Category: Desserts

Polenta and Coconut cake

This is one of those cakes that took me a few attempts to finally crack my mum’s recipe.

Don’t get me wrong: mum loves sharing her recipes but this is another cake she knows by heart so I had to spy on her and take my own notes.

It’s a perfect cake for a morning or afternoon tea. So fluffy and light that you won’t be able to have just one slice.

Actually, I’ve been baking this Polenta and Coconut cake in muffin trays so basically all the small portions will have the crust and the sugar glaze on the outside.

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Double the recipe if you are going to bake it as a single cake.

Polenta and Coconut Cake

Ingredients

1 cup Polenta or any other finely ground cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
75 ml coconut cream
100 g soft butter
2 eggs yolks
2 egg whites

Topping

75 ml coconut cream
1 cup sugar

Method

Preheat oven at 180°C degrees. Grease a muffin baking tray lightly with butter and coat with sugar.

Mix sugar and coconut milk for the topping and set aside.

Use a mixer to blend egg yolks, butter and sugar.

In a large bowl, mix flour and cornmeal. Add the sugar and butter mix to it, milk, coconut milk and blend again until well mixed.

Beat egg whites in a mixer or a whisk until soft peaks form.

Fold the egg whites as well as baking powder into the batter gently.

Pour mixture into the muffin trays. Place tray in the oven and bake it for 30-40 minutes, or until cake is golden brown.

Remove cake from oven and turn off the oven.

Using a fork, poke lots of holes into the cake.

Pour the sugar and coconut milk topping on top of each mini cake. Put the tray back into the turned-off oven. Leave the cake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the sugar topping turns into either a glaze or a crust.

Serve it warm.

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Pavê de BIS (Layered Brazilian Dessert)

Just came back from five AMAZING weeks holidays in Brazil and brought with me a box full of produces I miss the most and can’t easily find in Australia. That includes teas, spices, chocolates and lollies.

I’m conscious that it would take me forever to eat all this sugar so I decided to share some of these treats with my friends and make a Pavê using some of the chocolate I brought with me.

Pavê is a no-bake Brazilian dessert traditionally made of layers of custard and sponge finger biscuits soaked in chocolate milk.

Today I made a variation of Pavê using BIS bombom, a rectangular shaped bombom with lots of layers of a crunchy wafer and slightly bitter chocolate.

Sweet cream, crunchy bitter pieces of bombom. It can’t get any better!

This recipe is very easy to make and you can replace BIS with any other crunchy bombom of your preference.

Pavê de Bis

Ingredients

1 can sweetened condensed milk (Nestlé)
2 box BIS bomboms, roughly chopped
1 can Reduced Fat Cream (Nestlé)
3 eggs, separated
1 l milk
100 g dark chocolate grated
4 Tbsp corn flour
3/4 cup sugar

Method

In a saucepan mix condensed milk, egg yolks, corn flour and milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. Pour half of the mix into 8 in. serving dish and let cool completely.

Arrange the bomboms on top of the cream layer and then pour the remaining cream on top.

Beat the egg whites until form peaks, mixing sugar gently. Fold reduced fat cream into the mixture gently. Pour it on top of the layered dessert gently.

Sprinkle dark chocolate over the top layer.
Let it cool and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set.

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Manjar Branco – A coconut pudding

Manjar Branco is an old favorite of mine. A coconut pudding very commonly found in other cultures and known as Blancmange, blamesir, coconut flan. You name it.

For some reason mum used to prepare it only for our Christmas festivities so this simple dessert became a traditional dish in my family. In fact, mum has used the same jelly mold for ages to give it that very specific shape.

This coconut pudding is a refreshing dessert, very light in the mouth and it’s texture is almost like a firm custard.

So few days ago I found online that same vintage jelly mold of mum’s, except in a different colour. I ended up buying it and here it is this simple dish that brought me back some memories of my childhood, helping mum to decide which shaped lid we would use for the manjar branco on that Christmas.

Manjar Branco

Ingredients

1 l whole milk
250 ml coconut milk
7 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla paste

Syrup
¼ cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
100 g pitted dry prunes

Method

Prunes Syrup

Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan and cook it until it becomes a syrup. Add the prunes and give it a stir. Cook it for a few minutes until prunes and moist and soft. Reserve it.

Manjar Branco

In a saucepan, combine milk, cornstarch, coconut milk and vanilla paste. Stir well until completely dissolved.

Place the pan in medium-heat, stir it constantly while simmering it gently for about 15 minutes or until you have a very thick custard.

Slightly glaze the jelly mold with a bit of oil.

Pour the custard it the mold. Let it cool and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set.

Unmold the manjar on a flat plate. Pour the prunes syrup over the pudding and your manjar branco is ready to be served.

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