Little Gluten-free Corn and Tapioca Breads (Broazinhas)

Gluten-free cornmeal and tapioca breads When I lived in the USA I didn’t really eat much cornbread, it’s not that I don’t like it, I just never really found a good way to eat it. I have always found that it was a little too sweet to eat with a meal and I never really thought to eat it as a snack. So, I pretty much didn’t eat cornbread!

But when I moved to Brazil, my husband introduced me to a very common cornbread that is called broa and I completely fell in love with it. Since first eating it I try to always have some in the house as I can’t go too long without it. Broa is a sweet cornbread seasoned with a little bit of fennel seed and is shaped into little or big rolls!

There are many different kinds of broa, some are more fluffy and others are much more dense. Usually, broa is made with cornflour and a little bit of white flour, but there are some recipes that don’t use white flour and others that substitute the white flour for tapioca flour.

Gluten-free cornmeal and tapioca breadsSince moving to Brazil and first trying broa I only bought it and never really took the time to learn how to make it at home. Fifteen minutes from my farm there is a really good bakery and they make the best broa I have ever had. Because their broa is so good, I never wanted to make it at home, and just kept buying it! But, the other day I decided to finally give it a shot and make my own. I found a wonderful recipe that was super simple and gluten-free. Within about 40 minutes I had piping hot, fluffy, broas out of the oven and ready to be consumed. They were so good that a few days later I made another batch, which was devoured quickly!

This recipe is wonderful. It is super easy. It is gluten-free. And, once you try these little Brazilian Cornbreads, you will want to have them for breakfast everyday or every afternoon with your coffee or tea!

Enjoy!

Gluten-free cornmeal and tapioca breadsIngredients
makes 20

1 cup of corn flour
¾ cup of tapioca flour (polvilho doce)
1 ¾ cup of water
½ cup of white sugar
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of fennel seeds
2 large eggs (or 3 small)
1 tsp baking powder
Butter and corn flour to grease tray

Mix the cornmeal and tapioca flour together in a bowl and set aside.

In a medium pan, mix the water, oil, sugar, salt and fennel seeds. Bring to a boil. As soon as the mixture begins to boil, turn off the heat and add the cornmeal and tapioca flour, all at once. Using a metal whisk, mix very fast until the mixture forms a ball and does not stick to the sides of the pan. Transfer the mixture to a standing mix bowl (I use a kitchen aid) and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

While the mixture is cooling, grease one large or two small cookie trays and lightly cover with cornmeal. Preheat the oven to 200C or 390F.

Once the mixture has cooled a little, begin whisking and add one egg, mix until fully incorporated. Add the second egg and fully incorporate. Lastly, add the baking powder making sure to mix in well. The mixture should be smooth, but slightly sticky.

Gluten-free cornmeal and tapioca breadsTo make the little balls, put some cornmeal into a teacup, take a spoonful of the mixture and place into the teacup, swirl the mixture around in the teacup, forming a nice little ball, and pop out onto the prepared cookie sheet. This method makes it much easier to make the little balls as the mixture is very sticky and is almost impossible to roll by hand. Additionally, each ball will have a nice light covering of extra cornmeal.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until they have risen and are a little hard on the outside. Do not let them brown too much!

Eat these right out of the oven with butter, cream cheese or Brazilian requeijão!

Trout

Pan-fried troutI have always loved fish. Growing-up in England, greasy fish and chips served on an old newspaper was a regular on holidays, and I loved it. I have never eaten tons of fish, but a few meals each month wasn’t uncommon for me. But, over the past years I have cut down considerably on fish and since moving to Brazil I have basically stopped eating it all together. I stopped eating fish for a few reasons, one being that it is very expensive here in Brazil, second all the affordable fish seems to come from China and thirdly, our oceans are rapidly being depleted of fish because of fishing!

So, fish was basically off my menu until some months ago when my husband brought home trout.

Trout is very popular in the region where I live and there are quite a number of people who raise trout here. I had eaten it several times at restaurants and really liked it, but never really thought of cooking it at home.

Trout is a simple fish and not too fishy. For anyone who is not keen on strong tasting fish, trout is perfect. It is easy to prepare and best grilled or pan fried.

Pan-fried troutWell, my husband brought home trout and we both went about learning how to prepare it. He bought trout that had not be filleted and so we first needed to learn how to fillet it. I did the cleaning and the descaling of the fish and my husband filleted it.

Once all the fillets were done we seasoned them simply with salt, pepper and garlic. Next, heating a skillet, we pan-fried the fillets, several minutes on each side. Depending on the size of the fillets you will either need to fry a little more or less on each side. Just make sure not to over cook on either side!

We made a simple sauce by melting some butter in the pan that we had fried the fish and squeezing about half a lemon in with it!

This is a simple dish to make and if you buy the trout already filleted it is even easier.

Making Trout BrothIf you buy whole trout you can boil the head, spine and tail to make a fish broth to use at a later time for a fish soup or to include into a moqueca!

ENJOY.

 

Farofa with Boiled Egg

FarofaI get a lot of people who are looking for farofa recipes and I get a good number of questions about farofa, so I thought it was time to post a new farofa recipe. For those of you who don’t remember what farofa is or want to see my first post about it take a look HERE.

I absolutely love farofa and eat it with almost anything. My favorite is to eat it with rice, beans and meat. Traditionally it is served at barbecues with sausage, but you often find it as an accompaniment for any variety of dishes!

Farofa is super easy to make and can be made with any ingredients. Generally I stick to a simple recipe, but on the weekends or more special occasions I elaborate:). Here is one of my elaborated farofa recipes!

Ingredients

3/4 cup farinha de mandioca
2 – 4 tbsp butter
3 – 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 slices of bacon, finely chopped
1 boiled egg, chopped finely
1 handful of parsley

Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the bacon and fry for 3 – 4 minutes. Add the parsley together with the farinha de mandioca. Keep over the heat for approximately 1 minute. Lastly, add the boiled egg. Remove from the heat and place into a serving bowl. This can be served warm, cold, or room temperature.
Farofa

 

Blackberry Caipirinha

DSC_0070-001You can never have too many caipirinha recipes! Caipirinha is so simple and can be made with almost any fruit. A while back I had my first pineapple caipirinha and it was delicious. Another favourite of mine is passion fruit caipirinha.

But, a close second to the traditional lemon/lime caipirinha is a blackberry caipirinha. A restaurant close to my farm serves a delicious blackberry caipirinha and because I have a lot of blackberries at home I decided that it was time to make my own.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

50 ml cachaça or vodka
2/3 cups frozen or fresh blackberries
2 tsp white sugar

Place the blackberries in a glass and muddle (mash the blackberries with a muddler or wooden spoon to extract all of the juice). Add the cachaça, sugar, and ice cubes. Together with the ice cubes you can add some more whole frozen blackberries.

Profiteroles with a Brazilian twist

profiterole1It has been quite sometime since I made these profiteroles, but they are so good, that I decided to dig this post from my drafts and share it with you. I am sure you will all enjoy it!

I went through a phase of wanting to learn how to make choux pastry, it is one of those challenging pastries to make, but so satisfying and tasty when you get it right. Choux pastry is really a simple recipe and is quick to make. But the challenge is getting the right consistency. The biggest challenge is that the mixture cannot be too runny or too thick, and all of this depends on the addition of eggs. Eggs range in many different sizes and therefore no recipe can give you the exact number of eggs you will need to use. So, it all results in careful analysis of your mixture and only experience can really teach you when you have the perfect mixture.

The next challenge with choux pastry, and more specifically profiteroles, is filling them once they are done baking. If you have done everything correctly, you will have beautiful even shaped balls of choux pastry with an inside that is evenly hollow. The goal with profiteroles is to carefully and evenly fill the empty cavern with a tasty filling. Unfortunately, this part can lead to the filling oozing out of the place where you tried to fill the pastry, or, as happened in my case, parts of the pastry splitting and resulting in a mess of filling oozing out of every side.

I wasn’t going to be deterred by the challenges of choux pastry and I went ahead with it anyway! The result…..it was amazing. My first batch turned out a little overcooked and a few too many holes in the bottom of the choux pastry. But, the pastry was delicious, light, and airy. The filling was successful, even though I had many profiteroles that were oozing filling out instead of holding it inside. Confident that I would get it right the next time, I set to work on a double batch of choux pastry the next morning. This batch turned out magnificent, a golden color, perfect balls of pastry, and only minor spillage of filling.

But the real trick to my second batch of profiteroles was the Brazilian twist that I gave them. Instead to filling them with chantilly cream I used doce de leite, sweetened milk that is slowly heated to create a taste derived from the caramelization of the product. Doce de leite is extremely popular in Brazil, and any opportunity to use it is a MUST! Did I turn my profiteroles Brazilian? I would have to say that I did as all of the them were consumed within hours.

Without further a-do here is the recipe to my Brazilianized Profiteroles (incase you cannot get a hold of doce de leite or would rather stick to the more french profiteroles I have included the recipe for chantilly cream….but I recommend you stick to the doce de leite….you will not be disappointed). In the USA you can find doce de leite under the spanish name of dulce de leche.

This is a great little video to help you know when the mixture is just right. Click here for the video!

Mandatory Credit: Photo by WOMAN'S WEEKLY / Rex Features ( 387629D ) PROFITEROLES VARIOUS RECIPES

Ingredients

makes 25-30

80ml (1/3 cup) water
40g butter, at room temperature, cubed
50g (1/3 cup) plain flour, sifted
2 eggs, at room temperature
Vegetable oil, to grease

Place water and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until butter melts and mixture just comes to the boil. Add all the flour to the butter mixture at once and use a wooden spoon to beat until well combined. Place over low heat and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture forms a ball and begins to come away from the side of the saucepan. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Whisk 1 egg in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl, then add it to the flour mixture, beating well with a wooden spoon. Gradually add a little of the reserved egg and beat until the mixture just falls from the spoon but still holds its shape. Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush a baking tray with oil to lightly grease. Spoon 25-30 teaspoonful of the mixture onto tray, about 3cm apart. Alternatively, use a pastry bag fitted with a 1.5cm-diameter plain piping nozzle to pipe the profiteroles onto the baking tray (I found this method to be the easiest and best). Brush the tops with a little of the remaining egg. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the profiteroles are puffed and golden. Remove from oven and turn the oven off. Using a skewer or a small knife, pierce the base (or top) of each profiterole to release the steam. Return the profiteroles to the oven and leave them for 15 minutes to dry out. Remove the profiteroles from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

When the profiteroles have cooled add the filling (for doce de leite click here to order online, and for chantilly cream click here for recipe). Place filling into a pastry bag (if you don’t have a pastry bag, check out this video for how to make one at home with parchment paper), insert tip into side of profiteroles and inject. You will know the profiterole is fully filled when the filling oozes out slightly, or it become difficult to push more in! If you do not want to use a piping bag you can cut the profiteroles in half and add the filling making a little profiterole sandwhich.

To finish you can top the profiteroles with melted chocolate, cocoa powder, or leave plain.

Credits
Recipe taken from www.taste.com.au
Photo #1 www.gdaysouffle.com/2013/07/24/profiteroles-with-custard-cream-and-chocolate-sauce/
Photo #2 www.specialfoodrecipe.com/chocolate-profiteroles