Category Archives: Sweet

Magic Chocolate Custard Cake

Versão em português

Bolo Mágico de Chocolate

Better late than never! May is over, but this is such a different recipe that I didn’t want to save it for later! (Blame the Abrates conference for my delay in posting this! Hahahahah!)

To end the Chocolate Tertulias (and celebrate my birthday, which was on the 19th), I decided to make a cake I had seen at A Cozinha Coletiva, a blog I’ve been following for years, but had never tried a recipe from.

I must confess: halfway through the recipe, I was “man, this is not going to work…” But I persisted, and it was worth it! The texture is very unusual: it resembles a cake, but also a pudding, or maybe something else… and it’s delicious!

For an 8 x 8 inch cake, you’ll need

110 g (1 cup) unsalted butter
600 ml (2 and 1/2 cups) whole milk, lukewarm
115 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
45 g (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
4 egg whites
4 drops white vinegar
4 egg yolks
210 g (1 and 3/4 cup) confectioner’s sugar
30 ml (2 Tbsp) prepared – and strong – coffee – you can also use espresso
1 tsp vanilla extract

For garnish (optional, but go ahead and do it):

Confectioner’s sugar
Berries – I looked all over town for raspberries, as it was my birthday! 😀

Bolo Mágico de Chocolate

Attention: Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius – yes, the lowest temperature!

Start by melting the butter and warming up the milk. Set them aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour and cocoa powder. I managed to BREAK my whisk while doing that! I still can’t figure out how I did that, but you’re (probably) a more normal person, so you won’t do that… 😀

Using the stand mixer, whisk the egg whites with the vinegar, which is there to help you reach hard peaks – have you seen that trick of turning the bowl upside-down and seeing if the egg whites will fall on your head? That’s it. If it doesn’t move, it’s ready.

In the third bowl, which should be large enough to fit all the ingredients, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until you get a light and pale cream – I had to use a FORK to whisk, can you imagine? In this bowl, add the melted (and cooled) butter, the coffee, and the vanilla. Whisk for two minutes, until combined.

Add the milk and mix well. This is when it looks as if it’s ruined, because it’s too liquid. Don’t worry, that’s how it’s supposed to be! 🙂

Add the whisked egg whites, one-third at a time, in a delicate folding motion.

Once again: don’t freak out, it is pretty liquid indeed, but it works! Pour the mix over a well-greased 8 x 8 baking pan, and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

Ritchie’s description for how to know when the cake is ready was perfect: “bake until you notice that, when you wiggle the pan, the cake wiggles too, but more like jell-o than a liquid. It sounds like a weird description, but you’ll understand.” And you really will! 😀

Let it cool completely. When the cake is fully cooled, cut in squares, dust some confectioner’s sugar, decorate with some berries for extra frou-frou, and serve!

The Browniest Cookies

Versão em português

Biscoitos Brownie

Have you ever read a recipe, thought it would be easy to make, knew it would be tasty, pinned it, aaaaand…… never remembered to do it? Always, right? 😀 To continue the Chocolate Tertulias, I decided to finally make these cookies, which are basically little round brownies!

These are not only delicious, they’re also very easy to make: you don’t need to soften the butter and you only use one pot! I didn’t have unsweetened chocolate, so I used a70% cocoa one. It was very tasty, but next time I’ll use one with 80% cocoa, or stronger. Even if you don’t like bitter chocolate, I don’t think this recipe would work with milk chocolate – it’d be way too sweet!

You’ll need:

115 g (½ cup) unsalted butter
115 g unsweetened chocolate, chopped
190 g (1 cup, packed) dark or light brown sugar
25 g (2 Tbsp) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp fine sea or table salt
45 g (½ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
130 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
115 g (2/3 cup) chocolate chips or chocolate, chopped into chunks

Biscoitos Brownie

In a pot that fits all ingredients, melt the butter and the chocolate. You can use a water bath, or do what I did and melt everything over the lowest heat on the smallest burner of the stove, stirring constantly and being careful not to let the chocolate burn.

With a silicone spatula, mix the two kinds of sugar into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs, one by one. Mix in the vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Sift the cocoa powder over the batter − yes, I do mean sift it! 😀 − and mix. Sift the flour over the batter and mix just until you don’t see any white specs. Now all you have to do is add the chocolate chips!

Cover the pot with plastic wrap and let it cool in the fridge for about half an hour. Use a cookie scoop or make small balls (mine were about 1 Tbsp of dough), place them on a lined baking sheet, leaving plenty of room between them, and bake in a preheated oven. The original recipe said to bake for 11 to 12 minutes, warning that they would be soft. I did this on the first batch, letting them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. This gave the cookies a really brownie-like texture. On the second batch, I baked for 15 minutes, and found the texture to be closer to a normal cookie − and I liked them even better that way!

Freezer: As with most cookies, you can freeze the balls of dough in a plastic wrap-covered baking sheet. When they are fully frozen, transfer them into a Ziploc bag. To bake, take them straight from the freezer to the oven, baking for a couple extra minutes.

Devil’s Food Loaf

Versão em português

Devil's Food Loaf

I did some serious thinking before deciding on the theme for May: “I want to do chocolate, but then again, right after Easter, is it worth it?, etc…” until I realized: who gets sick of chocolate? 😀

To start off the Chocolate Tertulias, I decided to finally photograph my second favorite chocolate cake! My very favorite chocolate cake is the one my mom makes, but that is for another series 😛 Devil’s food loaf is similar to that cake, but the frosting is very different – and the best part of it!

You’ll need:
45g unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ tsp baking soda
100 ml boiling water
140g flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 medium eggs
233g brown sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting:
60 g dark chocolate, chopped
14g unsalted butter
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp whole milk
½ Tbsp honey

Devil's Food Loaf

Start by preparing your loaf pan (mine was 8.5 x 9.5 inches): butter it, line it with parchment paper, making sure there’s an excess of paper so it’s easy to take the cake out of the pan, and then butter the parchment paper!

In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa with the boiling water. Mix in the baking soda and let it cool for 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the stand mixer, mix the eggs, sugar, and oil, until you get a smooth cream. Add the vanilla. Mix in the flour mixture – at this stage, I prefer to use a rubber spatula, but that’s just me. Add the cocoa/water mix and combine well.

Pour the batter into the pan. Now, something different: tap the pan on the counter a few times, to remove air bubbles from the batter. I don’t know what horrible thing happens if you skip this step; I never did! 😀

Bake in a pre-heated oven until it passes the toothpick test – here, it took about 50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing it – you’ll see how the parchment paper trick makes the process easy! Let the cake cool completely.

When it’s completely cooled, it’s time to make the frosting. Melt the chocolate and butter in a small pan, over a water bath. While the chocolate melts, mix the cocoa powder, milk, and honey in another small pan, stirring constantly over high heat until it simmers. Pass the contents of this second pan through a sieve over the chocolate and butter mixture, stirring well (I must confess: I sometimes just mix the contents of both pans, without fussing with the sieve). Spread the frosting over the cake – do this immediately, as it dries quickly.

Test your willpower by letting the frost set for a couple hours before serving!

Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake

Versão em português

Cheesecake de Ferrero Rocher

Before I went to Brasília, I made a list of the recipes I wanted to cook there for the blog – things with kale, yellow carrot, and other ingredients I can’t find in Uruguay. With everything I had to do there, I didn’t cook ANY of them! 😮 Then, we came up with the idea of a “Jota’s recipes” series, which would only feature recipes tested by my brother. We selected a few recipes and… we only cooked this one. 😦

But what a recipe! I always made the same cheesecake recipe, with ricotta, but this is a very different and tasty version – unlike what I had imagined, this is not too sweet! And you can still make it for Easter lunch! 😉

For the base:
240 g corn flakes
70 g unsalted butter, melted
4 Tbsp cocoa powder

For the filling:
200 g hazelnut
500 g cream cheese
200 g heavy cream
85 g sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

For the topping:
170 g dark chocolate
200 g heavy cream
Ferrero Rocher chocolates, to decorate

Cheesecake de Ferrero Rocher

Start by making the base: in the food processor/blender, finely process the corn flakes. Add the melted butter and the cocoa powder and mix well. Cover the bottom of a 10-inch round springform pan with the crust, pressing well, and place it in the fridge to firm up. You don’t need to butter your pan, as the crust is buttery enough.

While the crust is in the fridge, place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast them in a pre-heated oven. The process takes about 15 minutes. Every now and then, shake the baking sheet so that the hazelnuts don’t burn. You’ll know they are ready when the kitchen is smelling of hazelnuts 😀

Place the hot hazelnuts straight on the blender and blend WELL, until it becomes a paste. This is a lengthy process: Jota and I weren’t willing to wait that long, so we just ground them up, it was good! #truestory

In a bowl, mix the hazelnuts with the cream cheese, 200 g of cream, vanilla, and sugar, until it is nicely mixed. I mixed the cream cheese with the cream first, with a spatula, and then added the remaining ingredients of the filling, but that was just because I didn’t want to get the mixer dirty! 😀 Pour this cream over the cold crust, then cover your pan with plastic wrap and put it back in the fridge to firm up.

Meanwhile, place the cream and dark chocolate in a small pan over low heat (or a bain-marie if you’re more patient than I am), stirring well until all the chocolate is melted. Let it cool down a bit and cover the cheesecake with the ganache. Decorate with the Ferrero Rocher chocolates, put it back on the fridge for at least 30 minutes, and serve!

Phoebe’s Cookies – OK, Nestlé Toll House Cookies

Versão em Português

Cookies da Phoebe

(If you don’t know why I call these “Phoebe’s Cookies,” stop reading this and go watch Friends, season 7, episode 3)

There’s no better way of finishing the Christmas Tertulias than with Phoebe’s grandma’s cookies! 🙂 I had wanted to try these ever since I first watched that episode, in 2000 something. When I moved to Uruguay, I finally looked up the recipe and tried it. In fact, I’ve made these cookies so many times that I had to search the blog files to make sure I hadn’t posted them yet! 😀

And the most important thing is: you can still make them for Christmas! Did you forget to buy stocking stuffers? Phoebe’s Cookies to the rescue! Your children need to leave some cookies for Santa? He’ll like these better than any store-bought cookie! 🙂

I wanted to follow the original recipe strictly, for the pictures, but I ended up making a tiny alteration: I swapped ½ cup of walnuts for ½ cup of chocolate chips, because I had chopped more nuts than necessary. 😀

You’ll need:

200 g butter, room temperature

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 cups chocolate chips – If you can’t find real chocolate chips (aka not the gross hydrogenated fat, ewww), just chop some normal chocolate bars! I used 1 ½ cups of mini chocolate chips, 50% cocoa.

1 cup of walnuts, chopped (measure, then chop) – as I said before, I used 1 ½ cup.

Cookies da Phoebe

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar for approximately 3 minutes, until it’s creamy. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing a little more.

In a bowl, use a whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add this mixture to the stand mixer in thirds. The original recipe said to continue using the stand mixer to incorporate the flour mix, but I prefer to do this step using a silicon spatula, to make sure I don’t overwork the dough. It takes a little muscle strength, but I think it’s worth it! 😀

When you can’t see flecks of flour in your dough anymore, it’s time to add the chocolate chips and the nuts. Use a silicon spatula to mix it well.

As I still don’t have a cookie scoop, I had to shape them by hand. My suggestion: sit in front of the TV/computer, put on an episode of your favorite show, and shape! It will take a while. 😀 The original recipe calls for 1 Tbsp of dough per cookie, but I thought they turned out too big, so I only used ½ Tbsp per cookie.

Place the cookies on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, leaving approximately 2 cm of room between them. Bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 15 minutes. Remove the cookies from the sheet and let them cool on a rack. When they are COMPLETELY cooled (it may take a while if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere!), place them in a nice box or jar and they’re ready to be gifted! 🙂

Tip: If you’re using the same baking sheet to bake multiple batches, cool it before adding the second batch, so that the cookies won’t spread too much in the oven. I usually remove the baked cookies (and the parchment paper, obviously) and place the sheet under running tap water for a few seconds, until it’s cool enough for me to touch it with my bare hands. Then, I dry it with a cloth and it’s ready for the second batch!

Freezer: If you don’t want to bake the entire batch on the same day, flash freeze the dough balls on a tray. When they are completely frozen, transfer them to a ziploc bag – they’ll last up to three months in the freezer. To bake, place the frozen balls on the prepared baking sheet and bake for a few extra minutes! It’s that easy! 🙂

Lemon Bars

Versão em Português

Barrinhas de Limão

The second recipe of the Christmas Tertulias is not exactly a Christmas recipe, but it is a perfect fit for the hot weather in the Southern Hemisphere. As the idea of this series is to make edible gifts, all you have to do is place these bars in a red-and-green box and there you have it: CHRISTMAS 😀 😀

They are also a great dessert for Christmas Dinner. We know your aunt is bringing
pudim (Brazilian-style flan), but you can innovate and bring these! 🙂
Lemon bars are also one of Sky’s favorite desserts: I first baked them because every time I baked something, he’d say “oh, this is pretty good, but you could make lemon bars, you know…” I’m glad he insisted, though, because these are really good! I’ve tried many recipes, but this one, by Ree Drummond, is one of the most traditional.

To fill a 20 x 30 cm (8 x 11 inch) pan with lemon bars <3, you’ll need:

Crust

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract – “an invention from my head,” as Grandma would say

225 g butter, cold and chopped into small cubes

Filling

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 eggs

Zest and juice of 5 lemons

Confectioner’s sugar, for decoration

Barrinhas de Limão

Start by lining the baking pan (20 x 30 cm, 8 x 11 inch) with aluminum foil − leave extra foil on the sides to form handles, so that removing the bars from the pan isn’t a traumatizing process 😀 – there’s no need to butter the foil, as there’s plenty of butter in the dough!

For the crust: in a medium-sized bowl, use a whisk to combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and the vanilla and use the tip of your fingers (or a pastry cutter) to mix the ingredients until it looks like fine crumbs. Press this dough onto your baking pan and bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until the sides are light golden. Don’t bake any more than that, as these will go back to the oven! 🙂

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Use your whisk to mix the sugar and flour. Add the eggs, mixing well, and then add the lemon zest and juice. Mix and set aside. As this whole process takes about 3 minutes, do the dishes! 😀

Remove the crust from the oven, carefully pour the filling, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is firm. Remove from the oven and cool it for a while before placing in the fridge for about 2 hours – it’s a lot easier to cut them when they’re cold!

Remove the chilled bars from the pan, using the aluminum foil. For extra prettiness, sift a generous layer of confectioner’s sugar over the bars. Cut them into 5-cm (2-inch) squares. Place the bars in a cute box (if you have to pile them, separate the layers with wax paper), and there’s your gift!

Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Versão em Português

To begin our Christmas Tertulias, also known as edible gifts, I decided to cook a recipe I’ve always been curious about. We don’t eat fudge in Brazil, but when I was a child a lot of books mentioned that somebody had made it for Christmas and, of course, Honeydukes sold Fudge Flies! (#Potterhead)

I’ve read several fudge recipes: some are more complicated, requiring a candy thermometer and a lot of patience, and some are more straightforward. Obviously, I chose the easiest one I could find, by Patricia Scarpin! While I was writing this post, I realized I had (involuntarily) adapted the recipe – I had read it wrong and only used ½ cup of sweetened condensed milk, instead of ½ can! 😀

This is a GREAT gift – it’s different (well, if you’re from Brazil), it will stay firm unrefrigerated, it’s delicious and… it’s so easy to make! A lot less stressful than trying to go to a shopping mall this late in the season!

To make the (adapted) fudge, you’ll need:

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk – do NOT swap for evaporated milk!

330 g of a good dark chocolate, chopped – as the recipe is basically chocolate, the quality matters quite a lot. I used a 64% cocoa chocolate.

1 Tbsp water

1 tsp vanilla extract – you’ll see that the picture looks like a lot more, and that’s right: my homemade extract wasn’t quite full-strength yet, so I added some.

Chopped walnuts, to taste − completely optional. You can use walnuts, hazelnuts… or nothing at all.

Fudge de Chocolate

Start by lining a 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) baking pan with aluminum foil − leave extra foil on the sides to form handles, so that it is easy to remove the fudge from the pan.

Chop the chocolate into small chunks – as mine came in discs, I didn’t bother chopping. In a heavy-bottomed pan, place the chocolate, the sweetened condensed milk, and the water. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is completely melted.

When the chocolate is melted, you’ll notice that the fudge is in a thicker consistency. Turn off the stove and add the vanilla. Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.

Spread the chopped nuts over the fudge, pressing lightly so that they stick – I once forgot to press and the nuts fell off as the fudge cooled #fail. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 2 hours.

Use the foil handles to remove the fudge and cut it into 2.5-cm (1 inch) cubes. In theory, they last approximately 1 week in the fridge. Here, they lasted about three hours…. #self-control 😀

Sweet Muffins with Manioc, Coconut, and Cheese

Versão em português

Bolo de Mandioca, Coco e Queijo

Things were a bit quiet around here, weren’t they? There’s a pretty good explanation, though: we moved! Between looking for a new apartment, signing a contract, trying to get everything ready, giving up and calling Mom and Dad to help us move, and, of course, working, it was pretty hard to post here! But now that that is over, it’s time to face the folder “Photographed – Need to write the recipe”! To start, I decided to write this recipe, which I made in Brasília and was totally worth it! 🙂

As soon as I got Rita Lobo’s book, I rushed to select the recipes I wouldn’t be able to cook in Uruguay: the cod and black-eyed peas salad, plantain gnocchi (which I ended up not cooking), and these wonderful muffins.

Grating the manioc was extremely boring. The worst of it was that, when I was almost finished, mom told me we could buy grated manioc at the supermarket!! >.< Other than that, the recipe is pretty straightforward. I’m calling them muffins because of their shape – the texture is not quite that, as this is (almost) a flour-free recipe.

When it came out of the oven, we thought “oh, let’s just share one, to taste, we’ve eaten a lot today already.” After the first bite, I had to HIDE two of them for the pictures, because everyone wanted their own! It was THAT tasty! 🙂

For 12 muffins, you’ll need:

1 ½ cup of skinned manioc, grated – please, buy the grated kind! 😀

2 eggs

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup oil

1 cup of meia-cura cheese, shredded – as this is impossible to find outside of Brazil, good substitutions would be mild cheddar, Colby, or Monterey Jack.

1 cup unsweetened dry coconuts

Butter and cornstarch to coat the muffin tin and say you made a gluten-free recipe, therefore it must be healthy, therefore you can eat it all at once no problem 😛

Bolo de Mandioca, Coco e Queijo
Start by placing the shredded manioc in a bowl and covering it with ½ cup water. While the manioc rests, butter your muffin tin and then dust with cornstarch – it will make a little bit of a mess on your counter, ok? Don’t worry.

In a big bowl, whisk the eggs, the sugar, and the oil, until they become a smooth creamy mixture.

Press the manioc on a sieve to drain the water. To the egg mix, add the coconut, the manioc, and the cheese. Place the dough in the muffin tin – do not overfill and do not press the dough down.

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown – it was very weird to cook a recipe where you can’t use a toothpick to test if it’s ready!

Let them cool before removing from the tin. Control yourself and don’t eat them all at once!

Chocolate and Yoghurt Muffins

Versão em português

Muffin de Chocolate e Iogurte

To end our Muffin Tertulias, nothing better than a VERY CHOCOLATY chocolate muffin – there’s cocoa and chocolate in the recipe! In addition, as the recipe calls for yoghurt, these are very soft. In fact, they were tastier on the second day!

The only part that takes a little bit of work is chopping the chocolate! I use normal chocolate, because I can’t find decent chocolate chips (only those with hydrogenated fat, ewwww). If you find decent chocolate chips, your muffins will be even prettier!

This recipe yields A LOT: I got 12 normal muffins and 15 mini-muffins! I think it would yield 16-18 normal-sized muffins .

You’ll need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

3/4 cups dark chocolate chips – I’ll add more next time!

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup whole-fat unsweetened yoghurt

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup white chocolate chips, for decorating

Muffin de Chocolate e Iogurte

This is the easiest of all the recipes in this series – we don’t even need to melt the butter! 🙂

In the first bowl (the smallest), mix the dry ingredients. In the second bowl (a bigger one that can fit all the ingredients), mix the wet ingredients. Combine the dry and wet mixtures with a rubber spatula. As always, don’t mix too much – muffin batter really is a little lumpier than cake batter, so just mix until you can’t see flour specks anymore!

Fill the muffin cups, always to only 3/4 full. Sprinkle a few white chocolate chips on the top and bake for 20 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test! 🙂

Let them cool down on a rack and CHOW DOWN!

Blueberry Muffins

Versão em português

Muffins de Mirtilo

To continue the Muffin Tertulias, I decided to repeat a wonderful recipe, which I had never photographed:Technicolor Kitchen’s blueberry muffins!

As I had already made donut muffins, I decided to skip the topping this time. No regrets! 🙂 If you’re like my dad, who doesn’t care for raw blueberries, you should know that they are much tastier once baked!

For 12 muffins, you’ll need

255 g flour

100 g sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup buttermilk – I can’t buy buttermilk at the store, so I make my own, by putting 1 Tbsp lemon juice (vinegar would work too) in the measuring cup, filling it to the 3/4 mark with whole milk, and letting it sit for 10-15 minutes.

90 g butter, melted

2 eggs

Zest of 1 lemon – do not omit, it makes all the difference!

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup blueberries – mine were frozen, and they went from the freezer straight to the batter!

Muffins de Mirtilo

Start by preparing the buttermilk and melting the butter – if you want to be savvy, melt the butter in a pan that is big enough to mix the batter! 😀

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl using a whisk to make sure everything is nicely mixed and lump-free.

When the melted butter cools down a bit, mix in the eggs, the vanilla extract, and the buttermilk. Add the dry mix and mix A LITTLE with a rubber spatula – don’t mix the batter too much, or the muffins will harden: when you can’t see specks of flour, you’re done!

Add the blueberries to the batter and pour into the muffin cups – remember to fill only to 3/4 of the capacity, so they won’t overflow in the oven!

Bake for 25 minutes, or until they are golden/toothpick comes out clean… you know the deal. Let them cool on a wire rack – if you try to eat them while they’re hot, the dough sticks to the paper liner; it’s a nightmare. #truestory #learnedbydoing

To freeze: just place the cooled muffins in a ziploc bag! 🙂 They should last up to three months in the freezer, but only if you forget they are there, otherwise they get eaten WELL BEFORE that! 😀