Cocada de Forno
One of my favorite dishes at Brazil a Gosto, chef Luiza Trajano’s elegant restaurant in São Paulo, is a baked cocada (a coconut candy made of coconut and sugar cut into squares) with lemon sorbet. It is so delicious that I had to experiment with it back in my American kitchen. I have to admit I am very happy with the final result and I think you will be, too. This is an unpretentious and easy dessert to assemble. You can prepare everything in advance and just bake it on the day of serving.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 whole eggs
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon Malibu rum
1 1/2 cups unsweetened grated coconut
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted
1 24-ounce baking dish
1 – Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease a baking dish with some spray.
2 – In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar until light and creamy at medium speed, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition.
3 – Add the coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, and Malibu and continue to mix at medium speed until the batter is well blended, about 1 minute. Add the coconut and mix until it is all incorporated, although the batter will look grainy.
4 – Fold the flour in with a rubber spatula. Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish. You can keep this in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, up to 2 days ahead of time.
5 – Bake in the oven until the top looks golden brown, the edges are set, but the center is slightly jiggly, about 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
6 – Serve with a scoop of lemon sorbet.
Recipes from The Brazilian Kitchen by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz (Kyle Books; 2010)