Wednesday, February 3, 2010

RECIPE - Camafeu de Nozes (from FENADOCE)

Here is another traditional sweet from Brazil's FENADOCE - the National Sweets Fair - held in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sol. It derives, like so many treats from this region, from the recipes brought by immigrants from Portugal and goes back to the recipes followed in the convents of that country.

The name of this dish, Camafeu de Nozes, translates in English as "walnut cameos" and it's easy to see from the photo above how this sweet got its name. The oval shape, the white color of the sweet itself, and the piece of walnut decorating the top are all reminiscent of cameo lockets from former times.

This recipe is easy to make and the sweets are absolutely delicious. A tray of camafeus, decorated and wrapped, makes a wonderful present at Christmas-time or on any other occasion.

RECIPE - Camafeu de Nozes (from FENADOCE)

3 cups granulated sugar
1 lb. (450 gr.) ground walnuts
1 1/2 cups milk
5 egg yolks
1 lb. (450 gr.) confectioner's sugar (icing sugar)
1 tsp. butter
shelled walnut halves to decorate
In a large heavy saucepan combine the granulated sugar, the ground walnuts, 1 cup of the milk, and the egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, constantly stirring with a wooden or plastic spoon, until the mixture thickens and comes away from the bottom and the sides of the saucepan.

Spoon the mixture onto a cookie sheet, and let cool. Once cooled, use your hands, to form the mixture into small 1" (2 cm.) oval rolls. Return the rolls to the cookie sheet.

In a double-boiler, combine the confectioner's sugar, the remaining 1/2 cup milk and the butter, and cook over medium heat until combined and smooth.

Dip each small oval into the confectioner's sugar mix, and place on wax paper to dry. Carefully place one walnut half on each oval. Allow the camafeus to dry thoroughly before removing from wax paper.

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