quarta-feira, 28 de julho de 2010

Daring Bakers' Challenge - July 2010 - Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

Blog checking lines - The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

Mandatory -
•We had to make the Swiss rolls, a filling for them, two ice creams and a fudge sauce, from scratch.

•We had to set the dessert in a bowl/pan etc in the order given in the recipe-Swiss roll, first ice-cream, the fudge topping and, finally, the second ice cream.

Variations allowed -
•We could either follow the given recipes for all the components or change the flavour of the Swiss rolls, filling, ice creams and fudge topping.

•We could make it in whatever shape and size we wanted.
So, you can check the orinal recipes at The Daring Kitchen website.
Ok, I know the challenge is making a SWISS swirl ice crem cake but I decided to add a Brasilian point of view to it...
I made 2 SS cakes:
1º attemp: Romeo & Juliet cake. Humpf! Brasilian? R&J? Shakespeare? Isn't it English?
Yes, of course it is English, but if you ask any Brasilian guy what a R&J is, I bet the first answer will be this dessert _ a slice of cheese and a slice of guava marmelade.
In cheaper restaurants and bars it will be just that. In Fancy places you will find cheese cake with guava jam, guava mousse with melted cheese and so on. In ice cream factories there is a cheese ice cream with guava marmelade chips. So I made a roll filled with guava jam, cheese ice cream, Brasil nut fudge and guava ice cream.
BTW this roll is typical from Pernambuco, a Northeast state, and it's called Bolo de Rolo.


2 1/2 cupsoftened butter
2 3/4 cup sugar
8 eggs
4 cups wheat flour
Icing sugar
Grated Parmesan cheese
In a mixer, beat the butter and add sugar gradually. Join the 8 egg yolks and beat well until the mixture is whitening. Add flour gradually and continue beating. In another bowl, beat the egg whites  and gently add to previous cream.  Grease a 28cm x 42cm tray and sprinkle with flour. Pour a small portion of dough, spread with a spatula, forming a layer of less than 1cm. Bake inpre-heated oven  at high temperature. Bake for 4 min. or till the centre is springy to the touch. Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle a little caster sugar over it. Turn the cake on to the towel. Spread over it a thin layer of filling and sprinkle with a bit of parmesan cheese. Roll the cake. Do it all over again til you have baked all the dough. But you will roll the other cakes one over the other. Sprinkle with icing sugar. 

700g guava marmelade
2 tablespoons water
Cut the guava marmelade into small pieces and cook with water until it melts and you get a creamy mixture.

Guava Marmelade Ice Cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can of milk
400g heavy cream
300g soft guava marmelade
Cut the guava marmelade into pieces and beat all ingredients in blender. Lead to the freezer until the edges begin to freeze. Bring it to the mixer and beat well. Place it again the freezer. Repeat the process until all the ice cream gets equally frozen.

Cheese Ice Cream
500ml milk
150ml heavy cream
5 egg yolks
100g of  a white cheese
Bring the milk, the cream and the cheese to simmer. In another bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Add a little of the warm milk mixture to yolks and mix well. Pour the egg yolks into the remaining milk mixture and return to low heat, stirring, until thickened, without boiling. Place in the freezer and repeat the process of the guava ice cream.

Brazil Nut Topping
3 tablespoons Brazil nuts  butter - still using the remains of the other challenge.
3 tablespoons heavy cream
5 teespoons sugar
Mix well and cook until thickened.

Cut the Swiss rolls into 20 equal slices ( approximately 2 cm each ).Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with cling film/plastic wrap. Arrange two slices at the bottom of the pan, with their seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl, with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm (at least 30 minutes). Soften the Guava ice cream. Take the bowl out of the freezer, remove the cling film cover and add the ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till firm ( at least 1 hour) Add the fudge sauce over the ice cream, cover and freeze till firm ( at least an hour). Soften the cheese ice cream and spread it over the fudge sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4-5 hours till completely set. Remove the plastic cover, and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic lining. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened with hot water. The bowl will come away easily. Keep the cake out of the freezer for at least 10 minutes before slicing, depending on how hot your region is. Slice with a sharp knife, dipped in hot water.

2º attempt: Do you know Caipirinha? This is a typical Brasilian drink made with cachaça (sugar cane brandy), lime and sugar. So...Lime roll with lime curd filling, cachaça ice cream, Basil caramel and rapadura( block of raw brown sugar) ice cream.

Ok, ok I know Caipirinha is NOT made with brown sugar, but what else could I do?
Basil? Nowadays,you can also find Caipinhinha with basil, Strawberry or passion fruit caipirinhas. Or you can use vodca insted of cachaça. It would be a Caipirissima.
Lime cake

6 eggs
225g sugar
45g wheat flour
Zests of 1 lime
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Beat eggs until doubled in volume. Add sugar gradually and beat until the mixture is white. Add the flour and the zest and lime juice, mixing gently. Pour the dough into 2 greased and floured baking pantrays and place into a preheated to 200 ° C oven. Bake until the centre is springy to the touch , but without letting it brown. Remove from oven and unmold the cake onto a sheet of baking paper sprinkled with sugar. Wrap the cake and let cool. Then unroll and cover with a thin layer of filling and roll it again. This recipe yields two rolls.
1 can condensed milk
Juice of 1 lime
Mix well and spread on the cakes.

Cachaça Ice Cream

400g caster sugar
500g water
1 tablespoon lime zests
150ml of cachaça
Boil water and sugar for 5 min. When cooled, add the lime zests, cover and let rest for one or two hours. add the rum, stir and place in the freezer. Repet the process of the two other  ice creams.

Brown Sugar Block Ice Cream
6 egg yolks
1l milk
500g brown sugar block- I got a very good creamy brown sugar block, then used it here.
500g of heavy cream
Mince the brown sugar block and beat in blender with 500ml of milk. Heat the remaining milk. Beat egg yolks slightly and add a bit of warm milk. Mix well and add the remaining milk. Keep on low heat, stirring constantly, and not boiling until it thickens. Combine the two mixtures and freeze. From there, do the same as as the other ice creams.

Basil Caramel
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 bunch basil, chopped
Pour all the ingridients in a pan and take it to a medium heat and let simmer until it begins to thicken.

Similar to the Romeo & Juliet swirl ice cream cake.


1st - The version of Romeo and Juliet was great. The cake is laborious, but worth the effort. The ice creams were great. But the cherry of the cake was the nut topping. It matched wonderfully.

2nd - The cachaça ice cream as soon as you take it fromthe freezer, begins to melt. Imagine then how difficult it was to work with it. As I spread it over the cake layer, it began to soften. Then when I took it again from the freezer to top with the basil caramel, which was still warm,  it melted again. Finally, before covering with brown sugar block ice cream ... You get the picture. So when the whole thing was ready and I'd cut the first slice, I noticed that the layer of cachaça was very thin. As sponge cake is, well, a sponge, the cake becamevery moist. The flavours were all mixed. Like in Caipirinha. But the idea was that one could taste each individual flavour. But it was a success anyway.

3rd - I thought that I should have reversed the layers of ice cream in this Caipirinha swirl. But then again, cachaça ice cream would melt down and make the whole  thing wouldcollapse.

4th - I've made the guava ice cream in the Matilde's ice cream maker. The machine didn't work well with the other ice creams. I had to make them as described in the recipes.

5th - The best ice cream, in terms of taste, were the cachaça and the guava ones.

Well, that's it. I can only thank Sunita for an excellent challenge; Mario, for helping with ideas and Matilde, for help with ideas, with all the work and the loan of the ice cream maker. Without challenge proponents there would be no challenge at all, and me, without my friends, would be alone to face it all.
You can see the original recipes on the site The Daring Kitchen.

segunda-feira, 26 de julho de 2010

Couscous - Brazilian Style

Wow! It has been ages since I last ate a couscous. I remember eating some of these as a kid. This is not even close to the Moroccan couscous.This is a typical dish from São Paulo stateand we name it as Couscous Paulista

Another day, giving an arrangement in some old magazines, I found this recipe for couscous paulista. So I decided to giveit a try:

500g fish - can be sardines, anchovy, hake
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 / 2 cup. of lard
Salt to taste
1 chopped green pepper
1 pinch black pepper
1 medium onion, finelly chopped
3 tomatoes - 1 chopped and 2 sliced
5 xic fish broth or chicken broth or vegetable broth
500g cornflour
1 cup cassava flour
1 cup olives
1 / 3 xic chopped parsley
1 / 3 xic. chopped chives
1 cup olive oil
4 Boiled eggs, sliced
1 can of palm, sliced
2 cabbage leaves - actually they are unnecessary, I have not used.
Season the fish with lemon and salt. Fry the pieces in lard (believe me, it is very good). Add the onions and chopped tomato. Cover with 2 cup of broth, cover the pan and simmer for 15 min. Reserve.
In a large bowl, mix the two flours and add the remaining broth. Pass the fish with its sauce in a colander and let drain on the flour. Add the olives, parsley and scallions.Mix well.
In a double boiler, butter the top pan and line the bottom with slices of tomato, egg and palm. Place a layer of flour mixture. Place tomatoes, eggs and palm slices on the pan walls. Layer pieces of fish. Arrange another layer of the flour mixture. Go alternating layers, ending with the flour one. Cover with cabbage leaves (what a waste of cabbage! I cover it with parchment paper).
Bring your doble boiler to a medium heat until the cabbage leaves become yellow (or in my case, until the flour seems cooked and the couscous looks set). Remove from heat, remove and serve hot.

I never did it, but I bet it is very good with shrimp too. Perhaps even better, But that is for another day ...

Também em www.labgastro.blogspot.com

sábado, 24 de julho de 2010

A Great Idea...

These days I was surfing the net when I found in The Chef in my Head a really interesting recipe. Fig filled with blue cheese. Blue cheese is any cheese with that blue-greenish mould inside, like gorgonzola, for example.
Soon I remembered I had some fig at home. Unfortunately, there was no blue cheese. But there were some Camembert left from my little girl’s birthday party.
Some more research on the fridge and I discovered one more leftover, some Shitake mushroom that were saved from turning into roast-beef sauce for lunch.
There! A good idea for an appetizer before dinner: figs and mushrooms filled with Camembert cheese in the oven. Lavoisier once said, nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed, or, as common sense, everything is copied…

Fresh figs, washed, peeled and cut in half
Shitake or Paris mushrooms, without the stem
200g Camembert cheese
2 Tbs of butter
Fresh rosemary to taste
Olive oil
Oil a tray with a thin layer of olive oil. Also oil the fig and mushrooms halves and place them in the tray. Squash the Camembert cheese with a fork, mixing it with the butter. Add the rosemary leaves. I suggest not putting too much rosemary, so you don’t “kill” the cheese. Fill the figs and the mushrooms with this mixture and take it to the oven 150°C, just so the cheese starts to melt. Serve it right ahead and Bon Appetite!

Também em http://www.labgastro.blogspot.com/

sábado, 17 de julho de 2010

Daring Cooks' Challenge - July 2010 - Nut Butters

Blog-checking lines: The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

We could choose any nut of our preference. Nuts, cashews, macadamia, pecan, etc. And use this butter, made at home by ourselves, in a savory recipe. I loved the idea!

Although peanut butter is by far the most used one, my idea was to experiment with other nuts, test their flavors and combinations. Moreover, its use in savory recipes, make me very excited. Such mixing is common in Thai food, one of my favorites. Preferred both for the mix of flavors, colors and textures, as well as preferred for cooking. Always involves many ingredients, so many interesting things, like Thai curry paste, chili pepper, coconut milk, peanuts, soy sauce. The great secret of this cuisine is the balance between salty and sweet, sour and spicy.
Anyway, this is NOT the actual challenge.Another time I return to the theme of Thai cuisine.
The challenge. I decided to make four butters (daring or not?). Walnuts, macadamia nuts, cashew nuts and Pará nuts (you may know it by Brazil nuts). According to the site The Daring Kitchen, the best way to do any of these butters is with a food processor. Well, get to work.

In my first attempt, with macadamia, the food processor collapsed. I think it "thought" that after 22 years of faithful work, it deserved a vacation. Nothing else to do except appealing to blender. Hah, ya do not know how complicated it could be! No matter how strong my blender is, it does not work the same way as a processor. Who says it's all the same, does not know either.
The cashew nuts was by far the easiest to work with. Fell into the cup of the apparatus, and turned to dust and in less than two minutes had been "buttered". The Brazil nuts  behaved well, but I had to pour it bit by bit in the blender. Now, walnuts and macadamia ... What a hell.
Finally, among the dead and wounded were all rescued and the whole thing was even fun. Finished with four pots of butter in my hands, still half not knowing what to do with them. I chose a few recipes I've found here and there, all  were originally for peanut butter. I made some adjustments. See the end results of all this:

Nut Butters - as in DK site

The process for making various types of nut butters is essentially the same. Pour nuts into bowl of food processor. Grind the nuts in the processor until they form a paste or butter. The nuts first turn into powdery or grainy bits, then start to clump and pull away from the side of the bowl, and finally form a paste or butter. The total time required depends on the fat and moisture content of the nuts; grinding time will vary from roughly 1 to 4 minutes (assuming a starting volume of 1 to 2 cups [240 to 480 ml] nuts). Processing times for a variety of nuts are described below.

•You may add oil as desired during grinding to make the nut butter smoother and creamier or to facilitate grinding. Add oil in small increments, by the teaspoon for oily nuts like cashews or by the tablespoon for dryer/harder nuts like almonds. You may use the corresponding nut oil or a neutral vegetable oil like canola.

•The inclusion of salt in the nut butters is optional and to taste. If you make nut butters from salted nuts, peanuts or cashews for example, you will not need additional salt. We recommend making unsalted nut butters for use in the challenge recipes (and other savory recipes) since the recipes call for salt or salty ingredients. You can then adjust the salt to taste. If you are making nut butter for use as a spread, you should add salt according to your preference.

•Roasting the nuts before making nut butters is optional according to your preference. To roast nuts in the oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4). Spread nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until nuts are fragrant and a shade darker in color. Allow nuts to cool before grinding. Roasted nuts will make butter with darker color than raw nuts.

•It’s helpful to keep in mind that the yield of nut butter is about half the original volume of nuts. If you start with 1 cup nuts, you’ll get about ½ cup nut butter.

•The consistency of nut butters varies from thin & soft (almost pourable) to very thick and hard depending on the fat content of the nut. (See links below for nutrition info on variety of nuts.) Homemade nut butters will probably not be as smooth as commercial products.

•Homemade nut butters are more perishable than commercial products and should be stored in the refrigerator. The nut butters harden & thicken somewhat upon chilling.
Grilled Chicken with Thai Sauce
1kg chicken breast boneless

4  garlic cloves, minced
Juice of half a lemon

Thai Sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp pepper sauce
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
100ml coconut milk
Half cup of  cashew butter
Chicken stock
Chopped cilantro
Season the chicken breasts with salt, lemon and garlic. Let marinate for several hours. Grill the chicken in a skillet with minimal oil. Reserve.
Take another pan to heat and gradually add all the dressing ingredients, one by one. Do not believe much in the quantities described in the recipe. As I wrote there in the beginning of this post, the secret of Thai cuisine is the balance of flavors. Taste it, always and continually. None of the ingredients must stands out. As for the chicken stock, add little by little. The final consistency should be smooth, but thick and creamy. When it starts to boil, remove from the heat and then serve over the chicken.
This sauce also goes well with meat. I prepared the chicken for lunch. At dinner, homemade fried burger and served with plenty of sauce. Nobody complained ...

Brazil Nut Pancakes
The picture you see above is the sweet version of it. I made these pancakes with a little sugar and a pinch of salt. They were "neutral" and  I served with tangerine jelly or maple syrup, as well as with butter, cheese and ham. They were very good in both ways.
The original recipe was with peanut butter and I adapted it from here.

1 1 / 4 xic. wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1 / 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 / 2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 egg
1 / 4 cup Brazil nutsbutter
Melted butter, for greasing the pan
Mix all ingredients in a blender and blend for several minutes. Take a frying pan greased with melted butter over medium heat and pour into it 1 / 4 cup of batter each time. Fry until golden. Turn the pancake upside down and repeat the process.

Walnut Butter No Baking Cookies

Well, this No Baking thing didn't work for me. I'll explain later.
1cup brown sugar
1 / 4 cup margarine
3tablespoons powdered milk
4 tablespoons water
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup walnut butter
Chopped walnuts
1 / 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 / 4 cup chocolate chips
Mix sugar, margarine, powdered milk and water in a saucepan and heat until boiling. Lower heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring to avoid scorching. Remove from heat and stir in the oatmeal,walnut butter, chopped walnuts, vanilla and chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto a flat surface as pan lids. Let sit for about 10 minutes to set. 
According to the original recipe (here), it was enough. Cookies would dry and cool naturally. There was a warning: in very hot days they might not set as well. Well, the day was anything but warm. Brazilian standards, it was even chilly. But they don't set all. I then decided to bake (180°C) for several minutes, until golden. It worked. I liked it.

Macadamia Butter Ice Cream

This is old! Very old. Long ago, my mother, who is not much a fan of peanut butter, gave me a promotional booklet of a comercial brand of peanut butter with several recipes. It must have been published some 40 years.

2 egg yolks
300g heavy cream
1 / 2 cup sugar
1 / 2 cup  macadamia butter
Beat the egg yolks with a mixer. Add remaining ingredients and keep beating. Place the bowl in the freezer. When the edges begin to freeze, quickly beat it with the mixer again and return to freezer. Repeat the procedure until all the ice cream is firm but not hard. Cover the bowl well and keep in the freezer.
I served ice cream with walnut cookies. Wow!

Thanks to Margie and Natashya. I've enjoyed this challenge a lot. This was one of the best ones.

Também no Laboratório Gastronômico 

sexta-feira, 9 de julho de 2010

Rice Leftover

Well, I don't know if I could say it's a real leftover. Actually I cooked some extra rice at lunch, keeping an eye on diner. Anyway, this is a good idea for rice leftovers, so...
This recipe is very easy and quick to be done. Perfect for those days when you are tired and don't want to spent hours cooking diner (just like today!).

4 cups cooked rice
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup milk
1Tbspoon Oregano
200g muzzarella cheese
200g ham
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Mix together the eggs, the milk, oregano and rice. In a buttered baking dish, spread half this mixture. Then place the muzzarella cheese slices and the ham slices. Cover with the other half of the rice mixture. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and bake at the oven, preheated at 220ºC for 20 minutes.

I think I could add 1 or 2 more eggs to the recipe. And definetely I can figure out some variations, like chicken leftover instead of ham. Or pehaps some shrimps, or other types of cheese or whatever you have in your fridge. let's try this out!

quarta-feira, 7 de julho de 2010


A little bit of History. (Thank God there is Wikipedia to help me!)

Brigadeiro, national candy of Brazil, ( Portuguese for Brigadier ; also known in some southern brazilian states as negrinho , literally "blackie") is a simple Brazilian chocolate candy , created in the 1940s and named after Brigadier Eduardo Gomes , whose shape is reminiscent of that of some varieties of chocolate truffles . In Brazil it is usually served at birthday parties.
Eduardo Gomes was a Brazilian Air Force brigadier who first gained notoriety for playing a part in squashing a communist rebellion in Rio de Janeiro , in late 1930's. Later he ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 1946 and 1950 . This was a time of shortage of traditional imports such as nuts and fruits because of the war . But, at the same time, Nestlé was introducing its brand of chocolate powder and condensed milk (known in Switzerland as Milch Mädchen ) into the country.
Although Brazil is a major producer of cocoa beans , it is believed that the creation and success of the candy was a combination of opportunities: the multinational corporation Nestlé, which introduced chocolate powder and condensed milk; the creators who named it after the famous politician, the need to find a replacement to imported sweets; and its ease of manufacture.

Ok, now we all know what a brigadeiro is. Let's cook some!
1 can (395g) condensed milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1Tbspoon butter
Mix it all together in a pan.Then heat the mixture on the stove or in a microwave oven to obtain a smooth, sticky texture.Pour it in a buttered dish and let it cool. Roll into small balls and cover in granulated chocolate.
It can also be consumed unrolled, with a spoon or used as a topping or filling for cakes , brownies and other pastries.

Some other pictures of brigadeiros I've found out in Internet

Nowadays you can find many kinds of modern brigadeiros, as the white one I'd served on my daughter's birthdays. Just substitute cocoa powder for milk powder and add 100g chopped white chocolate.

Red Bell Pepper Paté

This is the Paté I'd cooked for my daughter's birthday party. It's exactly the same paté I cooked for DC challenge last mouth. It is easy and delicious. At least, anyone who"d tasted it said so...

Red Bell Peppers Paté

3 red bell peppers
200g ricotta cheese crumbled
3 eggs
200ml  double cream
1 onion, chopped
Salt to taste
Olive oil and butter
Wash the peppers, oil them slightly, wrap in foil and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Open the foil and leave it in oven a little longer, until bubbles form on the skin of the peppers. Remove them of the oven, close in plastic bag and let cool. Once cool, remove their skins, cut into small squares, removing the seeds.
In a skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the peppers, onion, salt and oregano.
Beat in the blender sautéed peppers and onions with cheese, double cream and egg yolks. Beat the egg whites gently and combine the mixture.
Pour this mixture into a buttered loaf pan. Bake in moderate oven in a water bath for 30-40 minutes or until surface is golden brown and firm consistency. Let cool and take it to fridge. Unmold in a serving dish.

terça-feira, 6 de julho de 2010

Birthday Party

This weekend was my younger daughther's Birthday Party. She is now 10 and asked me if she could invite her 5 best friends to a Sleepover Party and I agreed. So take a look at what happened.

Children's table: Birthday cake, miniburgers, sausage in puff pastry, cheese biscuits, soft brigadeiro, white brigadeiro and lots of candies and marshmellows and peanuts.

Adult's table: red pepper terrine and mini pita breads, camembert cheese and toasts, Caprese sticks (Buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, black olives, basil).

Six girls, in their nightgowns and pajamas having fun

Some more pictures here. Recipes soon.