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Passion Fruit Mousse (Mousse de Maracujá)


I cannot think of any simpler and easier dessert than Passion Fruit Mousse. This recipe was one of the first desserts I ever made - I was probably around 15 years-old. It really cannot get any easier than gathering ingredients, blending, refrigerating, serving. Can it? 

The flavors of this mousse are fresh and sweet, with a touch of tartness. For those unfamiliar with passion fruit, it is a very tart fruit - which makes it a great ingredient for desserts and sauces, and it is widely utilized in Brazilian cuisine. 

This 3-ingredient dessert is very popular in Brazil. It is often served in shot glasses at parties for just a "taste" - as part of those big dessert tables that us, Brazilians, love to display at birthday parties and weddings. 

If you were looking for a super easy, delicate, and delicious dessert to serve at your summer gatherings with friends, look no further... Passion Fruit Mousse will make everyone happy!

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Chocolate Fudge Flan Cake (Brigadeirão)


It is so wonderful how much lately I have been coming across more and more people that have already tried (and loved) Brigadeiros! It really warms my heart to know that our traditional Brazilian desserts are conquering fans all over the globe :) Well, our sweets are really delicious and so many of them are pretty easy to make. It is the case of this Brazilian Chocolate Fudge Flan Cake – a decadent mousse-like dessert that was inspired in those little Brazilian fudge balls.

In Brazil, we call it Brigadeirão – pronounced with that very heavy intonation towards the end that only Portuguese speaking people can say… Despite the crazy name, this gluten-free flan cake is the perfect dessert for chocolate lovers. It’s simple to make, but it requires a little bit of planning ahead since it has to be chilled for at least 6 hours before it is unmolded. Take a look…

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Pumpkin-Coconut Balls (Beijinho de Abóbora com Coco)


I love to live in the US, but I especially love to be here at this time of year! It’s so wonderful to experience the preparations for Thanksgiving, to watch the beautiful change of fall colors, and to eat all sorts of pumpkin recipes!!

Pumpkin is an ingredient that I really enjoy, and it is so great to be able to share some new uses of it based on my Brazilian cooking background.

Pumpkin and coconut is a very popular (and super delicious!) combination of ingredients in Brazilian cuisine. We make cakes, pies, ice cream, compotes and so on using this mixture.

So my Pumpkin-Coconut Balls are inspired in another Brazilian dessert: the “Beijinho” (translates to “Little Kisses”) which is a Coconut Ball. These kinds of sweets - rolled small balls - are commonly served at birthday parties in Brazil and everyone loves them! I think that the greatest advantage of serving these for large groups is the clean-up: no plates, serving utensils, forks or spoons are necessary – and that makes it a very practical idea for Thanksgiving. I think that the traditional pies have to be at the Thanksgiving table, but these could be a fun add-on to the dessert table. I guarantee it will be a hit!

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Bonbon Pie (Torta de Bombom Sonho de Valsa)


My Bonbon Pie was created around one very popular Brazilian chocolate candy named “Sonho de Valsa”. If either you are from or have been to Brazil, chances are that you know and love “Sonho de Valsa”.

This bonbon has a rich filling made of cashew cream, with a thin crunchy layer of wafer around it and another thin layer of silky milk chocolate covering it all. It is my favorite piece of candy and I used to always bring a few bags of “Sonho de Valsa” back with me when I visited home. Now, thanks to Amazon I can order online and always have it available – which can be seriously dangerous since I cannot resist but having one every day.

My Bonbon Pie is incredibly decadent! It has a crunchy crust on the bottom, topped with rich custard, pieces of “Sonho de Valsa”, smooth ganache and creamy whipped meringue. Each layer complement each other and, just like the chocolate candy “Sonho de Valsa”, I think it is so hard not to fall to the temptation: when I make this pie I have a slice every day! In fact, I had a large slice after lunch today. It was worth every single one of the calories!

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Quindim (Quindão)


This bright yellow and decadent custard has a curious name: Quindim. This super popular Brazilian dessert has its origins in Portugal – where sweets are commonly made of a mixture of egg yolks and sugar. The coconut was probably added during the 17th century by the African slaves (this explains the name of the dessert, which comes from the Bantu language). Portugal and some African regions have an enormous influence in Brazilian cuisine – and that is awesome!! 

Often baked in a cupcake pan, my Quindim is a recipe that I got from my mom and, technically, it should be called Quindão because it is baked in a large dish and served in slices.

Well, whatever you call it or wherever it comes from, one thing is for sure: this is delicious and easy to make! If you look at the picture closely, you will notice that there is a crust on the bottom of the custard. The great surprise is that the crust forms naturally on the bottom (or actually on the top, but it becomes bottom once the dessert is flipped). This crust adds an extra layer of texture without any added work! So we are talking about a 5 ingredients delight that all the effort that it takes is to place all ingredients in the blender, and then in the oven. Voila! Easy like that. Serve small slices, since this is a fairly rich dessert. Enjoy!

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Avocado Brigadeiros (Brigadeiro de Abacate)


Rich and sweet with a hint of lime, my Avocado Brigadeiros are super simple to make and definitely a crowd pleaser! The famous Brazilian chocolate bonbons called Brigadeiros were the sweets that inspired me to make this avocado version. Guess what else served as an inspiration for me? The Incredible Hulk – yes, he did! I know there is nothing sweet about Hulk’s personality, but my son really wanted a superhero party for his 4th birthday this year, so I created several different kinds of flavored Brigadeiros to go with the party theme. Of course that somehow the Incredible Hulk Brigadeiro would HAVE to be green! That’s how my delicious Avocado Brigadeiro was born! Kids and adults loved it, and my husband even said it was his favorite out all the other flavors I made!! Now, if you look at the picture above, you can definitely notice that its looks are classy enough to go with any party, and not necessary with just a crazy kid's party. So make it for your next event, but be sure to eat in no longer than 48 hours after the preparation time. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Flan


Pumpkin is a very popular ingredient in cakes and pies, but not many people know how wonderful it tastes when added to a flan. In Brazil, pumpkin flan is just yet another variation of a classic dessert. I like to think that anything goes well when mixed with a classic flan recipe, so it could not be any different for this one. Creamy, sweet, with a hint of cinnamon, this Brazilian dessert is a must try for pumpkin lovers. Serve with freshly shaved coconut flakes on top, adding a twist on this delicious and unusual fall recipe. I hope you enjoy!

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Pecan Flan


I took a break of almost four weeks from creating and posting recipes to work exclusively on the final steps of my cookbook. I have to confess that I really missed cooking and I could not wait to share my next recipe with you. Since I am currently in Brazil (I traveled here to mainly shoot the cover of my book) I thought I should share a recipe from my childhood. This dessert brings me back the memories of the days I used to spend in company of my good friend Geo, whose mom makes the best Pecan Flan in the world! Smooth just like a regular flan, this recipe has a little surprise: the chopped pecans form a slightly crunchy crust on the bottom. How? It happens naturally: the pecans tend to float towards the top during baking time; and when the flan is unmolded, they end up at the bottom forming a crust. This flan is one of the best desserts I have ever had growing up and I want to thank Geo and Tia Mara for sharing this delight with me, so I could share with you. Enjoy with your family and friends. Happy Easter!

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Passion Fruit Pie (Torta Mousse de Maracujá)


Light in texture, with a nice balance between sweetness and tartness, Passion Fruit Pie is a traditional Brazilian recipe, popular all over the country. In Brazil, the word “mousse” is frequently added to the dessert title because the texture of the filling is just as light as a mousse. The dough is very simple to make and it adds a nice crunchy bite to the combination. Sweet, tart, light, fluffy and crunchy, this pie has it all! If you haven’t tried passion fruit in desserts yet, I highly recommend this one. This is passion fruit at its best. Enjoy!

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Lime Meringue Flan (Pudim de Claras)


I grew up eating this delightful dessert: my mom used to make it a lot when I was a little girl growing up in Brazil. For me, this dessert tastes just like my childhood: sweet, with a hint of lime zest (to make it more exciting), and extremely light in texture! One more awesome thing: it has only 4 ingredients (and they can all be found at your regular grocery store - yeah!!! This time, I am not sending you to international markets to find ingredients). I made this family recipe for a small gathering with friends at my house, and they sure enjoyed it! I hope you enjoy it too!

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Dulce de Leche and Coconut Layer Cake


This “white canvas” cake has decadent layers of dulce de leche and coconut custard. The meringue that gives it an all-white look is flavored with fresh lime and it breaks the richness of the fillings beautifully. The other great thing about it is that it can be decorated to fit any party theme! Check out the pictures of the cute party for my son’s third birthday and how easily this cake became a “construction site” cake! It was so much fun!

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Strawberry Shortcake – Brazilian Style (Torta Gelada de Morangos)


This Brazilian-style Strawberry Shortcake has a decadent layer of home-made condensed milk custard. Impossible to resist!

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Banana-Caramel Meringue Pie


Dulce de Leche, bananas and meringue are a delicious and rich combination, but the lime zest adds a citrous bite and makes it irresistible! This pie is super easy and super delicious!!! Serve with vanilla ice cream on the side, if you wish. 

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Coconut Flan


It takes only 5 ingredients to make this delcious South American delight. Simply delicious!

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Chocolate Cheesecake with Passion Fruit Sauce


Passion fruit and chocolate is a classic combination in Brazilian cuisine, but this chocolate cheesecake has also an unexpected twist: vanilla balsamic! The passion fruit sauce adds a tropical touch to this decadent dessert.

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Salted Caramel and Guava Pie


Guava and dulce de leche – or caramel – is another classic combination in Brazilian desserts. This easy pie recipe has also a touch of sea salt to break the richness of the caramel filling. Delicious at any time of the year!

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Coconut Balls (Beijinho de Côco)


This recipe is a favorite at birthday parties in Brazil!

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Brigadeiro – Brazilian Chocolate Bonbon

Brigadeiro is one of the most beloved sweets in Brazil. Easy to make and very popular in birthday parties, kids and adults love it! Creamy in the inside and crunchy in the outside, this bonbon is sometimes called Brazilian truffle and it is a must-try for chocolate lovers.

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Avocado and Candied Cashew Pie


This unique combination is worth trying! In Brazil, avocados are more commonly used in desserts.

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Cheese Flan with Guava Sauce (Pudim Romeu e Julieta)


Guava and cheese is a classic Brazilian dessert combination. They call it “Romeu e Julieta” (Romeo and Juliette) because it’s like they were made for each other! 

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