The whole department got together for this celebration. Each class made a presentation and everyone brought something.
My class did a presentation on Don Pedro I. He was the son of the King of Portugal and he is the person who declared Brazil's independence from Portugal with the phrase "Independencia ou Morte" (Independence or Death). We re-enacted the scene - complete with crowns, swords and a lovely gown for the queen (thank you J.!).
I decided to bring a very traditional Brazilian dessert - Bolo de Cenoura com Chocolate. It's Brazilian Carrot Cake with Chocolate. It's very different from the carrot cake that is usually served in the United States. I've put the recipe below and here's a link to it in English and in Portuguese.
The recipe is unusual (for me) in that it's made primarily in the blender. Of course most of my cooking things are in storage waiting our arrival in Recife. So I had to make do - I'm so glad I had packed my smoothie maker! But I don't have a tube pan so I adjusted the cooking times and put it into a 9 x 13.
The batter with the carrots is the most lovely color.
And since my smoothie maker only holds so much - I had to switch to my big bowl to add the eggs.
Here it is out of the oven
The original recipe's chocolate sauce didn't quite work for me (the sugar seized up and it didn't reach the proper consistency. So I made some modifications in the recipe below. The finished cake was quite tasty and reminded me of a pound cake. The carrot just blends in to everything and if you didn't know it was there - you wouldn't guess it.
And the final product - ready for the party and very tasty. Viva o Brasil!
Bolo de Cenoura com Chocolate
3 medium sized carrots, cut up
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 F and butter and flour a cake pan.
In a blender (or smoothie maker), blend the carrots, oil and eggs until smooth. Mix the dry ingredients together and then mix into the dry ingredients into the wet. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in the oven for 30 to 40 or until golden brown and done. (If you use a 9 x 13 it will take a bit longer to cook the inside.) Let cool and then unmold and top with Chocolate Topping.
Chocolate Topping (adapted)
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk or cream
Put everything in a saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar melts and it has a smooth consistency. Pour over the cake.