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Nega Maluca

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes, Desserts

I love to spend time with the kids in the kitchen. It is fascinating to see their faces light up when they make a dish or help cook. This recipe was Andrew’s first cake. (made by himself).  It is a basic chocolate cake very common in Brazil. I remember making this cake with my mom…

Nega Maluca (Chocolate Cake)

For the Cake:

3 c flour

2 c sugar

4 eggs

1 c oil

1 c chocolate nesquick

1 c warm water

1 T baking powder

For the Syrup:

1 c chocolate nesquick

1 c sugar

2 T butter

1 c milk


For the cake:

Mix all of the cake ingredients but the baking powder together in a large bowl. Mix very well.  Then add baking powder to mix.

After it comes together, transfer to a prepared cake pan. (great video with baking tips and such)  Bake at 350 until done.  To test I usually insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake. It will be done when tooth pick comes out clean.

For the Syrup:

In a sauce pan add nesquick, sugar, butter and milk. Let it come to a boil. Set aside.

Pour the syrup while cake still warm.  I usually poke the cake all over, then pour the syrup until it looks nice and moist.  I also like to sprinkle chocolate jimmies on top.  YUM


Camarão na Moranga (Winter Squash with Shrimp)

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes, Fish

It is getting cold…. I love to see the pumpkin and all sorts of winter vegetables out.  I usually make this recipe a couple of times, and it is a fun one to make for Halloween, because it cooks inside the pumpkin .  If you can, go to a pumpkin patch and try to find the Cinderella Pumpkin . It is orange and kind of flat.  This type is the one that is most comparable to the one we use in Brasil.  If you are not able to find it, any other pie pumpkin would work. Or as you can see in the picture I used a Kabocha Pumpkin. It has a stronger taste, but still delicious.

For this recipe you will want to “clean” your pumpkin first.  So grab a sharp knife and get to work.  Open a hole on top and of the pumpkin, clean out the seeds and goop.  Then wrap it in foil and bake inside a baking dish with a little bit of water until the inside of the pumpkin is soft.  It will take about 45 minutes, depending on the size of your pumpkin

Take it out of oven and scoop some of the pumpkin meat out.  Reserve.

Now you want to cover the sides of the pumpkin with cheese. I have used a mixture of catupiry and mozzarella cheeses. After the entire sides and bottom has a nice layer of cheese, then fill with the mixture (recipe bellow).  Then add a little cheese on top (for taste, haha) and bake it again until bubbly.

Here is a picture of it done.

For the inside mixture:

2 lbs of shrimp (it may take more depending on the size of your pumpkin). I usually go more than less, since we like shrimp here! (this can also be done with chicken or meat)

1-2 T olive oil

2 t garlic (crushed)

1/2 medium onion (diced)

3-4 large tomatoes (diced, no seeds or skin)

1 (8oz) can tomato sauce

2 T butter


Salt and Pepper to taste

About 1 cup or more of the baked pumpkin meat (reserved from preparing the pumpkin)

1 can of creme de leite (table cream)

In a large sauce pan, sautee the garlic and onions in the olive oil.  Add shrimp, cook a little bit, then add tomatoes, tomato sauce, butter and seasonings.  Let it cook. It will make a sauce. If necessary add a little water.  After sauce is done, add the pureed pumpkin meat and the table cream.  Pour this mixture into your pumpkin.

ps: if you prefer, you can make the sauce first and then add the shrimp last. This will prevent overcooking the shrimp.  Still sautee them and season to taste. Then add to the creamy tomato sauce 😉


Empanada Gallega

Filed under :Appetizers, Brazilian Recipes, Breads, Catupiry, Chicken, The Dairing Kitchen

Patri of the blog, Asi Son Los Cosas, was our September 2012 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she decided to tempt us with one of her family’s favorite recipes for Empanadas!  We were given two dough recipes to choose from and encouraged to fill our Empanadas as creatively as we wished!

5-1/3 cups bread flour

2 cups of lukewarm water

1 tablespoon dry yeast or  (1 oz) fresh yeast

2 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons  oil (you can use oil from the pan where you have cooked the filling)

1 large egg, for egg wash


Shift the flour into a big bowl and make a well in the middle. Rub the yeast in with your fingers. In a small bowl, mix the water and the salt.

Now, using your fingers or a wooden spoon, start adding the water and mixing it with the flour-yeast mixture. Keep on working with your fingers or spoon until you have added enough water and all the flour has been incorporated and you have a messy ball of dough.

On a clean counter top, knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes

You could do all the above using a stand mixer, in that case mix the ingredients with the paddle attachment until mixed and then switch to a dough hook and knead on low for about 6 minutes.

Clean and oil the big bowl you used for mixing and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover it with a napkin or piece of linen and keep it in a warm, draught-free place for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.

Once risen, turn the dough back into a floured counter and cut it in half. Cover one half with the napkin to prevent drying.

Spread the other half of the dough using a rolling pin. You can use a piece of wax paper over the counter, it will make it easier to move the dough around. Depending on the shape of your oven pan or cookie sheet, you will make a rectangle or a round.

Now, the thinness of the dough will depend on your choice of filling and how much bread you like in every bite.  For your first time, make it about 3mm thin (about 1/10th of an inch) and then adjust from that in the next ones you make.

Assembling the empanada:

If you haven’t used wax paper, either lightly flour or line with wax paper your pan or tray.

Cover the base and sides with the dough. Using the rolling pin or a knife, cut the extra dough.

Place the filling, making sure it is cold and that all the base is covered. Using a hot filling will make the bottom layer of the empanada become soggy. Be careful to avoid adding too much oil from the filling, try to make it as “dry” as possible.

Start preheating your oven to moderate 350°F.

Take the other half of the dough and spread it out to the same or less thinness of the base. You can use a piece of wax paper for this too. Take into account that this “top” dough needs to be smaller around than the bottom, as it only needs to cover the filling.

If not using wax paper, move carefully the top to cover the filling. If using wax paper, transfer the dough, turn upside down, cover the filling and gently peel off the wax paper.

Using your fingers, join bottom and top dough, when you have gone all the way around, start pinching top and bottom together with your thumb and index finger and turning them half way in, that way you end up with a rope-like border. As a picture is worth a thousand words, please watch this video to see how it is done.

When you are finished, make a 1 inch hole in the middle of the top layer. This will help hot air exit the empanada while it’s baking without breaking the cover.

You can use left-over dough to decorate the empanada, using rounds, bows, lines… let your imagination flow and make it pretty!

Using a fork, prick the top layer or, using scissors, make snips that go all the way through the top layer

In a small bowl, beat an egg and add a tbsp of cold water. With the pastry brush, paint the top of the empanada with the egg wash.

Place the empanada in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Check that the bottom part is done.

I used a chicken and catupiry filling. Recipe here: Creamy Chicken

Other possible fillings:


400 gm (14 oz) chopped onion (approximately 1 big onion or 2 medium-sized ones) 2 garlic cloves ¾ cup (180 ml) Olive oil 300 gm (10½ oz) salted cod, washed and cleaned (you put it in fresh water 24 hours before, change the water four times) 100 gm (3½ oz) raisins 100 gm (3½ oz) cured ham or bacon (not smoked) A few strands of saffron

  • When vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat. Add the saffron and the raisins. Cut cod and ham (or bacon) in less than bite sized pieces, and add. Stir everything together.
  • Add salt as needed (we do this at the end because the amount of salt will depend on how salty your fish remains after the unsalting and how salty your cured ham or bacon is).
  • Allow to cool for at least half an hour before filling the empanada.

Filling Directions:

  1. Finely chop the onion and garlic.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion and garlic, fry over medium heat until the onion is transparent (you do not want the onion to brown at all).

Tuna fish filling:


400 gm (14 oz) chopped onion (approximately 1 big onion or 2 medium-sized ones) 200 gm (7 oz) tomatoes (peeled and seeded) 1 small red pepper 2 garlic cloves ¾ cup (180 ml) olive oil 1 can (6.5 – 7 oz / 180 gm – 200 gm) of tuna fish in oil, drained 1 hard-boiled egg 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet
  2. Fry the finely chopped onions, pepper and garlic until the vegetables are soft. Add then the tomatoes, chopped small, and cook until done.
  3. Turn off heat and add the tuna fish and hard boiled egg, cut into less than bite sized pieces.
  4. If adding the paprika, do so now and stir into the frittata.
  5. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Ground meat filling:


400 gm (14 oz) chopped onion (approximately 1 big onion or 2 medium-sized ones) 200 gm (7 oz) tomatoes (peeled and seeded) 1 small green pepper 2 garlic cloves ¾ cup (180 ml) olive oil 300 grams (2/3 pound or 10.5 ounces) minced (ground) meat 1 teaspoon sweet paprika


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet
  2. Fry the finely chopped onions, pepper and garlic until the vegetables are soft. Add then the tomatoes, chopped small, and cook until done.
  3. Add the meat and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the paprika, and stir into the frittata.
  5. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Fill the empanada en bake as indicated.

Ham and cheese filling:


10½ oz (300 gm) ham 10½ oz (300 gm) cheddar type cheese (any sandwich cheese will do)


  1. This is the simplest of fillings. You only need to layer prettily the ingredients, starting and ending with ham, to keep the melted cheese inside.

Pork loin and red pepper filling:


10½ oz (300 gm) pork loin (one piece) 1 big red pepper (capsicum) , cut into thin slices 1 small onion, cut into thin slices 2 garlic cloves 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (6 gm) paprika ½  tablespoon (3 ml) dried oregano salt


  1. 24 hours in advance, marinate the pork loin: for this, mix the oregano, paprika and the garlic cloves (very finely chopped) with salt to taste. Rub this marinade all around the meat, put into a sealable plastic bag and keep in the fridge for 24 hours.
  2. Take the meat out of the bag and cut into thin fillets (about 0,5mm)
  3. Cover the bottom part of the empanada with the fillets
  4. Cover the fillets with the slices of onion and pepper. Sprinkle salt on top.
  5. Cover the empanada and bake in a preheated oven to moderate 350°F/180ºC/gas mark 4. As this empanada starts with all raw ingredients, it will take about 15 minutes longer to bake. Just check that the underside of the empanada is golden. If it is, it’s cooked. If it isn’t, put it in the oven again and check after 10 minutes.

Get creative!!


Creamy Chicken

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes, Catupiry, Chicken

For the creamy chicken recipe, you will first need to make my basic shredded chicken recipe. Here it is:

Basic Shredded chicken:

3 big boneless chicken thigh

water to cover

2 T chicken boiullon

Boil until chicken is cooked and tender.  Check and adjust for salt and seasonings while boiling it.  Shred and reserve.

*you can use chicken breasts. Just remember you will loose a little bit of the flavor and moistness by using the chicken breasts.  Sometimes I like to use both breasts and thighs.

This recipe is something I love to make, because I can make a big batch and use it in other recipes.  All you do is change the seasonings and you create a entire new dish with the same basic ingredients (boiled shredded chicken) 😉  It is also easy for busy parents to freeze individual or family portions of the basic chicken and then use it on busy days.

I also like to strain and keep the water  you used to boil the chicken.  This is chicken broth and can be used to enhance the flavor in rice dishes, risotto, coxinhas and many other dishes.  I also like to substitute chicken broth in recipes that call for wine.

Now, for the creamy chicken

1 recipe of basic shredded chicken

1/2 onion diced

2 cloves of garlic smashed

2 T oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 or 2 tomato diced (no seeds)

1/2 cup of catupiry cheese – I LOVE this cheese 😉 wink wink

1 T sliced green onions

1 T parsley

Other optional things you can add: sliced palm hearts, corn, peas, olives, bacon, etc.

Sautte the onions and garlic in the oil.  Add the chicken, salt, pepper, tomatoes and cook for a little while. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.  Add the catupiry cheese, green onions and parsley.

I like to use this chicken for pie fillings, or served with rice or your favorite pasta.  It is also good served with a nice salad 😉 Enjoy

Brasilian Potato Salad (Maionese)

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes

Brazilian potato salad is usually a side dish you will find in many variations at parties and BBQs. This one I make is simple and easy. It can be a basic recipe where you can then add other toppings accordingly with your family’s taste.  My husband likes it this way, so it is usually what I do.

6-8 medium potatoes

1 large carrot or 2 medium carrots

salt and pepper to taste

1 can peas (drained)

green onions (to taste)

3-4 T mayo

Boil potatoes and carrots until soft. Dice them. In a large bowl, mix potatoes, carrots, salt, pepper, peas, green onions and mayo.

Other things you can add to this basic recipe:

Diced boiled eggs



Diced onions

Shredded chicken

Ham and Cheese (diced)

Green Peppers


Diced apples

Palmito (hearts of Palms)










Brigadeiros- Brasilian Chocolate Truffles

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes, Desserts

Brigadeiros, a delicious Brasilian chocolate truffles.  Created in the 1940s and still popular today. This candy is found in many brasilian parties such as birthdays, weddings, and get togethers.  I love brigadeiros, because it is easy to make and also the basic recipe can be used to create many other flavors. Check out this video from Marcela, the sweet brigadier to learn more about brigadeiro’s history and how to order this and other delicious treat right to your home.

Bolo Simples com Ganache de Maracuja

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes, Desserts

Simple Cake with Passion Fruit Ganache

For the Cake:

3 c flour

6 T corn starch

3 eggs (separated)

3 c sugar

3 T butter

1 c milk

1 T baking powder

splash of vanilla

In a bowl add flour, corn starch, and baking powder -set aside.  In a cup add the milk and vanilla. Set aside.  In a mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until fluffy.  Add the butter, mix until it comes together.  Add rest 1/3 of flour mix, 1/2 of milk mix then flour, milk and flour.  Mix well, set aside.  Beat in egg whites until soft/medium peaks. Fold into cake batter.  Pour into greased cake pan and bake at 350 until done.  (I check by inserting a cake tester in the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean , it is done)

For the Ganache:

250 grms melted  chocolate

1/8-1/4 c passion fruit juice

1/4 c heavy whipping cream

Mix all ingredients.  Pour this mixture on top of the already baked cake.


Filed under :Appetizers, Brazilian Recipes

Pastel is a deep fried pastry dough. Some of the most common are filled with chicken, meat, ham and cheese, catupiry, and other mixtures. You can also make it sweet with chocolate, goiabada, doce de leite and others.  It is easy to find pastel in Brasil. It is common to find it in the street corners and street markets.  It is a delicious treat.

Here is one of my favorite dough recipes.  I have about 3 of them that I rotate and make when I crave pastel.  I would say they are all about the same. The secret is to be able to open the dough nice and thin before filling it.  I use my mom’s dough roller (cilindro) which I brought from Brasil. I think any pasta maker machine would work perfectly.

2 c warm water (about)

1 kl flour

1/2 c oil

2 T butter

1 T baking powder

2 eggs

pinch of salt

Mix the flour, baking powder, butter and oil.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Pour the water slowly in the middle of this mixture and mix until it comes together.  It will be nice and soft.  Let the dough rest for about 1 hour.  Cut pieces of the dough and use the pasta machine to make thin rectangular shapes.  (it will be thin like a paper).  When I use the dough roller, I start on the highest number (thick) then start lowering the numbers until I get a thin dough that will be able to hold the filling. This dough will freeze very well.

Fill your pasteis with your favorite fillings.  Fry in hot oil. Enjoy!

A kitchen scale will come in handy to measure the ingredients for this recipe 😉



Sagu (Brasilian Grape Tapioca Pudding)

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes

2/3 c tapioca pearls

2 c grape juice

1/4 c sugar (taste)

Cook pearls in water, until transparent. Rinse the pearls in water until it isn’t as gooey.

In a medium sauce pan bring the sugar and the grape juice to slow boil.  Add the tapioca pearls.  Let it cook for a little bit until it thickens. Let it cool, refrigerate and serve.  This makes about 4 servings. You can double the recipe, just make sure to keep an eye on the amount of juice you add.  Sometimes the tapioca thickens the juice very fast.  If you feel it necessary, you can add a little more juice.  If it is not thickening very quickly, remember it will thicken as it cools.  This all depends on how well you were able to rinse pearls. It can get really gooey!

Corn Cake (Bolo de Milho)

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes, Desserts

Since it is June, I thought I would post a traditional food from the Brasilian celebration of Festa Junina.  During this party you will find many flavorful brasilian dishes made of corn, coconuts, peanuts, cassava and many others.  It is a celebration that once experienced will never be forgotten. The music, dances and costumes are definitely something to remember.  Here is a little nostalgic recipe I share with you.  Hope you like it:

Bolo de Milho Molhadinho

1 can corn (rinse and can and use it for the next measurements)

1 can of corn meal (fuba)

2 eggs

1/2 can oil

1 1/2 can sugar

1 can milk

100 grms parmesan cheese


1 T baking powder

Add all ingredients into the blender.  Blend until smooth.  Butter and flower a cake pan (i used a 10 inch round cake pan).

Preheat the oven to 350.  Bake it until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once the cake is done drizzle the following mixture on top:

1/2 can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 c milk

Mix well, pour on top of baked cake.  Sprinkle the cake with shredded coconut.

Other dishes you may find at Festa Juninas:

Arroz Doce



Bolo de Fuba

Quentao  (I make it a little different, instead of cachaca I use grape juice 😉


Amendoim Doce

Doce de Leite


Pinhao Cozido


Bolo de Macaxeira (pros meus amigos do Norte 😉