Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ant's House Cake, aka "Bolo Formigueiro"

_ I am not going to eat this cake - look, it is full of ants _ cried a very upset 4-year-old.
_ No, they are not ants, they are chocolate sprinkles  _ explained his 6-year-old brother.
_ But mom said it's a ant's house cake!!!! _ replied the 4-year-old.
At this point I had to stop their argument to give an explanation:
_ The cake is very popular in Brazil and people call it like this because they have a very funny sense of humor! Look, they really look like ants... - I said.

They were happy. And got happier when I covered the whole cake with chocolate sauce, and finally more chocolate sprinkles. They found out that the cake is the perfect fit for a picnic. Or maybe even for a special breakfast!

The cake perfumed the whole house, and finally we ate it together during a very noisy mother's day breakfast celebrated last Sunday (in my bed). My mother, who lives in Rio, was very happy to see us eating the cake through Skype. The recipe she uses is slightly different from this. But I guess this is just right -- probably everyone has their own version. And I can't wait to visit Rio and taste more delicious versions of this amusing cake.

Ant's House Cake (Bolo Formigueiro)

This is adapted from the recipe I found at the Brazilian Nestlé website. The original calls for more sugar, orange juice, and less time in the oven. Next time I bake it I will also add some canola oil. The way it is now is perfect for being dipped in a glass of milk or to served with tea or coffee.

4 eggs, separated
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup mango juice (or purée diluted in some water)
1 cup dark chocolate sprinkles
1 1/2 cups dehydrated unsweetened coconut

6 tablespoons Ghirardelli milk chocolate powder
1 cup 2% fat milk
1/2 cup sugar
More sprinkles to top

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a fluted cake pan with butter and then flour.

In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Add yolks, one by one. With the mixer still on, gradually add sugar. Sift flour and baking powder, and add slowly to the mix, and then add a bit of the juice, alternating dry and wet ingredients. Turn mixer off and slowly fold sprinkles and coconut into the batter.

Transfer batter to the pan and bake for about 40 minutes. While the cake is in the oven, prepare sauce. In a small saucepan add milk, chocolate powder, and sugar and simmer until very reduced and thick enough to coat the cake. Pour over the cake while it's still hot, and add more sprinkles.


Tamara Schipper said...

Que delícia de celebração!!! Parabéns, mamãe. bjs

Anna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna said...

How to nice to see you around here Tamara. It was really a nice celebration, I hope we can bake one together sometime here in California!


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