Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Brazil Nut Cake

  It seems that behind many a recipe there lies a story....this is no exception.
  In 2014 I went to visit some online friends in Belém, Brazil.  While there we went to the famed Ver-o-Peso Market where I spotted huge bags of Castanha-do-Pará (Brazil nuts) for next to nothing.  Never being able to pass up a bargain (thanks to my late father...lol) I bought a big bag to bring home...
  Okay...the only time I ever saw Brazil nuts growing up was at Christmastime when they would be sitting there, like an oversized member of the nut family, amongst the almonds, pecans and walnuts.  Being the most difficult nut to crack, they wouldn't be eaten as often as their cousins.  So, I had little idea as to what to do with so many of them!  I stashed the bag in the freezer and set about looking to see what people did with them in their native region.
  If there is anything I love more than baking it's baking something that is new and different, so I was very happy to find recipes for Brazil nut cakes!  After playing around with the recipes, I came up with one that I was satisfied with.  Be sure to toast the nuts to bring out the flavor of these South American gems!

Brazil Nut Cake

200 gr butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup coarsely ground Brazil nuts

Powdered sugar
1/2 cup ground Brazil nuts

  Preheat oven to 350°F and roast 1 1/3 cups whole Brazil nuts on a rimmed baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly toasted shaking the pan half way through to assure uniform toasting.
Remove pan from oven and let nuts cool.
  Pulse cooled nuts in a food processor until coarsely ground and set aside.
  Increase oven heat to 375°F
  Generously butter and flour a tube or bundt cake pan and set aside.
  Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
  Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time incorporating completely after each addition.  Add vanilla. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.
  Alternately, add flour mixture and yogurt beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Scrape into prepared cake pan and level off.
  Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes.   Lower heat to 350°F and bake an additional 40 to 45 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean.
  Cool on a rack and unmold cake.
  Sift powdered sugar on top followed by ground Brazil nuts.
  Serve plain or with whipped cream.

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