Brazil has been trying to send me a message these past weeks.
First the Japoticabas fruited across the road, then my mate Claudia sent me a photo of her Aunt’s tree in Rio. The Japoticabas, or Brazilian Cherry, is a plant like I've never seen - the berries form on the trunk. Wacky Brazilian fruit.
Then my clever sister-in-law Erin was selected as the head physio for the Hockeyroos (Australia's female hockey team). So she’s off to the Olympics in Rio next year.
Then I came across a cake called Bolo de Cenoura. It’s a Brazilian carrot cake with chocolate icing. I know, it's an unlikely pairing, but wouldn’t you know it? Those wacky Brazilians are onto something.
Bearhands declared it the best cake in the world and it’s so easy to make I’ve rolled out a few over the past couple of weeks. It’s dairy-free (without the icing) so I even one for my mother-in-law’s birthday.
Bolo de Cenoura
For the cake
400g carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup oil (I’ve tried vegetable oil and coconut oil. I preferred the vegetable oil)
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups self raising flour
1 tbs baking powder
For the icing
2 tbs butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup instant hot chocolate powder
¾ cup milk
Preheat oven to 180 C. Prepare a cake tin.
Place the carrots, eggs, and oil in a blender. Process until carrots are finely chopped. Add the sugar and process to combine. Then add the flour and baking powder; and mix until well blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish - at this point it will look like a massive orange smoothie.
Bake at 180C for about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the icing by placing the butter, 1 cup sugar, instant hot chocolate drink mix, and milk in a pan. While stirring, heat to almost boiling over medium-high heat until mixture thickens. When the cake is done, remove from the oven and immediately spread the icing evenly over the top. It won't sit on the top but that's OK. It's supposed to soak into the cake - producing a delicious pudding-type texture.