One thing I noticed during our two months in Brazil, aside from people that love to party and bare as much flesh as possible on the beach, is that they love their sweets. With a food culture that’s a mash of Afro, Euro and Amerindian, I’m not remotely surprised at the amount of national and regional sweets that you can sink your teeth into.
Every hotel breakfast we had involved at least two bolos, or cakes, as part of the buffet. Sometimes up to eight. Seriously!
Rather than give you two separate recipes for two of the more common desserts in this country, I’ve decided to lump them together as one.
First we have brigadeiros.
These look like regular old chocolate truffles, but there’s a slight difference with the Brazilian variety. They’re based on sweetened condensed milk, something you see a lot of in Brazil. More richness, more of a caramel flavour and, well, more sugar!
Scoffing two will push you into sugar-high mode. Scoffing three or four will make your throat burn and possibly give you a head-spin.
What I’ve done with these little fellas is adorn one of Brazil’s typical cakes with them. Bolo de cenoura. It’s basically a carrot cake – but nothing like the ones we’re used to in Australia, North America or the UK.
Rather than grate the carrots and toss them into a batter that’s heavy in cinnamon, nuts and weighed down by cream cheese frosting, the carrots are puréed and made into a sponge.
I’ve laced mine with cacao nibs; flecking the slightly dense cake and adding more texture.
Icing-wise, the cake is drizzled with a semi-runny concoction of cocoa, icing sugar and milk – rendering it beautifully glossy.
Brigadeiros adapted from here
Bolo de cenoura adapted from here
*Maitre D’ Mini Casserole supplied by Scanpan