Sunday, April 29, 2007

Darkest Chocolate Crepe Cake

Darkest Chocolate Crepe Cake

I want to start by thanking my dear fellow Daring Baker Brilynn for choosing this recipe – it was a challenge, indeed, and one of the most interesting recipes I have ever made. Joao kept telling me how beautiful the cake looks – and he’s not into sweets, I have to say.
I guess I would never have chosen something like this to prepare and I’m so glad I have made it.
Not only it looks superb, it also taste delicious – I must confess I ate 2 crepes that remained after the filling was over. If the crepes alone were yummy, what to say of them combined with a filling made with whipped cream, meringue and Nutella, a ganache icing and hazelnuts dipped in caramel?? Heavenly.

I was worn out after standing up for 2 hours preparing the crepes but it paid off – beautifully.

If you liked my cake, go check the other cakes prepared by the lovely Daring Bakers – the links are on the side bar.

Darkest Chocolate Crepe Cake
recipe by Martha

Crepe batter:
170g (¾ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus melted for pan
225g (8 ounces) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped – I used a 51% cocoa solids chocolate
210g (1 ½ cups) all-purpose flour
67g (1/3 cup) sugar
½ teaspoon salt
600ml (2 ½ cups) whole milk, room temperature
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Bring ¼ cup water to a rolling boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, whisking to combine after each addition. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate until completely melted. Set aside.
Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla in another medium bowl. Gradually add milk mixture to flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Add chocolate-butter mixture, whisking until smooth. Pour through a fine sieve into an airtight container; discard lumps. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Lightly coat an 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet with melted butter - the three crepes that were torn were made with greased pan. The minute I stopped brushing it with butter I gor all the crepes perfectly shaped. Heat over medium heat until just starting to smoke. Remove pan from heat; pour about 2 tablespoons batter into pan, swirling to cover bottom – here I used a ladle that holds 3 tablespoons batter. Reduce heat to medium-low; return pan to heat. Cook, flipping once, until edges are golden and center is dry, about 30 seconds per side.
Slide crepe onto a plate. Repeat process with remaining batter, coating pan with butter as needed. Crepes can be refrigerated, covered, up to 1 day.
Place a crepe on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Spread with about 3 tablespoons hazelnut filling. Top with another crepe. Continue layering with hazelnut filling and crepes, using about 32 crepes and ending with a crepe on top. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

Darkest Chocolate Crepe Cake

Spoon ½ cup glaze on top of the cake, spreading to edges. Spread remaining glaze around sides of cake, coating completely. Refrigerate until glaze is firm and set, about 20 minutes. Cake can be refrigerated up to 3 days. Garnish with toasted and candied hazelnuts.

Makes 32 crepes – I got 28 OK and 3 completely torn (which I gladly ate straight from the crepe pan)

Hazelnut filling:
160ml (2/3 cup) heavy cream
6 large egg whites
330g (1 2/3 cups) sugar
395g (1 3/4 cups) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
100g (1/3 cup) hazelnut cream – I used Nutella
pinch of salt

Put cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Whisk egg whites and sugar in the clean bowl of mixer set over a pan of simmering water until sugar has dissolved and mixture registers 70ºC/160ºF, 2 to 3 minutes.
Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment; beat on high speed until slightly cooled and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 5 minutes.
Fit mixer with paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter, several pieces at a time, mixing well after each addition (meringue will deflate slightly as butter is added). Add vanilla, hazelnut cream, and salt; mix until mixture comes together, 3 to 5 minutes. Fold in whipped cream with a rubber spatula. Use immediately.

Makes about 8 cups

Chocolate glaze:
300ml (1 ¼ cups) heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
pinch of salt
280g (10 ounces) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped – I used the same 51% chocolate

Bring cream, corn syrup, and salt to a boil in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium- medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; swirl pan to cover completely with cream. Let stand about 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Let cool completely.

Makes about 2 cups - sobrou cerca de 1/2 xícara

Candied hazelnuts
9 hazelnuts, toasted and peeled
200g (1 cup) sugar

Thread each hazelnut onto tip of a long wooden skewer; set aside. Place a cutting board along the edge of a countertop; set a baking sheet on floor next to edge.
Cook sugar and ¼ cup water in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook, without stirring, until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides with a wet brush to prevent crystals from forming. Let boil until syrup turns light amber, about 5 minutes; remove from heat. Let stand until slightly cooled, 8 to 10 minutes.
Dip 1 skewered hazelnut into syrup, coating completely and letting excess syrup drip back into pan. When dripping syrup becomes a thin string, secure end of skewer under cutting board, letting caramel string drip over edge onto sheet. Repeat with remaining hazelnuts. Let stand until caramel has hardened, about 5 minutes. Break strings to about 10cm (4 inches).
Carefully remove skewers.

Makes 9

Darkest Chocolate Crepe Cake


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Lime polenta cake

Lime polenta cake

Barbara is one of my favorite foodies. She’s a wonderful cook and has some great victories in life – surviving cancer is one of them. Not to mention she’s the mind behind “Hay, Hay, it’s Donna Day” – and if you think this is not enough (are you crazy??), she’s promoting “A Taste of Yellow”, a foodblog event linked to (and approved by) the Lance Armstrong Foundation as a part of LiveStrong Day.


All you have to do to take part is cook a dish with some type of yellow food. Pretty easy, right?

I wouldn’t miss this event for the world – I lost my mom to cancer (and my grandmother and one of my aunts) and I know how alert one must be about this terrible disease.

Please join me, Barbara and other foodies – let’s spread the word!

Lime polenta cake
adapted from here

250g butter
200g (1 cup) caster sugar
zest of 4 limes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
210g (1 ¼ cups) ground almonds
182g (1 cup) polenta
35g (¼ cup) self-raising flour
pinch of salt

Citrus syrup:
300g (1 ½ cups) caster sugar
80ml (1/3 cup) lemon, lime, orange or mandarin juice – I used orange
80ml (1/3 cup) water
3 strips of any citrus fruit rind

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/355ºF . Brush a deep, 22cm round cake tin with melted butter or oil and line the base and sides with baking paper – I used a 25cm not so deep pan and lined only the bottom with paper.
Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric beaters until light and creamy. Add the zest and vanilla; beat until thoroughly combined.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture will look quite curdled at this stage. Add the juice, almonds, polenta, flour and salt. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre.
Set the cake aside for at least 10 minutes before turning out of the tin. Drizzle with citrus syrup or cut into wedges and serve warm with ice cream or thick cream.

Make the syrup: combine all the ingredients in a pan. Stir over low heat, without boiling, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 12-15 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Remove the rind and pour the hot syrup over the hot cake*.

This cake keeps for up to 3 days in an airtight container and can be reheated in the microwave.

*I photographed the cake after a while – the hardened syrup formed this delicious sugary icing over the cake.

Lime polenta cake

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Waiter there's something in my... bread! Berry Twist Bread

Berry Twist Bread

Sometimes I wonder why it takes me forever to choose certain recipes. I make up my mind just to change it a minute later. So complicated.
Just for a change, the same thing happened while I was trying to decide what to bake for this “Waiter there’s something in my… bread”, hosted by Spittoon Extra.


In the last minute before leaving the office yesterday I picked a recipe from this site. And I was so pleased with the results I’m already planning to bake this bread again – simply delicious.

The dough is so soft and tender you won’t believe it. I feel like trying it with a number of different jams, even though raspberry is my favorite.

Berry Twist Bread

120ml (½ cup) warm milk – I used
80ml (1/3 cup) warm water
7g (¼-ounce package) active dry yeast
420 to 490g (3 to 3 ½ cups) all-purpose flour – I used 430g
50g (¼ cup) sugar
57g (¼ cup) butter, melted
1 egg
1 1/8 teapoons salt
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam – I used 3 tablespoon. I couldn’t find any so I sieved the one I had. Some of the seeds remained.

90g (¾ cup) icing sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice – I used 1 ½
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel, if desired – I was short on time, so I skipped this

Combine warm milk and water in large bowl; add yeast. Stir to dissolve. Stir in 385g (2 ¾ cups) flour, sugar, butter, egg and 1 teaspoon salt until soft dough forms.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead dough, adding additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary, until dough is smooth (5 to 10 minutes). Place dough into greased bowl; turn greased-side up. Cover; let rise until double in size (45 to 60 minutes).

Knead dough on lightly floured surface (30 seconds). Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Roll dough into 37x25cm (15x10-inch) rectangle. Combine jam and 1/8 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Spread dough with jam mixture to within ½ inch of edge. Roll up, beginning with 37cm (15-inch) side. Place onto large greased baking sheet. Form into circle; pinch ends to seal. Cut ¾ the way through dough every 1 ½ inches on outside edge with kitchen shears or serrated knife. Twist each section of dough, turning it on side to form ring – I had trouble here. :S

Cover; let rise until double in size (30 to 45 minutes).

Preheat oven to 175ºC/350°F. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack – even though the recipe didn’t call for it, I brushed the bread with milk before baking it.

Meanwhile, combine powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon orange juice and orange peel, if desired, in small bowl. Add enough additional orange juice for desired glazing consistency. Drizzle over cooled bread.

Serves 16

Berry Twist Bread

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pink cupcakes with crystallized violets

Pink cupcakes with crystallized violets

The theme for this Sugar High Friday, hosted by Monisha, is Flower Power. I had a hard time trying to find a recipe for that!


I ended up making these cupcakes decorated with these lovely crystallized violets I received as a gift from a dear friend.

Recipe taken from Donna Hay Magazine, issue 29 - I used a conversion table from one of her books to get the amounts in both cups and grams.

Pink cupcakes with crystallized violets

Pink cupcakes with crystallized violets
from Donna Hay magazine

250g unsalted butter, softened
225g (1 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten
270g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
125ml (¼ cup) milk

Pink icing:

155g (1 ¼ cups) icing/confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon hot water – I added a little bit more and totally ruined it
1-2 drops rose food coloring

crystallized violets – as many as you want

Preheat the oven to 160ºC/320ºF. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8-10 minutes, until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the flour and baking powder, alternating with the milk, and beat until the mixture forms a smooth batter.
Spoon the mixture into ¼ cup capacity muffin tins lined with patty cases to ¾ full. Bake for 18-20 minutes – mine needed 30 – or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
To make the icing, place the sugar, water and food coloring in a bowl and mix until smooth. Use a palette knife to spread the icing over the cupcakes.
Place 1-2 violets over each cupcake.

Makes 30 – I halved the recipe and got 12.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Roasted tomato salad

Roasted tomato salad

For this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by the lovely Sher - a wonderful cook and my fellow Daring Baker - I chose this delicious and easy to prepare salad, a recipe taken from Delia Smith’s website.


I’ve made three changes: I didn’t skin the tomatoes, I pitted the olives before adding them in the end and I also scattered the tomatoes with some capers.

Although I had it in room temperature – and it’s a warm day here, 28ºC - I think this would be wonderful served as a warm salad in cold days.

Roasted tomato salad

12 large tomatoes
2 large or 4 small cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12 large fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly milled black pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

To garnish:
fresh basil leaves
24 black olives
1 cup capers

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400°F.
Oil a shallow 40 x 30cm (16 x 12 in) roasting tin and set aside.

Skin the tomatoes first of all by pouring boiling water over them and leaving for 1 minute, then drain and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins. (Protect your hands with a cloth if necessary.)
Cut each tomato in half, around the middle rather than vertically, and place the halves in the roasting tin (cut side uppermost) and season with salt and freshly milled pepper. After that, sprinkle on the chopped garlic, distributing it evenly between the tomatoes. Follow this with a few droplets of olive oil on each one, then top each one with half a basil leaf, turning each piece of leaf over to get a coating of oil.

Place the roasting tin in the top half of the oven and roast the tomatoes for 50-60 minutes or until the edges are slightly blackened. Then remove the tin from the oven and allow the tomatoes to cool. All this can be done several hours ahead.

To serve the tomatoes, transfer them to individual serving plates, then whisk the oil and balsamic vinegar together and drizzle this over the tomatoes. Finally top each one with an olive and garnish with basil leaves. Lots of crusty bread is an essential accompaniment to this.

Serves 4-6 as a starter

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hearts of palm empadinhas and Limeade with raspberries

Hearts of palm empadinhas

I loved this Blog Party theme, hosted by The Happy Sorcerer: picnic food!!! Yay!!!

My parents, my brother and I used to have great picnics when I was a kid. We spent great days in a park in São Paulo. My brother and I would play and run around and after all that “work out” we’d have the wonderful snacks prepared by my mom. That was great!

To take part I decided to make a very Brazilian recipe: empadinhas. These are my first empadinhas so I still need to get the hang of it – some of them almost opened up while in the oven.
Besides that, they are wonderful – the crust is flaky without being too crumbly and the filling completes it perfectly.

I got the dough recipe from a very talented Brazilian foodie and the filling was adapted from a Brazilian website.

Step-by-step photos by João.

Hearts of palm empadinhas

450g (3 ¼ cups) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
120g unsalted butter, cold and diced
100g shortening, cold and diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
70ml ice water

4 tablespoons vegetable oil – canola would be great 2 medium onions, chopped2 tomatoes, seeds removed, finely diced580g (4 cups) hears of palm, finely chopped60g (½ cup) olives, chopped4 tablespoons cornstarch 240ml (1 cup) milk salt

Egg wash:
1 egg yolk – I wasn’t paying attention and used the whole egg :S
1 tablespoon water

Place the flour, salt, butter and shortening in a food processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and water and process until a soft and smooth dough forms. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Since my food processor is tiny, I made the dough by hand: place the flour, salt, butter and shortening in a bowl and rub with the tip of your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and water, mix well and knead until a soft and smooth dough forms. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the filling: in a large pan over high heat, heat the oil and add the onions. Cook until golden. Add the hearts of palm, tomatoes and olives and cook for 8-10 minutes.
In a cup, place the cornstarch and milk and mix well using a fork. Add this mixture to the hearts of palm and stir constantly until creamy. Season to taste, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/355 ºF.
Grab a small amount of dough and flatten it. Place it inside an empadinha pan - or use a muffin pan - and line the bottom and the sides with the dough. Repeat the process with other pans.

Place tablespoons of filling inside the prepared pans.

Roll portions of dough and cut circles. Place the circles on top of empadinhas and seal well.
Brush with the egg wash and bake for 30 minutes or until golden – in the last 5 minutes I raised the oven temperature to 200ºC.

Remove from the oven and set aside it cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the empadinhas and serve.

Makes about 45 empadinhas, about 5cm each

Limeade with raspberries

1 large lime
200ml water
1 ½ tablespoons frozen raspberries

Squeeze the lime, add the water and sugar to taste. Pour in a nice glass and add the raspberries and ice.
Serve immediately.

Makes 1 glass.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Gingernut cookies

Gingernut cookies


The “King of the Fortnight” on Colher de Tacho is ginger. I had a hard time choosing a recipe to make – everything I saw seemed delicious!
The only thing I knew was that I wanted something sweet.
Many of those recipes called for glacé ginger or crystallized ginger and I couldn’t find any where I live. I wasn’t sure I was going to have the time to search for it in São Paulo. So ground ginger became my choice.

I was impressed by how easily and quickly I made these cookies – the dough was prepared in no time using my good old mixer. And while it was in the fridge, I made dinner. Perfect timing.

Recipe from here – I saw a link to this site in someone’s blog (sorry, I can’t remember which one!) and got completely addicted to it.

Gingernut cookies

60g butter, softened
200g (1 cup) caster sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
3 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg – I used only ½ teaspoon
pinch of salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
210g (1 ½ cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 180°C/355ºF. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Using an electric hand mixer, cream butter, sugar, golden syrup, ginger, nutmeg, and salt until pale. Add egg and beat well.
Sift remaining ingredients over butter mixture. Stir until a soft dough forms. Wrap dough in greaseproof paper. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Roll teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls. Place onto baking trays, allowing plenty of room for spreading.
Bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 45 – I got 54, approx. 5cm each

Gingernut cookies

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hay, Hay, it's Donna Day: Passion fruit mousse in tiny chocolate cups

Passion fruit mousse in tiny chocolate cups

When Helene announced the theme for this HHDD I was petrified – despite playing around in the kitchen for as long as I can remember, I haven’t made many mousse recipes so far. Panic.

I wanted to make 100 mousse recipes and 10 seconds later I wanted to make none. And then I remembered little chocolate cups filled with ganache I had seen in some weddings and also in some websites. I thought: I’m filling the cups with mousse!

In theory everything sounded wonderful, but in the real world things didn’t work out the way I expected them to. The cups weren’t beautiful as the ones in my head and, camera in hand, I couldn’t find a nice way to photograph them.

As I missed Peabody’s HHDD about cheesecakes and I don’t want to miss another one, there you go.

One thing I must say in my defense: the condensed milk balances well the tart flavor of passion fruit – so you won’t look like her when you take a bite.

Passion fruit mousse in tiny chocolate cups

Chocolate cups:
200g chocolate – I used white and dark, 100g each
25 small fluted paper cups (the ones used for petit-fours, truffles, etc.)

90g sweetened condensed milk
65g cream
65ml concentrated passion fruit juice

pulp of half a large passion fruit – I think that mini chocolate curls would work fine too

For the mousse: place all the ingredients in a blender and blend well. You can place them in a bowl and beat well with a whisk – the key here is to incorporate air into the mixture to make it light.
Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Make the chocolate cups: melt chocolate using a double-boiler or the microwave oven. Temper it – click here to learn how.
Using a small spoon, spoon chocolate inside each paper cup, spreading evenly and almost up to the edges – leave a thin line free of chocolate so you can tear the paper cup and remove the chocolate from it easily.
Place the cups on a plate and refrigerate until chocolate is firm (10 minutes or so).
Carefully, start tearing the paper molds unmolding the chocolate cups. Set aside.

Remove the mousse from the refrigerator and with a small spoon pour amounts of it inside each chocolate cup. Top with the passion fruit seeds and serve.

Chocolate cups can be made ahead and stored in a dry and cool place – never in the refrigerator.

Makes about 25 – I got 12 with the white chocolate and 13 with the dark chocolate.

Passion fruit mousse in tiny chocolate cups

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Baked zucchini and bacon risotto

Baked zucchini and bacon risotto

Haalo is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and being a huge fan of her blog I had to participate.


I adapted a recipe, using zucchini instead of pumpkin - it was delicious!

It was my first baked risotto and I must confess that while placing the ingredients together in the bowl I still wasn’t convinced it was going to work. I was so wrong: by the time I finished preparing Joao’s beef and potatoes my risotto was ready and all I had to do was stir it a bit to make it creamy.

I highly recommend this recipe and I think that many other vegetables would replace zucchini wonderfully here.

Baked zucchini and bacon risotto
adapted from Off The Shelf: Cooking From the Pantry

440g (2 cups) Arborio or carnaroli rice
1,250ml (5 cups) chicken or vegetable stock – I used vegetable
60g butter
500g zucchini, diced
12 rashers of bacon
75g (¾ cup) finely grated parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Place the rice, stock, butter and zucchini in an ovenproof dish, mix and cover tightly with a lid or foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until the rice is soft – the risotto will be quite liquid.*
While the risotto is cooking, place the bacon under a hot grill (broiler) and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until crisp – I placed the rashers between sheets of paper towel and cooked in the microwave oven for 1 minute. Set aside.
Remove the risotto from the oven, add the salt, pepper, parmesan and parsley and stir constantly for 2 minutes to thicken it.
To serve, place in serving bowls and top with bacon.

* I used foil to cover the bowl and my risotto wasn’t that liquid – I cooked it for the exact time.

Serves 2 – I halved the recipe and got loads of risotto (that will be transformed in arancini). In my opinion, 1 recipe serves 3-4.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Donna Hay’s Hummus

Donna Hay’s Hummus

I know this is a very basic recipe, but I thought it would be a simple yet delicious way to take part in April’s Monthly Mingle, hosted by Meeta.


It was my first time making hummus and the result was great - recipe from Donna Hay.

Donna Hay’s Hummus
from Modern Classics Book 1

400g drained canned chickpeas
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice – I used lime juice
60ml (¼ cup) water - I used this + 1 ½ tablespoons
½ teaspoon cumin
1 clove crushed garlic
sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Process the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, water, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor until combined – I used a blender.
With the motor running, gradually pour the olive oil processing until just smooth.

Makes 1 ¾ cups.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Hearts of palm quiche

Hearts of palm quiche

As some of you know, I love cooking with hearts of palm. So, for my first participation on Weekend Herb Blogging – this time hosted by Anh - I decided to make a hearts of palm quiche.


I got the recipe from a Brazilian cookbook but the crust called for Crisco. I don’t like cooking with it. Call me silly, but I don’t even buy it.
Instead, I made a delicious crust out of a Gordon Ramsey’s recipe that had been posted by Valentina.
You see, Gordon’s recipe + Tina’s magic hands = perfection. :)

I had to adapt the amounts because my pan was a bit smaller than the required on the recipe. Next time I’ll add a bit more filling.

In the end, the quiche was so delicious I even had a piece at night, totally cold, and it still tasted good.

Hearts of palm quiche

250g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
125g butter, cold and diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg yolk

200g hearts of palm, chopped
½ small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon salt
20g parsley, chopped
100ml cream
4 eggs

Make the crust: in a bowl, combine flour, butter and salt, mixing with your fingertips until crumbly. Add the beaten egg and 1 tablespoon ice water and mix a little more. Knead it a little, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF. Brush a 24cm quiche pan with removable bottom* with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough and line the pan with it.
Cover it with a circle of baking paper or foil and fill with uncooked beans – the blind baking process.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the beans and the paper/foil and brush the crust with egg yolk. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove again from the oven and brush the crust again with egg yolk. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden.
This process will prevent the filling from leaking.
Remove from the oven. Keep the oven temperature at 190ºC/375ºF.

Make the filling: in a large frying pan, heat the butter over high heat. Add the onion and cook until lightly golden. Add the hearts of palm and salt and cook quickly. Remove from heat and add the parsley, mixing well.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the cream. Mix well. Add this mixture to the hearts of palm and mix.
Fill the baked quiche dough with this mixture and bake in a preheated oven (190ºC/375ºF) until firm.
Unmold and serve immediately.

* I used a regular teflon pan and had no trouble ummolding the quiche.

Serves 10

Monday, April 2, 2007

Carne louca

Carne louca (Crazy beef)

This is a very common recipe around here – carne louca, which means “crazy beef”.

It was easy to stumble upon these sandwiches in birthday parties. All the kids loved it – except for me. I already had problems with meat as a child. Never liked it. My mom had to sit by the table, her Havaianas in hand, staring at me, so I would eat my steak.

It was my first attempt at carne louca – and I must confess I only made it because João asked me to. I didn’t use a specific recipe, I made it the way I remembered it.

All I can say is that it smelled so great I had to taste it. And I did taste it. And then I had a big spoon of it, right before the 2 sandwiches I ate watching a soccer game on TV with João. :D

Carne louca

a 500g piece of eye of round
50g (2 tablespoons) butter
100ml white wine or beer
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
10 green olives, pitted and chopped
2 ½ tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper

In a saucepan or kettle, set 1.5 liters water to boil.
In a pressure cooker* over high heat, melt the butter and add the piece of beef. Cook it, turning it around to get all the sides nicely browned. Add salt (just a little, since you’re going to season the beef in the end), wine/beer and the boiling water. Close the pressure cooker and when it starts whistling, turn down the heat and cook for 50 minutes.
Remove from heat and let it stand until all the pressure is released – be careful.

Place the beef on a cutting board and, using a knife and a fork, shred the entire piece. Put it in a large bowl (glass is better) and add the onion, bell pepper, olives, parsley and approx. 400ml of the broth left in the pressure cooker.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, add the lime juice and the olive oil and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days, bringing to room temperature before serving.

Carne louca (Crazy beef)

Make sandwiches using baguettes.
* If you’re using a regular pan, proceed the same way and cook the beef for longer – it has to be very tender otherwise it will be hard to be shredded.

Carne louca (Crazy beef)

Related Posts with Thumbnails