It happens that, sometimes, I find myself in the need of baking or cooking something for some special occasion, and yet I have absolutely no clue of what I intend to do exactly, or even the desire to do anything at all. I know... coming from me, it may sound a bit odd. But, even if seldom, it happens.
Such days are more often than not bound to culinary disaster, because the most important ingredient of all in every recipe I make is - and call it lame, I don't care - love.
Yes. It doesn't necessarily have to be the love for someone, though I must admit that cooking for people I care about does give it quite an extra kick and has a way to make everything taste its best! At the essence, there is always a passion for cooking and baking, that usually picks up impressions of specific ingredients, processes or textures that have been brewing in my mind for a while. I don't know... sometimes the desire to cook and bake is such a sudden rush to me... and other times I just have no appetite or inspiration for putting up anything in particular.
It's fine. Creativity and inspiration wouldn't be the same if they didn't have their ups and downs.
These days, let's call them the kitchen dilemma ones, I mostly try to convince myself to stick to some fool-proof recipe of mine. No matter if the recipe is actually followed or if I decide to turn on full-crazy mode and start changing everything, the outcome varies between turning a fool-proof recipe into a catastrophe and coming up with something not short from brilliant.
The latter normally happens when I decide to change everything and am lucky enough to have, at the same time, a big strike of inspiration and a huge one of luck. I may have a great idea on how to turn the whole thing upside down and on how to make it more interesting and challenging, but that also means that there is no guarantee it will work - at all. As far as one could tell, I could very well be left with nothing but disappointment - and a bunch of hungry mouths to feed!
We can say that last week I saw myself in the midst of this dilemma. I cooked and baked so much, and I was so inspired to do it all - cherry brioche, lasagna, tiramisú, oven baked chicken rice - yet at the end of the week I was absolutely not in the mood for cake, when I had put myself up to making one!
You see, it was my last day at the office, and I had decided that I would bake a nice chocolate cake and make some champanhada (sparkling sangria) to go with it. Yet I was finding the idea of a chocolate cake so dull... that I was not much motivated to bake it. It was not until I actually forced myself to put on an apron, take the big mixing bowls out of their cabinet and actually start mixing ingredients, that I begun having ideas on how to not follow the recipe to create something awesome.
My first idea was to make a Bolo Brigadeiro, a chocolate cake with a chocolate-caramel frosting. But I had two packages of mascarpone sitting on the fridge shelf - I confess, I had a tiramisu obsession during that week - and I intended to make them disappear. I also had a lot of cherry syrup that was left from the brioche, I had no regular milk - only cream, and I didn't want to use olive oil to bake this cake. So I basically replaced every single ingredient other than flour, sugar, eggs and leavening agents... and I must say that this was the best chocolate cake I've baked in a while!
I was really impressed to see that the texture came out just perfect, and the flavour was actually much better than that of the original recipe. I will definitely be making some more of these soon!!
This cake is extremely addictive and I have to say that if there is something left after a first round of serving, conflict is likely to arise on who is worthy of seconds. An actual fight may take place, and there won't be much need to clean the plate, because nothing - and I mean nothing - will be left in the end!
bolo de chocolate e cereja com recheio de mascarpone e mirtilhos e cobertura de brigadeiro.
uma receita irresistivelmente tentadora.
1 + 1/2 chávena de farinha
1 + 1/2 chávena de açúcar
125g de cacau magro em pó
1 colher de chá de bicarbonato de sódio
1 + 1/2 colher de chá de fermento em pó
1 colher de chá de sal
125ml de natas
1 colher de sopa de vinagre de vinho branco
75g de manteiga derretida
3 ovos M
200ml de sumo ou xarope de cereja
500g de mascarpone
1/2 a 1 chávena de açúcar em pó
2 colheres de sopa de xarope de baunilha
1 colher de sopa de xarope de ácer
1 colher de sopa de sumo de limão
100g de mirtilhos
400g de leite condensado
200g chocolate meio amargo
50g de mirtilhos
açúcar em pó para polvilhar
Pré-aquecer o forno a 170ºC. Untar uma forma de bolo de fundo amovível com cerca de 25 cm de diâmetro com manteiga e forrar o fundo com um círculo de papel vegetal à medida.
Num copo alto, misturar as natas e o vinagre. Deixar repousar.
Numa taça grande, misturar bem todos os ingredientes sólidos. Reservar.
Bater bem os ovos numa taça à parte. Juntar, à vez, a manteiga, as natas e o sumo de cereja, e bater até obter uma mistura homogénea.
Com uma espátula ou colher de pau, incorporar aos poucos os ingredientes líquidos nos sólidos.
Verter a massa dentro da forma e levar ao forno cerca de 40 minutos, ou até um palito introduzido no centro sair practicamente limpo.
Retirar do forno, desenformar e deixar arrefecer completamente.
Bater o mascarpone com o aroma de baunilha, o xarope de ácer e o sumo de limão. Juntar aos poucos o açúcar em pó, batendo entre adições. Bater bem até estar bem firme e sem grânulos de açúcar.
Com uma faca bem afiada, ou um instrumento próprio para o efeito, cortar o bolo em duas camadas iguais. Separar ambas e cobrir uma com o mascarpone. Dispor os mirtilhos sobre o mascarpone, deixando espaço entre estes e pressionando-os para que se afundem no creme. Cobrir o recheio com a segunda camada de bolo. Reservar no frio.
Levar o chocolate partido em pedaços e o leite condensado a lume médio, mexendo sempre, até obter uma mistura homogénea e espessa. Deixar arrefecer apenas um pouco. Retirar o bolo do frigorífico, cobrir com o creme de brigadeiro. Decorar com os restantes mirtilhos e deixar arrefecer. Por fim, polvilhar com açúcar em pó. Reservar no frio ou servir imediatamente.
chocolate cherry cake with mascarpone and blueberry filling and brigadeiro frosting.
an irresistibly tempting recipe.
1 + 1/2 cup flour
1 + 1/2 cup sugar
125g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 + 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
125ml heavy cream
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
75g melted butter
3 medium eggs
200ml cherry syrup or juice
1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp vanilla syrup
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp lemon juice
400g condensed milk
200g semisweet chocolate
powdered sugar to dust
Pre-heat oven at 170ºC. Grease a 25cm springform cake pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a tall glass, stir together the cream and vinegar. Let set.
In a big bowl, mix all solid ingredients. Set aside.
Cream eggs. Mix in butter, cream and cherry juice and beat until homogeneous.
Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, slowly incorporate the liquid mixture into the solid one.
Pour the batter inside the cake pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven, unmould and let cool completely.
Cream mascarpone with vanilla syrup, maple syrup and lemon juice. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar, beating between additions, until reaching a firm and granule-free texture.
With a sharp knife, or a special instrument, divide the cake in two layers. Separate both layers and cover one with the mascarpone. Spread the blueberries over it, pressing them lightly into the cream. Cover with the second layer of cake. Place in the fridge.
Heat the condensed milk and chopped chocolate over medium heat, stirring, until reaching an homogeneous and thick mixture. Let cool for some seconds. Remove the cake from the fridge and pour the filling over it. Decorate with remaining blueberries and let set. Finally, dust with some powdered sugar. Keep in the fridge until serving.