Yesterday Flavors of Brazil published a recipe for a peanut brittle-type candy from Brazil called pé-de-moleque. In that post, and in this post all about pé-de-moleque, it was specified that the recipe was for the "southern version" of pé-de-moleque, and that in the north and northeast of Brazil, the name pé-de-moleque was applied to something quite different.
In the more northerly regions of Brazil, locals apply the name pé-de-moleque to a rich and dense spice and nut cake. It's served with afternoon tea throughout the year, and is particularly associated with the Festas Juninas, the season of June festivals. During those festivals, homemade-style pé-de-moleque cake is served at fairs and dances throughout the region.
This cake is made not with wheat flour, as North American and European cooks are used to using, but with manioc flour - available for purchase ready-to-go as a dough in northern Brazil, similar to the ready-to-go pizza dough often available at Italian bakeries. As this dough is an essential ingredient, and it's unlikely that it can be found in North America, Europe or elsewhere, I'm including this recipe only for pure interest - don't try to make this substituting any other type of dough or flour as Flavors of Brazil won't be responsible for the results!
RECIPE - Pé-de-moleque (Ragamuffin's Foot), Northeastern Version
3 cups ground, roasted cashew nuts
2 1/2 cups boiling water
2 cups canned coconut milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 Tbsp. good-quality instant coffee
1/2 Tbsp. powdered cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground fennel
1/2 tsp. salt
2.2 lbs (1 kg) premixed manioc (macaxeira) dough
1 lb (500 gr) rapadura, cut into small pieces
Put the pieces of rapadura into a blender, pour the boiling water over, then blend at low speed until the sugar is completely dissolved. Be careful when blending hot liquids. Pour the mixture into a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the butter, the coffee, cinnamon, cloves and fennel. Stir to dissolve the butter, then reserve, letting cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
With a cake mixer, whip the eggs and salt together in a large mixing bowl until light and frothy. Add the manioc flour and blend with the beaten eggs using a wooden spoon. Using the cake mixer, on low speed, add the coconut milk gradually. Continue to mix until you have a homogenous batter. Turn off the cake mixer, add the dissolved rapadura, and stir in with the wooden spoon. Again using the mixer on low speed, beat the batter, gradually adding the ground cashew nuts.
Generously grease a tube-style cake pan with unsalted butter. Pour in the batter, then cook on a center rack for approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Remove from heat, let cool partially in pan, then turn out onto a cake rack to cool completely. If desired, decorate with whole roasted cashew nuts.
Recipe translated and adapted from NordesteWeb.