Brazilian bakes & candies

Think of Brazil and no doubt the usual plethora of images will spring to mind- sundrenched beaches, feather-bedecked soca dancers and copious churrascaria. What doesn’t come to mind is a wealth, and often unexplored world, of baking. From breads to cakes to sweet treats there’s no shortage of tasty culinary treats to try.

So you may be asking yourself how does a Irish native, now resident in Canada, come to be waxing lyrical on all bakes Brazilian? I recently made the acquaintance of a native Brazilian via the wonders of a social media. A mutual bond over adoption matters, cultural appreciation (makes a change to hear those two words together huh?) and adventures in food was formed, and here we are! Insight from someone who grew up in a culture always trumps even the best research you can do. There is something satisfying about knowing that this is how “it” actually is, in everyday life, rather than some interpretation of “it” from the vaults of some Lonely Planet-esque archives.

The recipes here are essentially in two parts- bakes and sweets. The Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheesebread) is definitely worth trying out. Served warm from the oven they are an ideal breakfast morsel, or even snack through the day. Freezer-friendly and gluten-free they are also a handy reserve should any gluten intolerant friends swing by. The Pudim de Queijo and Bolo de Fuba Cremoso share a common theme in that they are both prepared making use of a tall blender. Apparently this is a common feature in Brazilian baking as stand mixers are not that common. For the Pudim de Queijo think creme caramel and Catalan flan. To be honest though to hold it in comparison is to do the Pudim injustice. The addition of the cheese to the flan mixture rescues it from the overpowering (and somewhat cloying) sweetness to which it’s European counterparts often fall prey. Cheese also a feature in the recipe for Bolo de Fuba Cremoso. When baked the combination of cheese, cornmeal and coconut result in veritable kitchen alchemy that allows for a crispy topping, smooth interlayer and deliciously crumbly base. Believe me, once you try a slice of this alongside a strong coffee, breakfast will never be the same again!

The Dochinos de Leite Moca here are all variations on a theme of Brazilian candies. Made using boiled sweetened condensed milk they are sure to prove popular not only with the little ones in your life but all the grown-ups. The final sweets will usually keep for a week in a container in the refrigerator. These dainty mouthfuls of scrumptuous sweetness look  (and taste) like they required hours of kitchen toil instead of the mere minutes needed in reality. The longest part is the cooling time! I cannot emphasis how much these candies are worth the minimal effort.

Pao de Queijo (8)

Pao de queijo

Makes approximately 40


  • 500g cassava starch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 400g grated cheese (150g Gruyère; 150g mozzarella; 100g sharp red cheddar such as Red Leicester)
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line 2 cookie baking trays with baking parchment
  2. In a bowl mix the Gruyère and mozzarella cheeses, Set aside until needed
  3. Combine the water & oil in a pan and bring to boil over heat
  4. Place cassava starch in a bowl of a stand mixer
  5. With the mixer running, carefully pour over boiling liquid in stages and mix to combine
  6. Leave to cool, until you can touch the side of the bowl
  7. With the mixer running, add in eggs one at a time
  8. Add in the Gruyère/ mozzarella cheese mix in thirds and mix until combine.
  9. Remove the dough from the bowl and fold/lightly knead in the sharp cheddar.
  10. Roll dough into 3cm wide sausage shape
  11. Cut into smaller 1 inch pieces and roll into balls using wet hands
  12. Place the dough balls on lined baking trays, spacing about 2 inches between
  13. Bake at 400F for 20mins until puffed and lightly golden

– The baked rolls/ puffs are best eaten straight away, after cooling slightly.

*Once the dough had been shaped into balls, they can be frozen in a bag or under cling wrap and baked from frozen. Bake in a 400F preheated oven for 30 mins until puffed and lightly golden

Pao de Queijo (1)

Pudim de Queijo (3)

Pudim de queijo

Makes 1, serves 12



  • 1 cup fine sugar
  • 1 cup of water


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can (300ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can whole  milk (use the same can as sweetened condensed milk to measure)
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a pan over a medium heat combine the water and fine sugar.
  3. Increase heat and bring to the boil, without stirring, for about 10mins. The liquid should thicken and turn a deep amber color
  4. When the liquid has turned deep amber, remove from heat and pour into an 8inch circular baking pan
  5. In a blender mix the condescended milk and milk for 2 mins
  6. Add in eggs and mix to blend again for 2 mins
  7. Add the Parmesan cheese and mix for a further 2 mins
  8. Pour into prepared caramel pan and place the filled baking pan in deep roasting tray large enough to take the pan
  9. Cover the filled pan with aluminium foil, and fill the roasting tray with water to at least 3/4 level with the pan
  10. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 50 mins
  11. After the aluminium foil from the pan and continue to bake for a further 10 mins
  12. Remove the baked pudding from the oven and the roasting tray. Leave to completely
  13. Turn the cooked pudding out by placing a large plate on top of the pudding and quickly inverting. It may requirement a gentle shake for it to come out
  14. Keep the turned out pudding refrigerated until serving

Pudim de Queijo (6)

Bolo de Fuma Cremoso (3)

Bolo de fubá cremoso

Makes 1 , serves 12


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups fine sugar
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder



  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. In a large bowl add the fine sugar, cornmeal, flour, shredded coconut and mix to combine
  3. In a large blender combine the eggs, milk, melted butter, and baking powder, Parmesan cheese and mix until well combined
  4. Pour the liquid mixture in to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir/whisk gently to combine well
  5. Pour to cake batter (which will be quite running into a 9inch spring-form cake pan
  6. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 mins until the top of the cake is golden brown and the sides pull away from the pan
  7. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely in the pan before removing the pan collar
  8. This cake goes particularly well with a strong, early morning coffee

Bolo de Fuma Cremoso (1)

Dochinos (2)

Dochinos de Leite Moca

Each recipe makes between 15-20

This little sweet bites were traditionally served at children’s parties, are astoundingly easy to make and even better to eat!



  • 300ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 egg yolk

To finish

  • A selection of chocolate sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles to finish


  1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and loosens from the pan. (It will take between 8-10 mins)
  2. Pour the hot mixture into a heat-proof bowl and leave to cool to room temperature
  3. When the mixture has cooled , grease your hands with oil and shape a teaspoon of the mixture into a round ball shape in your hands
  4. Roll the ball of mixture in sprinkles of your choice to coat and place on a lined baking sheet
  5. When all the brigadeiro have been rolled transfer the baking sheet to the fridge and allow the to chill and firm for at least 2 hours




  • 300ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 1egg yolk

To finish

  • 100g unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Whole cloves (optional)


  1. Combine the milk and egg yolk in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and loosens from the pan. (It will take between 8-10 mins)
  2. Pour the hot mixture into a heat-proof bowl and leave to cool to room temperature
  3. When the mixture has cooled , grease your hands with oil and shape a teaspoon of the mixture into a round ball shape in your hands
  4. Roll the ball of mixture in the shredded coconut to coat and place on a lined baking sheet. Stud each beijinho with a whole clove
  5. When all the beijinho have been rolled, transfer the baking sheet to the fridge and allow the to chill and firm for at least 2 hours




  • 300ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 30g unsweetened shredded coconut

To finish

  • Fine sugar
  • Roasted peanut halves


  1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and loosens from the pan. (It will take between 8-10 mins)
  2. Pour the hot mixture into a heat-proof bowl and leave to cool to room temperature
  3. When the mixture has cooled , grease your hands with oil and shape a teaspoon of the mixture into a “horn” shape in your hands
  4. Roll the cajuzinho in fine sugar  to coat, stud the larger end with a peanut half and place on a lined baking sheet
  5. When all the cajuzinho have been rolled,  transfer the baking sheet to the fridge and allow the to chill and firm for at least 2 hours

Dochinos (5)


Sweet dreams are made of these…

Hello again! Now you may think that in my absence I have been swanning around rubbing shoulders with all sorts of celebrities- I wish! In actual fact I have been locked away in my hot and steamy kitchen baking up a storm on some rather new and exciting (well I think so!) flavours. The wonderful folk over at Hope and Greenwood have been terribly generous in sending me some wonderful gifts of their sweet goodies and I thought it only right try out some of them out in baking.

We all know cupcakes are my love so it’s only fitting that I should start there. Not one but two of varieties of cupcake would be inspired by Hope and Greenwood and feature one of their delightful sugary treats.

First out of the starting blocks is my “Salty Dog” cupcake: vanilla sponge studded with chocolate chips and fudge pieces, hiding a salted caramel centre, topped with vanilla buttercream frosting and finished with a H&G Salt Caramel Fudge piece and caramel drizzle. The oozing caramel centre mixing with the salty/ sweet tang of the fudge piece is a marriage made in confection heaven.

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Salty Dog cupcakes feat. Hope and Greenwood Salt Caramel Fudge


My next cupcake again features the sublime flavour of salted caramel- well, you can never have too much of a good thing can you? The “Caramel Crunch” a decidedly moreish cupcake of vanilla and honeycomb sponge with a duo of chocolate and caramel buttercream frosting, all topped with a golden nugget of Miss Kitty and Mr. G’s best Salt Caramel Honeycomb.

"Caramel Crunch" cupcakes feat. Hope & Greenwood Salt Caramel Honeycomb.

“Caramel Crunch” cupcakes feat.
Hope & Greenwood Salt Caramel

Not wanting to be completely biased towards cupcakes I also added brownies into the mix. The inspiration for my “Raspberry Ruffle” brownies came from the sweet of the same name- an indulgent mix of chocolate, coconut and raspberry. A fruity Bounty bar for all intents. So I combined a rich chocolate and coconut brownie with a luscious raspberry cheesecake swirl topping and studded it with Raspberry Jam Coconut Ice from H&G’s kitchen. Never has a brownie tasted so naughty!

"Raspberry Ruffle" brownie feat. Hope & Greenwood's Raspberry Jam Coconut Ice

“Raspberry Ruffle” brownie feat.
Hope & Greenwood’s Raspberry Jam Coconut Ice

For the piece de résistance I chose to work with a new product recently launched from the confectioners extraordinaire. Hope and Greenwood’s new Almond Brittle with Himalayan Sea salt definitely raises the confectionery bar to a new high. Sweet almonds encased in sugary amber have a delectable crunch and a sprinkling of hand-harvested pink Himalayan rock salt and chilli give an unexpected Wonka-esque tongue tingling sensation. A sweet like this definitely deserved some A-grade treatment. With this in mind I set about and created my Caramelised White Chocolate and Tonka Bean tart, with Almond Brittle fringe. What’s more (and as promised!) I’ve included the recipe. It’s a fabulous dessert whose sophisticated and rich taste belies it’s simplicity. This is sure to become a favourite in my house!

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Caramelised White Chocolate & Tonka Bean tart, with Hope & Greenwood Almond Brittle Fringe

Caramelised White Chocolate & Tonka Bean Tart, with Almond Brittle Fringe

For the base:

200g Ratifia biscuits

100g unsalted butter, cubed

For the filling:

200g White chocolate (min. 30% cocoa butter)

25g unsalted butter

300ml double cream

2 Tonka beans, finely grated

For the decoration:

300ml double cream, whipped

75g Hope & Greenwood Almond Brittle with Himalayan Sea-salt


  • Preheat oven to 120C/100C fan.
  • Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until beginning to turn to crumbs, then add the butter and whiz again to make the mixture clump.
  • Press this mixture into a 23cm / 9 inch loose-bottomed tart tin; press a little up the sides to form a slight ridge.
  • Place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.
  • Break up the chocolate into pieces and put it on baking tray.
  • Place the baking tray in the preheated oven and bake, giving it a good stir every 10 mins, until it’s a light golden brown. Take the chocolate out when it is the color of peanut butter. If chocolate should start to look chalky or grainy, give it a good, brisk stir and it should return to normal.  Scrape the chocolate into a bowl and set aside.
  • In a saucepan add the grated tonka beam to the double cream and heat until just under boiling.
  • Remove from the heat and add in the caramelised white chocolate and stir until it is fully melted and incorporated.
  • Leave to cool for about 10 mins by which time it should start to thicken.
  • After the cooling time pour the caramelised white chocolate cream into the crumb base.
  • Place in a fridge to set for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
  • When set, remove the tart from the fridge and pipe a “fringe” of whipped cream around the edge.
  • Break the almond brittle into bite-sized pieces and stud the whipped cream fringe all around.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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I do hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip to the “Sweet Shop” and feel intrigued enough to try out not only my recipe but also some of the goodies from Hope & Greenwood.

In the meantime,

“Remember Mom’s the word- that’s Mr. Mom’s!”

OMG! Candy TDF!!!

I recently had the pleasure of coming across the wonderful people at TaffyMail . If you haven’t heard of them and if (like me!) you’re partial to a bit of sweetness, they’re well worth a try.

Taffy Mail Image
For a monthly “subscription” of £14.99 you get a surprise selection (don’t we all love surprises?) of 10-12 American candies and sweets. It’s not just limited to sweets though- some deliveries will include sodas and drinks from across the pond too. That works out at about £1.25 per item of candy which is ALOT cheaper than what I’ve seen them retail for in some of the larger supermarkets. Whether your looking for something familiar or in a more adventurous mood there’s sure to be something here for you.

My recent TaffyMail delivery was their “Festive box”. Inside were “Holiday Season” goodies including Reese’s Peanut tree; Candycane white chocolate Hersey’s kisses; fruit flavored Ike & Mike and “Holiday Punch” selection of Wonka “Nerds” to name but a few. The Nerds were by far the hit for me. Flashbacks from childhood erupting with each sugar-filled mouthful. The combination of Watermelon and Wild Cherry flavours (what they have to do with the festive season I’ll never know?!?) provided mouth-puckeringly goodness made all the better because you know it’s so very wrong but oh so right!

The only let down in my selection was the can of lemon tea that arrived. Called “Arizona” it lacked the slightly tart kick that I love from a fruit iced tea. Instead it had a sacarine laced flavour which left my teeth, disappointing, feeling rather “furry”. All in all a minor flaw in what otherwise was a TranAtlantic box of delights full of giddy nostalgia (for some reason American sweets were widely available in my native Ireland).
Love the idea of “Oooh”-ing and “Aaaah”-ing as you open the box and then giggling like a school kid caught in a sugar-rush? Well head on over to TaffyMail’s website and subscribe. In fact the team there have been so generous as to offer my readers a discount. How’s that for a sweet start to the year!?! Enter the discount code MRMOMS as your coupon code when subscribing and you’ll get the next 3 months for @12.99 instead of the standard subscription of £14.99.