Thursday, March 3, 2011

RECIPE - Bolinhos de Coco (Coconut "Cupcakes")

In translating the Portuguese name for this delicious coconut dessert, I've opted to put the word cupcakes in quotation marks. The word bolinhos does mean cupcakes, but to me these aren't, in fact, what I would call a cupcake, although they do look like them. This recipe does not include any flour at all (as a matter of fact it's gluten-free, if that's of importance to you). To my way of thinking, cake of any sort is a flour-based confection, and without flour it's not really a cake.

But whether you call them coconut cupcakes or coconut puddings or just plain bolinhos, you'll find making these to be simplicity itself, and the cakes themselves something that almost every eater adores - except for those few who just don't like anything with coconut. They do exist.

The recipe can be made with packaged unsweetened grated coconut, but will taste even better if it's made with freshly grated coconut. Grating fresh coconut increases the work-factor considerably for the dish, but dramatically increases the flavor. Special utensils for grating coconuts can often be found in Asian and Latin markets, but a standard box-grater can be used successfully too. Just remember to use the side with smaller holes.
RECIPE - Bolinhos de Coco (Coconut "Cupcakes")
Makes 10

4 whole eggs, free-range if possible
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
5 oz (150 gr) grated coconut, if packaged, unsweetened
1 Tbsp. grated lime peel, green part only
pinch of salt
unsalted butter at room temperature for greasing muffin tin
 Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Generously grease a non-stick silicone or metal muffin tin with butter. Reserve.

In a large copper or glass bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly until light and frothy. Reserve.

In another bowl, mix together the condensed milk and grated coconut. Stir in the lime peel, add a pinch of salt, then fold in the beaten eggs, making sure to completely blend the mixture without overblending.

Pour the coconut mixture equally into 10 sections of the muffin tin. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops become golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool in place.

When cooled to slightly warm or to room temperature, carefully unmold the "cupcakes" and serve immediately, or alternatively let cool completely and store refrigerated for up to one week. Allow to return to room temperature if they have been stored before serving.

Recipe adapted and translated from Mais Você Culinária by Rede Globo

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