In Belgium there is a fairly big Brazilian community. There is an estimate that around 25,000 Brazilians live in the country. A big community has good points such as the accessibility to brazilian products.
It is quite easy to find most of the things I miss. There is quite large supermarket where you can find food items such as meat (picanha), soft drinks (guaraná) and cheese (queijo mineiro). I will talk about these things and the supermarket itself in the future.
Even though a lot of good stuff can be found, there are certain specific delicacies that don´t exist in Belgium. For these items, the only escape is wait the visit of friends or relatives to bring them over or adventure yourself in the dangerous waters of cooking.
The main thing I miss is the “Bolo de Rolo”. This is a very very very local sweet cake from the city I come from:
The red part of the cake is melted guava hard jam. Guava is a tropical fruit very common in the Northeast of Brazil.
The white part is a simple sugary dough of flour, eggs, butter and sugar. The overall taste of the cake is the mix between this very sweet white part and the sharp guava. The final detail is the powdered sugar over the cake.
I am not a good cake baker, but researching for this article I discovered that doing a Bolo de Rolo is simpler than I expected. I think I will try to do one this weekend as most of the ingredients can be found locally. If anyone is interest in trying to do a Bolo de Rolo here is the recipe (source is http://terramagazine.terra.com.br/interna/0,,OI4540361-EI6614,00-Bolo+de+rolo+nao+e+rocambole.html):
250 g sugar
250 g butter
250 g wheat flour
½ can of goiabada (this is a brazilian guava sweet – like a solid jam – it can be bough on brazilian stores)
1 glass of water
½ cup of sugar
Mix the sugar and the butter. Add the yolks of the eggs one by one. Add the wheat flour, salt and mix it slowly. Add the beaten egg whites and mix it.
Divide the resulting dough in 5 pieces and put it in different baking trays that have been greased with butter and wheat flour. Bake it in a hot oven ( aha! this might be the problem … for how long? I saw a recipe that suggests 5 minutes at medium temperature. What temperature is medium 150, 180?). It also mentions to bake one at a time, but I think that two at a time will be fine on big ovens.
Prepare the guava paste by mixing the goiabada (brazilian hard jam), water and sugar in a mixer. Boil it until it becomes a homogenous cream. Put it aside.
Take the first baked dough from the tray and put it in a towel with sugar. Cover it with the guava paste. Roll it and place the roll on the top of the second baked dough. Cover the second dough with guava paste and roll it again. Repeat for 3 more times. Sprinkle it with sugar and that´s it!
Hahaha, it seems so simple. I will try do one and take pictures. I will ask a chef friend I have for any additional tips. Next week (or the week after) I will put the results in the blog. Wish me luck 🙂