New Recipe: Brigadeiros!

After interviewing the people at Xica Maria Bakery in Doral and hearing all about Brigadeiros, I had to give them a shot. They are basically Brazilian chocolate truffles–so good.

After looking for a lot of recipes online, I found one that looked promising and I tried it out (I’m linking the video, it’s great to see what each step looks like).

They were a complete success. The recipe is very simple, there is no baking and barely any measuring–so basically there is very little room to make mistakes. Most recipes called for cocoa powder, but others for chocolate milk powder–so i just decided to make it my own and mix a little bit of both. The traditional way is to cover them with chocolate sprinkles, but I did some with walnuts and others with crushed Oreo cookies as well. Get creative!photo 3

Ingredients:

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This is all you need!

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons of chocolate milk powder
  • 1 can of condensed milk

Step by Step:

  1. Melt the butter in a pot in low heat.
  2. Add the entire can of condensed milk and mix with a rubber spatula.
  3. Mix the cocoa powder and chocolate powder together
  4. Add the chocolate mix little by little to the pot making sure to mix
  5. Keep stirring the mixture in low-medium heat. Make sure that it doesn’t stick to the sides or the bottom of the pot.
  6. The mix is ready when it comes off from the walls and the bottom of the pan.
  7. Pour it into a flat plate and put in the the fridge to cool for about 30 minutes.
  8. Take it out, grease your hands with butter. Scoop out some of the mixture and roll it into a one inch ball.
  9. Roll the ball in chocolate sprinkles, nuts, crushed oreo cookies or whatever you want. Place them in small candy liners.
  10. Put them in the fridge for another 15 minutes and ENJOY.
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Oreo, walnuts, and sprinkles

From the Box

Trader Joe’s came to Miami! After hearing about this place in almost every food blog I follow, I was  very excited when I heard the news, so I braved the traffic, the terrible parking, and the threats of having my car towed if I parked at Burger King, and made it to the fabled Trader Joe’s.

And instead of buying the organic vegetables and fresh fruits, what did I do? I spent a ridiculous amount of money on chips and snacks, how surprising.

Brownie Mix

One of my favorite buys was this cool box-brownie mix called Reduced Guilt Brownie Mix. And before you start judging me, this is no ordinary brownie mix. It’s a ‘healthy version’–or as healthy as you can get with sugar and chocolate–and all you have to add is yogurt. That’s right, no oil, no butter, and no eggs.

And to add to the ‘cool factor,’ it has instructions to make individual brownies in the microwave. Two tablespoons of mix, one tablespoon of yogurt, zap it for 45 seconds, and BAM–you got yourself a brownie.

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You might still be skeptic, but these people know what they’re doing, it was actually a pretty decent brownie.

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Thanksgiving and the day after

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last night was so fun! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday so I was really excited that we got to host it this year. We had like 25 people over and, like most Thanksgivings, we were rushing until the last-minute to get everything done. I’m usually on dessert duty, but Thanksgiving is the exception; this is the second year that I’ve been officially in charge of the turkey–no pressure.

But my loyalty is always with dessert–I’m thankful for my family, friends, and the blessings in my life, but I can’t lie– I’m also thankful for cream cheese frosting. Fittingly,my sister made an amazing red-velvet and we also had pumpkin cake, pecan pie, apple pie, and ice cream. I was so busy I forgot to take pictures, but I promise they were to die for.

So to redeem myself (and to satisfy my constant need to bake) I made some strawberry mini-muffins this morning. Perfect for a post-thanksgiving breakfast– they were light, tangy, and delicious.

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Finding your “Go-To” Recipe

When you’re the official baker in your house, like I am, there are usually a couple of recipes that are requested time and time again. For me, that’s chocolate chip cookies.

I’m very particular about chocolate chip cookies–they have to be very chocolatey and must stay chewy even after they cool. (Although I’ve been known to break my rules when I get a request for crispy chocolate chip cookies now and again.)

After trying what seems like hundreds of recipes and different techniques, I’ve finally found one that works every time. And the best part about finding your perfect recipe, is that after perfecting it, you can get creative and add different ingredients–white chips, nuts, berries, and my favorite alteration: M&Ms.

M&M Cookies

The best part about chocolate chip cookies is how versatile they are, there’s no wrong way to make them. So go ahead and bake some, your “go-to” recipe is out there somewhere, I promise.

P.S. Here are two of my favorite recipes: Alton Brown’s The Chewy Recipe and How Sweet it Is rainbow cookies (which are the ones I made in the pictures above.) Give them a try and tell me what you think..

The Quest for the Perfect Marble Pound Cake

So if you ask my friends and family one thing I’m really annoying about and they’ll tell you: my obsession with Starbuck’s Marble Pound Cake.

As a kid I didn’t really like desserts with all the cream and the syrups, but one thing I always liked was pound cake, and to this day there is nothing more comforting than a big piece of plain old pound cake. (You don’t want to know how many times I’ve considered baking a whole cake and eating it with a fork–dark times.)

I know I’m probably biased, but mom makes the best vanilla pound cake in the world, and her marble cake is delicious too (she has always used milk chocolate powder for the chocolate part instead of cocoa powder.) But then I tried the marble pound cake from Starbucks. I know my ultimate guilty pleasure should be some fancy baked good from some French bakery, but those people at Starbucks just really know how to get you hooked.

Anyway, ever since then I’ve been trying different marble cake recipes in search for one that can compare. It needs to be moist but compact, and very chocolatey.

So today, in one of my horrible moments of procrastination, I came across a recipe that looked promising. I’m all about the visual, and this one looked delicious. I had to try it.

So I decided to bake, at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night. Told you I was obsessed.

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Anyway, the recipe was amazing, very moist and chocolatey. The addition of the almond paste really gave it a surprising flavor. I highly recommend it, it’s definitely bookmarked for future use. Look how pretty.

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But although it’s pretty much one of the best marble cakes I’ve ever tried, it’s still not what I’m looking for.

My quest will continue… I’ll keep you posted.