September 19, 2013

Manjar Branco - Brazilian Blancmange

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Manjar Branco or Blancmange in English is another dish like Feijoada that is not exactly Brazilian but is “traditionally” Brazilian.

Our version of the dessert is not flavored with Almonds like its siblings but with coconut and prunes.


It is usually eaten in the New Years Eve and I am pretty sure it’s because it is known as Yemanjá’s Favorite Food – for the same reason millions of Brazilians in the last day of the year dress themselves in white, throw flowers in the sea and jump seven waves for seven wishes:-)
Yemanjá according to the Umbanda and Candomblé, religions derived from the Yourubá that was brought to Brazil by the Africans, is the much dear Goddess of the sea, the motherhood and a protector of the children.

In spite of being the largest catholic country in the world, Brazil has a strong religious culture of syncretism and Yemanjá is associated to the Virgin Mary.    Even some of most fervorous Catholics I know will still wear white and trust their new year’s wishes to the sea.

Yemanjás day is 2nd of February and guess what is eaten then?  

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Manjar Branco - Brazilian Blancmange
Serves: 10 Cost:$ | Difficulty:  Medium | Time: 30min plus time for cooling down
Author: A Classic by Rachel Elich
Ingredients
For the Manjar
  • 1l Full Cream Milk
  • 1 Can sweetened condensed milk
  •  (395g)200ml coconut milk
  • 100g Desiccated coconut
  • 8 Tablespoons corn flour(starch)
  • 250ml Water
For the Prune Caramel
  • 250g Pitted Prunes
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
Instructions
For the Manjar
  1. In a small bowl dissolve the corn flour in the water
  2. In a medium sauce pan mix the milk, the condensed milk and the water with the corn flour
  3. Bring the Mixture to boil under medium heat stirring all the time
  4. Stir in the coconut and the coconut milk
  5. Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring all the time
  6. Leave it to set in the fridge in a wet pudding mould or make individual portions using wine glasses
For the Prune Caramel
  1. Put the sugar, water and prunes in a small sauce pan
  2. Bring it to boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and leave it boiling until it starts to thicken up (don't leave for a long time or you will end up with a hard caramel - a good way of testing is putting a drop of the caramel on cold water and test the consistency)
  3. Remove from the heat and let it cool down out of the fridge.


Soundtrack for Manjar Branco :-)



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