – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally during the making of the recipe. Turn down the speed to medium and slowly pour in the oil down the sides of the bowl, then beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix only until incorporated – do not overmix to avoid losing the air previously incorporated in the batter. Gently stir in the milk with a rubber spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for35-40 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan over a wire rack.

Cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Serves 20

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