quarta-feira, 20 de outubro de 2010

Coconut Quindim

Quindim is a classic and traditional Brazilian dessert, one of those you find in every little corner of my gigantic home country. It is so simple to make that you can always trust that you will find a good version in a local bakery anywhere you go. When I was living at home I never baked quindins since they were one of my favorites to order in bakeries and restaurants. As an expatriate quindins became one of the desserts I crave the most and once in a while I simply must bake them myself.

is a yolk only egg dessert with a dense and luscious texture and very easy to make. If properly baked it have a very sophisticated look once removed from pan. Besides you will need only three ingredients: yolks, sugar and coconut, can you believe it? You can use freshly grated coconut or dried coconut but it must definitely be unsweetened. When you look to a little dessert like this you can't imagine the simplicity behind it all.

Coconut Quindim

6 egg yolks (passed through a sieve)
6 tablespoons of sugar + to sprinkle on pans
6 tablespoons fresh grated coconut or desiccated unsweetened coconut
Butter for pans


Heat oven to 180C/350F. Generously butter 8 to 10 mini muffin pans, sprinkle generously some sugar on buttered pans and set them aside. Pass six yolks through a sieve into a bowl, add six tablespoons of sugar and using a wire whisk whisk well to incorporate. Add six tablespoons of unsweetened grated coconut and whisk some more. Divide mixture in prepared pans and bake the quindins in a bain marie or double bath for 30 minutes or until the top of the quindins are golden. Remove from oven and let the quindins cool slightly before removing from pan but they should not cool completely because it will be pretty difficult to remove once they have cooled.

Makes 8 to 10 quindins depending on the size of the mini muffin cup you use. You can also make a big size version but you might need 10 to 12 yolks instead.

sexta-feira, 15 de outubro de 2010

Orange and corn cake (gluten free)

I grew up eating a flour less coconut and corn cake made with fresh coconut flesh and coconut milk but recently I started to bake the same flourless cake using oranges instead of coconut, whole baked oranges. The idea to use oranges came a traditions sephardi Jew cake popularized by Claudia Roden an Egyptian chef living in the UK. Claudia Roden is the author of two excellent books A New Book of Middle Eastern Food and the Jewish Food Book.

My orange and corn cake is loosely influence by both the Sephardic orange-and-almond cake by Claudia Roden’s and my Mom's Coconut and corn cake. However, since oranges don't have the same fat content as coconut and since corn flour doesn't have the same fat content as almond flour I added some butter to my version of the recipe to make things right. The result is an amazing perfumed, dense and slightly creamy cake with the amazing texture of corn flour and the strong aroma of cooked oranges.

The batter of this cake is slightly liquid but it bakes perfectly well and you don't have to worry about adding any other type of flour or thickener to the mixture. I highly recommend that you use organic oranges and washe the oranges in warm water before cooking it. I found the most amazing ripe and sweet South African organic oranges at the market here and I was so glad I could make this cake for the weekend.

orange and corn cake (gluten free)

250 grams fine corn flour (or polenta flour)
250 grams sugar
6 medium eggs
2 medium organic oranges (rinsed in warm water)
1 teaspoon of baking powder
75 grams unsalted butter in room temperature
pinch of salt


In saucepan with enough water to cover the fruits, let the oranges boil over medium heat for 1h30 to 2 hours until very tender. Let the fruits to cool completely before using them. Once they are cool cut each fruit in four parts and remove seeds if there is any. 

Preheat oven to 180C and butter well a small round cake pan, use ring-shaped cake pan if you prefer and sprinkle some corn flour on the buttered pan and set aside. 

In the jar of a blender, or food processor, blend the oranges, the corn flour, the sugar and the eggs for 30 seconds. Add the butter and the baking powder and process a little more. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake cake for 45 minutes or until a stick comes out of the cake dry. Let it cool completely before removing from pan.

Serve with some low fat vanilla yogurt.

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