Beijinhos

beijinhos28blog

It has been exactly six months since my last post (you must be thinking “six months, Tatiana??”). Yes, six months… but I have my reasons, I swear. It was a period of big changes and I was studying to take some exams for a position I was applying, so no much time left for cooking. For those who don’t know, we’ve moved out of England to Brazil in January and until last week I didn’t have my pots/pans and kitchen gadgets. It was hard, but I survived! Now we’re here with lots of boxes around and slowly finding a new place for everything… well, almost everything. The stuff we cannot fit in the apartment will be kept in boxes for now. All I can say is that our new place is starting to look like “home” again :)

To celebrate the return of my posts and the fact that May has arrived, which for me means BIRTHDAY, I had to choose something related to party. There you have it… another Brazilian fudge very typical in birthday parties called “beijinhos” (meaning “little kisses”). They are little balls made with condensed milk and coconut. It can’t be bad, right?

Enjoy and I promise it won’t take me another six months to post the next recipe ;)

beijinhos18ablog

Beijinhos

Ingredients

  • 1 can (397 g) condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 6 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • desiccated coconut to roll the little balls
  • cloves to decorate (1 per ball)
  • butter to grease your hands

Preparation

  1. In a medium saucepan, add the condensed milk and butter. Take to medium/low head, stirring until it starts to boil. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened and you see the bottom of the pan (about 10 minutes).
  2. Remove from the heat and add the coconut. Transfer to a greased plate and let it cool. When it is at room temperature, cover with cling film and put in the fridge for about three hours. It is easier to roll the balls when the mixture is cold.
  3. Separate 25 small paper cases. Grease your hands with butter and take small portions of the mixture (about 1 teaspoon), shaping it into a ball. Roll over desiccated coconut and decorate with a clove. Put into the paper cases.

Yield: 25 medium size or 40 small sweets.

Bakewell Tart Squares

It’s MOVEMBER, everybody! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go to http://www.movember.com and get informed/involved. You will start seeing guys with weird moustaches around during this month… well, at least it’s for a good cause. And for us girls, who cannot grow moustaches, we can still do something to raise money and support this cause as well. So let’s get baking!!!

Where I work we have a group of people who likes baking and so we’ve started a project called “Baking for a Good Cause”. And this month it will be all dedicated to Movember. Today is our first baking sale and I chose to make these delicious squares inspired on the traditional Bakewell Tart. It has a layer of shortbread at the bottom, then a layer of raspberry jam, and a very soft almond flavoured sponge on top. How can that go wrong?

When I first made this recipe I found the sponge layer too thin. So this time I made 1 1/2 times the sponge part and it was perfect. The recipe below is already with the quantities I used.

Bakewell Tart Squares

Adapted from Mary Berry’s recipe in My Kitchen Table: 100 cakes and bakes

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 175g plain flour
  • 85g hard butter, dices
  • 2 tbsp of cold water

Sponge

  • 172g butter, softened
  • 172g caster sugar
  • 262g self-raising flour
  • 1 1/2 level tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Extra

  • 8 tbsp raspberry jam
  • flaked almonds, for sprinkling on top

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan. Reserve a 30 x 23cm (12 x 9in) roasting tin or traybake.
  2. To make the pastry, measure the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Bind to a dough with two tablespoons of cold water. Roll out on a piece of baking paper, then transfer to the traybake, making sure you cover the bottom completely. Spread the jam on top.
  3. To make the sponges, measure all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat well for 2 minutes or until well blended. Transfer to the tin, level the surface and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the tin and springs back when pressed in the centre with your fingertips. Leave to cool in the tin, then cut into squares. Lift out using a palette knife.

Yield: 15 large or 20 medium squares

Brazilian Rain Doughnuts

Saturday afternoon, after a bbq with my family (ahhh… how much I enjoy moments like this), it starts that smooth rain outside. We didn’t have to say it twice before all the women hanging out in the kitchen stood up and decided to make what? “Bolinhos de Chuva”, which can be translated as rain doughnuts.

It is one of those recipes that every person has a different version and my grandma used to call it “spoon doughnuts”, just because you drop the dough into the oil with a spoon. They go really well with some tea or coffee (if you like coffee) ;)

Brazilian Rain Doughnuts

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • oil for frying
  • caster sugar and cinnamon to roll the doughnuts

Preparation

  1. In a bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the milk, sugar, salt and beat until well combined. Add the flour  little by little until all mixed. Add the baking powder and mix until you have a smooth dough. The dough will be firm, but still able to drop from a spoon.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium size saucepan. With a spoon, take half spoonful of dough and drop in the oil to fry. Fry until golden brown all over. Remove from the oil and drain it in kitchen paper.
  3. Mix some sugar with cinnamon and roll the doughnuts over. It’s ready to serve.

Yield: about 20 doughnuts

Banana Muffins

The other day I had two bananas abandoned on the fruit bowl and they were too ripe, so I thought “what can I make to use these banana?” After a quick search on the internet, the answer was “Banana Muffins”. They are so easy to make and you don’t need a mixer. Just mix everything by hand and they will be done in no time.

Banana Muffins

Recipe from Joy of Baking

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (115g) walnuts or pecans
  • 1 3/4 cups (230g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 ripe large bananas(approximately 450g), mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line a 12 – 1/2 cup muffin pan with paper liners or butter or spray with a non stick spray.
  2. Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.) Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Bake about 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool for five minutes and then remove muffins from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 12 regular sized muffins

Orange Cream Cheese Cookie Cups

Who said that you need to skip dessert if you are trying to lose weight? Well, not if you choose wisely and these light mini cream cheese cups are the perfect size to satisfy your craving for something sweet without making you feel guilty.

I really like the recipes from Weight Watchers because when you taste them you don’t think “oh this is light/low fat”… you just think “that’s delicious” and still healthy. To me that’s essential. You can serve them to everybody. I took these little cups to a picnic and people could never tell they were light. They taste like cheesecake and are very yummy!! Believe me.

Orange Cream Cheese Cookie Cups

Recipe from Weight Watchers

Ingredients

  • 225g low fat cream cheese, divided
  • 3 tbsp fat-free skim milk
  • 2 tbsp light margarine
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened orange juice, fresh
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat two 12-cup miniature muffin pans with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. To prepare cookie dough, in a large mixing bowl combine 55g cream cheese (approximately 1/4), milk and margarine. Beat on low speed until blended.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 tablespoon sugar. Beat flour mixture into cream cheese mixture on low speed until blended.
  4. Transfer cookie dough to a lightly floured surface and knead gently 4 times. Divide dough into 24 equal portions and press each portion into bottom and up sides of prepared muffin pans; set aside.
  5. To prepare filling, in a food processor or large bowl combine remaining 170g cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, egg, orange juice, zest and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
  6. Spoon 2 teaspoons filling into prepared cookie cups. Bake until filling is set and edges are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Yields one cookie cup per serving.

Notes

  • For a tarter version, substitute fresh lemon juice and lemon zest for the orange ingredients.
  • ProPoints value: 2

Yield: 24 mini cups

Easy Chicken Tart

It’s been a while since I posted something here, hasn’t it? Please, forgive me! I have to confess (and you’ve noticed already) that I’m not really good at keeping the regularity of the posts. Work and other daily things make me leave the blog for later and when I realize it’s been more than a month since the last post. I need to change that… and I promise I will try harder to do so ;)

To try to redeem myself I picked this recipe… a typical savoury Brazilian tart, which is very versatile, easy and delicious. There is no need to make a crust here. You simply make a batter using a blender and you’re done and the filling can be anything you like. This one I made with chicken, sweetcorn and roasted peppers, but you could use tuna, ham and cheese, mince meat or vegetables. You choose. It is perfect to take to a picnic, for the kid’s lunch boxes or even for your work lunch with a side salad.

Easy Chicken Tart

Ingredients

Batter

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese (optional)

Filling

  • 500g chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1/2 jar roasted peppers
  • 100g cream cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C.
  2. Prepare the filling first. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onions. Sauteé until it starts to become translucent. Add the chicken, which is already cooked and shredded. Season with sal, pepper, paprika or however you like. Add the sweet corn and peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.
  3. For the batter, beat the eggs, oil and milk in a blender. Add the flour slowly until you have a smooth batter. Add the baking powder, salt and parmesan cheese (if using) and beat a little more until all combined.
  4. Grease a baking tin or a pyrex (approximately 23 x 30cm) with batter and sprinkle flour all over it. Pour half of the batter into the tin, spread the filling and add small portions of cream cheese all over it. Cover with the other half of the batter.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until it is baked and lightly golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and let it cool a little before cutting into squares and serve.

Yield: 20 medium squares

Fruit Tart

The first attempt on making this tart (over a year ago I have to confess), it wasn’t very successful. The recipe asked to leave the crust in the oven for too long and it was too brown for my taste. I tried to freeze the crust and bake without the weights, but if you want my advice, use the weights. It guarantees that the crust won’t shrink and it won’t puff. You can use store bought shortcrust as well. I didn’t because this time I wanted to make everything from scratch. So here are the things I learned from this experience: (1) use very cold butter when making the crust, (2) roll the crust rather than pressing on the tin with your hand, (3) use the pie weights to blind bake the crust.

I’ve made this tart so many times now and I’m sure when you try, it will be one of your favorites as well. Use any seasonal fruit you have available… it’s very versatile :)

Fruit Tart

Adapted from Joy of Baking and Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups (195 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Apricot Glaze (optional)

  • 3 tbsp apricot jam or preserve
  • 1 tsp water (or more if needed)

Topping

  • 1 cup lemon curd (recipe here) or pastry cream
  • 3 cups fruit (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries or any other fruit you like)

Preparation

  1. To make the crust, pulse flour, sugar and salt together in a food processor. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. You can also do it by hand, just mixing everything with the tip of your fingers until you have the consistency of bread crumbs. Slightly beat the egg, add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses until the dough changes its consistency, trying to come together as a big lump. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 (or until firm) before rolling.
  2. Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Roll out chilled dough on floured sheet of parchment paper to 12-inch round. Turn dough into the tart pan and peel off paper. Seal any cracks in dough. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold overhang in, making double-thick sides. Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
  3. Preheat oven to 190C/170C gas and place rack in center of oven. Line the tart with foil, shine side down greased with butter, and fill it with the pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 20 minutes, removing foil after 15 mins, until dry and lightly golden. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before filling. Can be covered and stored for a few days.
  4. Heat the apricot jam and water in the microwave until liquid (melted). Strain the jam through a fine strainer to remove any fruit lumps. Brush the bottom and sides of the baked tart shell to prevent the crust from getting soggy. Let the glaze dry (about 20 minutes).
  5. Spread the lemon curd (or pastry cream if using) onto the bottom of the tart shell. Place fruit randomly on top and try to cover all the cream at the bottom.
  6. Rewarm the glaze, if using, and gently brush the fruits to make them shiny.
  7. If not serving immediately, refrigerate but bring to room temperature before serving. This fruit tart is best eaten the same day as it is assembled. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.

Yields: 6 to 8 servings

Old-Fashioned London Loaf

 

I first saw this loaf of bread on Pinterest (I’m addicted to it now) and immediately included on my “recipes to try” list. From there I discovered the Lemon Drop blog, which you should take a look … it’s filled with delicious recipes and loads of gluten-free ideas.

This loaf looked so good and it’s quite foolproof. In fact, I have to say, this was my first successful loaf of bread. I’ve tried baking bread twice before, but I guess I wasn’t patient enough to let it raise properly, which is a crucial step when making bread. Considering it’s normally cold here, making bread usually takes longer than what the recipes anticipate. But no problem with this loaf, since the idea is to raise quite SLOWLY… and we’re talking about at least 8 hours. Prepare the dough and go to bed. That’s what I did!

I started this bread on a Sunday around 2am. That’s right, 2AM! And I’m not crazy. It’s just that my hub said he wanted to watch UFC, which is always late, so I thought “I’m gonna make that bread and stay awake”. It only took me 10 minutes to put it together as it barely requires any work… I mixed the ingredients, kneaded by hand for 7 minutes and that was it. You can also use a stand mixer if you prefer, as in the recipe. When I woke up (after 9 hours)… wow… it had risen quite a lot. Then all is left for you to do is to shape it and bake it!

There is such a pleasure in making bread that I can’t even explain. Try it for yourself and tell me about the smell in your house when baking it! Irresistible :)

Old-Fashioned London Loaf

Adapted from here and original recipe in the Great British Bake Off – How to Bake cookbook

Ingredients

  • 500g white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 10g unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fast-action yeast
  • 300 ml water at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Preparation

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, stir together flour and salt. With your fingertips, rub in butter until it pretty much disappears. Stir  in dried yeast. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in water.
  2. On low speed, slowly knead in all ingredients until it starts to come together then increase speed to high and let the mixer knead the dough for 4 minutes (or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10min). Cover the bowl with cling film and place in a cool location for a minimum of 8 hrs and a maximum of 12 hrs.
  3. Grease a 2lb loaf tin (mine is 30cm long). Punch down dough. On a floured surface, knead gently for one minute then shape it into a loaf, approximately the lenght of your tin, and transfer it to the tin. Cover with clean tea towel and let rest for 2-3 hrs. Brush milk over the top of risen loaf and sprinkle some flour.
  4. Preheat oven to 210C. Place a roasting pan on bottom shelf of oven and when oven has reached temperature, place bread onto oven rack. Pour 1 cup of water into roasting pan then quickly shut the door. This causes a burst of steam which will help achieve a crunchy crust.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until you hear a hollow sound when tapping the bottom of the loaf.
  6. Remove bread from bread pan and return the loaf back to the oven, directly on the oven rack for 5 minutes. Remove bread and let cool on cooling rack before slicing.

Coxinhas

You know what I miss most being away from Brazil (besides my family and friends, who I deeply miss all the time)? It is going to a café or a snack bar (known as  “lanchonete”) in the middle of the afternoon and order a coxinha. Every time I’m at the airport, either arriving or leaving Brazil, I eat a “coxinha” and guaraná. The only thing I don’t like is having to pay R$10 for it… and that is expensive compared to what you would pay anywhere else.

But you must be wondering, what is coxinha? Well, “coxa” means chicken thigh (drumstick) in Portuguese and “coxinha” means “little thigh”, thus the shape. It’s a fried dumpling filled with shredded chicken. Originally coxinha was made with chicken thighs and that’s where the shape comes from, however it’s common to use chicken breast now.

It’s common in Brazil to make cocktail size coxinhas and serve them in birthday parties, but that you would just buy from some lady who sells them by hundreds. Since I don’t have these ladies around, I had to make my own coxinhas. I have to tell you they can take quite some time to make, but you can freeze them and fry whenever you feel home sick =) Give it a try!

1) Dough after kneaded 2) Coxinhas filled and shaped as drumsticks 3) Frying coxinhas in hot oil 4) Ready to serve

Coxinhas

Recipe from here Nestlé (in Portuguese)

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 kg chicken breast
  • 3 medium potatoes (about 300 g)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 150 g butter or margarine
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • fine breadcrumbs
  • enough oil to fry

Preparation

Filling:

  1. Dissolve 3 chicken cubes into 2 cups of boiling water. Place the chicken breast and potatoes into a medium saucepan, add 4 cups of water and the 2 cups of chicken stock. In a medium heat, simmer it until the chicken and potatoes are cooked.
  2. Remove the chicken from the stock and let it cool. Drain the potatoes and reserve the stock. Mash the potatoes and reserve. Pass the stock through a fine sieve and measure 5 cups, which will be used in the dough. Shred the chicken and reserve.
  3. To prepare the filling, heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions until slighty golden. Add the shredded chicken, the remaining chicken cube and sauté until well combined and dried. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set this aside and let it cool.

Dough:

In a saucepan, add the mashed potatoes, 5 cups of stock, butter and bring it to the boil. Sprinkle the flour, stirring constantly until well combined and you have no sign of raw flour. Cook for few minutes stirring firmly. Pour the dough into a surface and smoothly knead the dough (it will be hot, so be careful) until it cools to room temperature.

Shaping:

Take a small portion of dough and make a ball, then flatten it on your hand. Add some of the filling and bring all the edges together, shaping it as a drumstick (see picture 2 above). After they’re all shaped, coat them with breadcrumbs, then the beaten eggs, and again with the breadcrumbs. Fry in hot oil until it is golden. Remove from the oil and drain in kitchen paper.

Freezing:
We can freeze the unfried coxinhas coated in breadcrumbs. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. Fry them straight from frozen, but control the temperature of oil so it’s hot enough to fry them not too fast or they will brown on the outside but will still be frozen inside.

Yield: 40 medium size coxinhas

Jaffa Drizzle Loaf

This was the cover of a small collection of recipes called 30+ brilliant bakes that came with the Good Food Magazine this month and just by looking at it I knew why… and also knew I had to make it ASAP. Although not a big fan of oranges… I know, I know… that’s weird considering I was born in a region surrounded by oranges, I love cakes flavoured with oranges. In fact, citrus cakes are on the top of my list.

The flavours in this cake and so the title is because of a well known snack here in the UK called jaffa cakes, which is a more a biscuit to me than a cake (it’s also taxed as biscuit, I heard). Jaffa cakes, named after Jaffa oranges, are a round soft biscuit (like a sponge) with a layer of orange jam and covered with chocolate. They’re very nice, but nothing compared to this cake… believe me!

Jaffa Drizzle Loaf

Ingredients

  • 140g butter, softened
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • finely grated zest 1 large orange

To finish

  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 50g dark chocolate

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan. Butter and line the base of a 1.2 litre loaf tin. Put all of the cake ingredients into a bowl and beat with a hand whisk or with a eletric mixer until light and fluffy. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the top.
  2. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch. Meanwhile, gently heat the orange juice and sugar in a small pan, stirring until dissolved. When the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and spoon over the orange mix. Leave it to cool in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Break up the chocolate and melt it over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave on medium in 30-sec bursts. Drizzle over the cake and leave to set.

Yield: 8-10 slices

Nutricional Information: Per slice 410kcal, protein 6g, carbs 57g, fat 19g, sat fat 11g, fibre 1g.