Thursday, November 29, 2012

Recipe: Bolo de Cenouro (Brazilian Carrot Cake)

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie. – Jim Davis

Do not adjust your set. This is the actual, natural colour of this cake.

On November 19 of this year I posted a recipe for Brazilian coconut chicken that was extremely delicious.

The carrot and oil mixture.
Usually when I choose a country to focus on I don’t just go looking for one recipe. I fish around. I want to fond out their favourite recipes. I’m curious.

That usually means web sites that are not written in English. I love the translation function in Google. Those foreign language sites are wonderful for “original” recipes from a country or region. It also provides some moments of levity when things don't translate exactly right.

This time in my fishing expedition I also found a recipe for Brazilian carrot cake. Mmmm, I though. I like carrot cake. All those spices, that cream cheese frosting….

Well, Brazilian carrot cake is nothing at all like that. No spice, no cream cheese frosting. In fact, it even has a chocolate glaze. What would it be like?

In a word – excellent. The carrots are used much the same as zucchini in a cake, except that they impart a colour that you just can’t believe. Golden is a good word to describe it. Rich golden.

The batter. Look at the colour!
Apparently Brazilian carrot cake is often served with mid-morning coffee. I can see that. The carrots don’t give much of a carrot-like flavour. It’s more like a regular cake.

If anything the whole recipe reminded me of a Boston Cream Pie. I made my cake in a single layer ina rectangular pan, but I could well picture this in two layers with pastry cream, or even individually as cupcakes.

This is not a light and fluffy cake, but at the same time it’s not heavy. It’s… Brazilian. Unusual, sexy and exotic.

I ate far too much of it last night, and the folks at work had better save some room this morning, because it’s coming with me.

You’ve been warned!

Bolo de Cenouro
Prep: 15 min  |  Bake 40 min  |  Yield 9x13 cake
4 cups sliced carrots
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 9” x 13” baking pan.

Chop the carrot pieces in a food processor until fine. Then add the oil and purée until fairly smooth. Some very small pieces of carrot may still be visible. The colour will be amazingly vivid orange.

Transfer the purée to a large bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Then stir in the vanilla.

Mix together the flour and baking powder. Add slowly to the batter, in quarters, beating well after each addition.

The glaze needs to be cool enough to form a strand
when the whisk is lifted. If it's too warm it won't
stay put on the cake.
After the flour has been incorporated, pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan in the centre of the oven and bake for between 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

When the cake is done and out of the oven, prepare the glaze. You should glaze it while it's still warm.

Chocolate Glaze
Prep: 5-6 minutes
300 ml sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan. Heat until just boiling and then reduce to medium. Whisking often, let cook for 5 minutes. The mixture will become very glossy.

Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and let cool for 5-6 minutes. By this time the glaze should fall from the whisk in a thin stream.

Pour over the warm cake and let set up for 15 minutes (if you can wait) before serving.

Not overly sweet, this is a really nice cake.

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