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Rabanada – A Brasilian Christmas Treat

Thursday Dec 23, 2010

In Brazil, we celebrate Christmas late at night on Christmas Eve.  I remember trying to stay awake for dinner and being so excited that as soon as midnight hit, I could open my presents.   Christmas dinner is a serious meal 😀  We call it “ceia de Natal”. Usually, you will find different types of rice, farofas, turkey, ham, pernil (pork shoulder), salads, fruits and a lot of friends and family around (so you can eat all this food).

Going back to the Rabanada, this traditional Brazilian treat is very well known in the US as French Toast.  My mom would sometimes “spoil” our dinner with Rabanada, as we kids just couldn’t wait for the late night eating.  Rabanada is usually served as a Christmas dessert amongst many other delicious treats, flans, cakes, etc. The word Rabanada literally means “blown tail”. (Such a weird name.) We make this using day old French bread, which is soaked in a egg and milk mixture, then fried and lastly sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.  Different from the United States, Brasilians don’t use maple syrup.  Some people will make a Port wine syrup to drizzle on top of the Rabanada. I have never done this. The sweet bread is fine by itself!

Hope you like it:

French Bread (sliced)

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 c milk

3 eggs

oil or butter to fry

1/2 c sugar

1/4 c cinnamon

Mix the sweetened condensed milk, milk and eggs.  Soak the slices of bread in this mixture.  You may just want to get the bread wet instead of soaking it. It just depends how soggy you like your bread.  Fry the bread either in oil or butter. I much prefer butter (yeah not a healthy meal)!  You want the bread to get some color, it will take 2-3 minutes on each side. Mix the sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle both sides of the bread with it. Generously!   Enjoy. I like to eat it warm.

Final Note: I have also seen some people bake the Rabanada instead of frying it.  For baking, you would use a baking dish, pour the milk mixture on top of the bread and bake until the liquid thickens.  It makes the bread a lot softer, but it will still taste good!

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