Brazil – home to the samba, carnival, Copacabana and many other things.
The original cake for this round of the bake-off bared such a similar resemblance to the Tres Leches Mexican cake, I had to abandon that idea and search for something else.
The options I ended up with were a bolo de rolo, which looks like a huge, fat, swiss roll and a bolo de fuba, a cake made using polenta.
I decided to go with what I thought was the simpler option and cook the bolo de fuba … it was only after I realised maybe I should have done the fat swiss roll!
I even made two attempts at this cake, using two completely different recipes.
I started with a Jamie Oliver recipe I had found and followed it to a tee.
OK, well maybe the egg whites weren’t stiff enough that they stayed in the bowl when I tipped it upside-down, but to be fair the recipe just said soft peaks. That aside, I certainly wasn’t expecting the cake to explode when I mixed it together using my electric whisk – this was before adding the egg whites – as the mixture took on a dough like consistency and splattered, me included! It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but there was some splattering. But that was nothing compared to what happened in the over.
After putting the mixture in a loaf tin – the biggest I had (2 pounds), and to be fair the picture on the website looked a lot smaller – it went in the oven and literally foamed out of the tin. Thankfully the bottom of my oven always has a tray with foil over it just in case accidents happen. And after the required cooking time, the cake was still as liquidy as when it went in the oven.
Cue a sugary treat for the ants in the garden and a trip to the supermarket for more ingredients.
More searching for a recipe, that was in English and with English measurements – why have cups? I have a set of cups but they are UK cups, which are different to US cups. Who knew?
Anyway, I then found a super simple recipe that is pretty much just ‘chuck everything in the bowl and mix up’. Always love those recipes, they can never go wrong, right?
So, here is the recipe I used, from a website called ‘Around the World in 80 Cakes’:
Bolo de Fuba
- 2 cup (16.5 oz) milk
- 1 cup (8 oz) canola oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ cups (10.9 oz) sugar
- 2 cups (9.5 oz) fine cornmeal
- 1 cup (4.8 oz) All-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ½ – 1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F / 180 C / Gas Mark 4 / 160 Fan
- Grease and flour a large Bundt pan, loaf tin or circular cake tin
- In a large blender or food processor add all of the ingredients in order (milk, oil, eggs, sugar, cornmeal and flour) except for baking powder and coconut
- Process for 30-60 seconds until smooth. You may need to scrap the sides of the blender a few times to evenly incorporate the ingredients
- Add the optional coconut and process again for 10-20 seconds
- Then add the baking powder and process for another 10-15 seconds
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan
- Tap it on the counter a few times to get out any air bubbles
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then unmold
- Allow to cool before serving or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator
- I didn’t have a Bundt pan, so I used an 8 inch loose-bottomed deep cake tin
- I didn’t use coconut, but it is optional. Apparently another optional instead of coconut is to add parmesan cheese!
- My oven is a fan oven, but after 55 minutes at 160C the cake was cooked around the edges but completely uncooked in the middle. I turned the oven up to 180C and it took another 45 minutes to get the middle to cook
- Did it not cook because I didn’t use a bundt pan? The resultant effort would not have won me star baker, the outside edges were too cooked the middle was just right
- I couldn’t find fine grain polenta or polenta flour, so I just used normal polenta – this made the cake rather grainy
- Taste-wise it was OK without the coconut
- Conclusion, not one of the better bakes of the year!
And, if you need inspiration to have a go and make a better attempt than I could manage, here’s the video:
Can you believe it? I have only one more bake-off to go before the end of the season.
Best get practising, want to finish the year on a high, not with a soggy bottom!!