Greetings from Brazil! Yea, I know I'm just sitting here at home in my pajamas, but please humor me! :)
It's very nice here! The beaches are beautiful, though I wish everyone would stop staring at me as if I were some sort of alien. It's like they have never seen a person wearing onesie culottes and a bathing cap before.
Anyway, we just cannot go to Brazil and not listen to some cool Bossa Nova. If you would like to play some ambiance music and sway from side to side on your chair while you listen to The Girl from Ipanema, just hit play on the little gadget below. Sway. Sigh. Repeat.
(Sorry, the music widget doesn't seem to work anymore)
On to the food! After much research I decided to make some Coxinhas, which are Mock Chicken Drumsticks. Not mock chicken, but mock drumsticks. From Wikipedia: Coxinhas are "made from shredded chicken and spices (occasionally including Catupiry-style cheese), enclosed in wheat flour—variants made from potato or manioc are also common--batter, and deep fried. It is shaped to roughly resemble a chicken drumstick, and sometimes a toothpick is inserted where the bone would be."
Wrapped in dough? Breaded? Fried? I'm in! Chicken? Mmmnothanks. I thought about making a mushroom filling, but after lots of self-debating I decided to go with a tofu filling. Mock, mock chicken drumsticks!
The recipes that I used for inspiration are this one and this one. The step by step photos were very helpful, and even though both recipes are for traditional chicken coxinhas, they were very easy to adapt and use little tofu cubes instead.
The verdict? Meh. Coxinhas definitely have potential, but the dough was not enjoyable for me. Next time I will just make a pot pie dough/crust instead. The filling was very tasty, and you can't go wrong with a breadcrumb coating, but the dough was too... doughy.
The coxinhas were a mild disappointment, but the chocolates sure were heavenly!
Who wants some Brigadeiros? I cannot begin to tell you how deliciously addictive these are. They are soft and creamy and smooth and sweet and chocolaty and... *sigh*. They are little chocolate balls made with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter. This was a big challenge because I had to make my own dairy-free condensed milk. Recipe here. I tried to make these a total of four times! Though I only made half a recipe each time. Hmmm. That still sounds pretty crazy.
The first time that I tried to make them they were a complete failure! The condensed milk didn't cook long enough, which caused the chocolate mixture to remain gooey and soft even after a whole day in the fridge. Not to worry, no food goes to waste here and after a wave of my magic wand they became a tiny batch of brownies.
The second time? Complete failure #2! I overcooked the condensed milk and the chocolate mixture became hard as a rock only after a few minutes in the fridge. Grrr!!! Not to worry, no food goes to waste here and after a wave of my magic wand they became a tiny batch of brownies. (Déjà vu!)
The third time? They were delicious... and perfect! But I had cheated and used a cacao baking bar instead of the cocoa powder. Don't judge, I was scared and beat down by the mighty condensed milk from hell. (this was my favorite batch by the way)
The fourth time? I followed the recipe very faithfully (using non-dairy ingredients), I used cocoa powder this time and they were a complete success. Fourth time is a charm!
The only thing that I didn't do was roll the brigadeiros in chocolate sprinkles, because I am not a fan of sprinkles. Whoa. Millions of children all over the world just *gasped* and they have no idea why. I rolled them in coconut flakes and drizzled some melted chocolate chips all over them.
I also dipped some in melted chocolate, no coconut...
So perfect for Valentine's Day! Ooey gooey inside...
My stay in Brazil was very productive and I leave this country as an expert brigadeiro maker. Even though the coxinhas weren't the most delicious thing I've ever eaten, they inspired me to play with the concept and try a different dough and different fillings.
Has the E.A.T World bug bit you yet? Check out Mike's first entry of awesomeness! If you are already acquainted with Mike's blog, Vegan for the People, then you already know that he is no stranger to delicious international cuisine. For E.A.T World, Mike started off in Vietnam with a very informative post about Pho that is full of mouth-watering pictures like this one:
OK, I have to get out of this beach before people start pointing and laughing. See you next time from my next destination! Here's a hint: Ricky Ricardo!