Manjar Branco Recipe Update

Some time ago I posted a recipe for Manjar Branco, one of my favourite deserts. The first time I made this desert it worked beautifully and I didn’t find it too difficult to make. Unfortunately, I never really managed to recreate my first successful attempt and after several failures I gave-up trying to make it.

A little while ago I stumbled across a new recipe for Manjar Branco and decided that I had to give it a go again. This new recipe I found takes much more cornstarch, so this makes it a pretty fool-proof recipe. My previous recipe works well, but you need to have patience. Because of the low cornstarch content it takes longer for the milk mixture to reach the thickness you need in order for the pudding to properly set in the fridge. In general, my previous recipe took close to 30 minutes to reach the right thickness. This new recipe takes 10 minutes!

Although this recipe works really well, I do need to warn you that it can go too fast, and therefore you need to watch the mixture very closely as it begins to thicken. You do not want the mixture to be too thick as it will then be difficult to place into the prepared tin or bowls and will result in a  heavy dessert.

In my recipe I recommend a measurement between 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cornstarch. If you want to use the full 1/2 cup of cornstarch in your recipe the mixture will come to thickness very fast. If you use the lesser amount it will take a bit longer, but there will be less chance of it becoming too thick!

Instead of making a caramel sauce with prunes I made a sweet blackberry sauce to accompany my Manjar Branco. If you don’t have blackberries you can make a simple fruit salad with mango, papaya, pineapple and oranges. Just make sure to add a nice amount of orange juice to the fruit salad so that there is some extra liquid to accompany the Manjar Branco.

DSC_0062-001Ingredients
(6 portions)

1/4 to 1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk (395g)
200ml coconut milk
100g coconut flakes
1 cup fruit salad or blackberry sauce

Dissolve the cornstarch with a bit of milk in a bowl. Mix well, making sure that there are no lumps. Add the remaining milk, condensed milk, coconut milk and coconut flakes in a medium pan. Add the cornstarch mix. Bring to a boil on low to medium heat, stirring constantly; approximately 10 minutes. Once mixture is boiling allow to thicken. Once thickened, remove from heat and pour into 6 small dessert bowls. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge to cool.

When you are about to serve, spoon the fruit salad or blackberry sauce on top.

Blackberry sauce
To make the blackberry sauce, place approximately 300g of blackberries in a pan, add about 1/4 cup of water and bring to the boil. Once boiling add 1/2 cup of white sugar and allow to boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not crush the fruit. Allow to cool and serve with the manjar branco.

Papaya or Mamão? What Is It?

Mamão is a fruit of the tree Carica Papaya. Native to southern Mexico, mamão is grown in many tropical countries, with Brazil being one of the largest producers today.

The tree-like plant which the mamão grows from has a single stem that stretches from 5 to 10m (16 to 33ft) tall. The large leaves are confined to the top of the tree and fruit are produced throughout the whole year. The flowers of the tree determine the shape, amount of pulp, and flavor of the fruit that it will produce. The Carica Papaya tree has masculine, feminine, and hermaphroditic flowers. The masculine flowers produce a fruit that is pear shaped and have no commercial value. The feminine flowers produce fruit that are round and have little pulp, resulting in fruit that also has a low commercial value. The hermaphroditic flowers produce the most desired fruit, they are long with lots of juicy pulp.

What we know as papaya in the USA is actually just one variety of mamão that is found in Brazil. There are many different varieties of mamão in Brazil, ranging from small to large. Brazilians, most commonly, eat the larger mamão  variety known as mamão comprido. Although the flavor across mamão variaties must certainly change, I have not tried enough of the mamão variaties to have a good opinion on this. Instead, I will just say that no matter which mamão you decide to try it will be tasty and worth it.

Mamão is used for so many different things in Brazil and is so easy to find that it is one of those fruits that is a MUST TRY when you visit. Used in drinks, like the absolutely amazing vitamina, or desserts, or eaten just like that, it is a fruit that becomes very addicting.

The papaya that can be found in the USA is much smaller than those in Brazil, but besides that there are not many differences. The skin is green when not ripe and yellow when ripe. Soft to the touch, like an avocado, tells you that the papaya is ready to eat. The flesh is always a beautiful reddish-orange. Remove the interestingly round-black seeds and dig into this deliciously delicate fruit.

Sources:
Sexagem do mamoeiro e sua aplicação na produção (http://www.ceplac.gov.br/radar/Artigos/artigo39.htm)
Wikipedia: Papaya (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papaya)
Wikipedia: Mamão (http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mam%C3%A3o)
Cultura – Mamão (http://www.seagri.ba.gov.br/Mamao.htm)

A Vitamin Drink: Papaya, Banana, and Orange

papaya, banana, and orange drinkBrazil has so many delicious fruit juices that it is easy to go wild trying them all. When you order orange juice at a restaurant in Brazil you are going to get fresh orange juice, not the horrible boxed stuff. Mixed juices are common here: orange and acerola,  pineapple and mint, or orange and strawberry to name a few. There are always new mixes to be created! Besides juices, Brazilians have what are called vitaminas literally translated, vitamin. These drinks usually contain milk and a mix of different fruits, the most common being made with papaya, banana, orange, and milk. Just looking at the ingredients you know that this is jam packed with healthy stuff, who needs to pop a vitamin pill when you can have this drink?

Receita de VitaminaAs soon as I learned about the vitamina in Brazil I was hooked and it is now my daily breakfast drink. I like to drink two large glasses every morning, and honestly, there is no better way to start the day than drinking one of these. To make the start to my day even better I like to munch on some warm pão de queijo  as well.

My recipe for vitamina is a little haphazard as I usually measure everything by eye or taste. Sometimes I like my vitamona to be more papaya heavy, other times I like more banana, sometimes I want it very thick, other times more runny! There is no right or wrong really with this drink, it all comes down to how you want it to taste. So, I have given quantities for all of the ingredients, but when you make it do what tastes best to you. As long as you get the ingredients in it will taste great and will give you lots of good VITAMINS!!!!

Some Comments:
> The three things that you MUST have for this drink are papaya, banana, and milk.
> The orange is not always necessary, but does add great vitamin C!
> I sometimes like to substitute the orange with acerola as this has a much higher vitamin C content.
> If you do not drink milk you can use almond milk, rice milk, or oat milk, anything will do!
> I never put sugar in my vitamina, but if you like a sweeter drink add some….!

Receita de VitaminaIngredients

11/2 cups chopped papaya (mamão)
1 banana
Juice of one orange
11/2 cups milk
Sugar to taste

Put the papaya, banana, orange juice, and milk in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a cup and ENJOY!