This is the doce de leite (milk caramel, dulce de leche, manjar blanc0, confiture de lait…) to make all others shrivel and begone from my sight! Made by Laticínios Viçosa, part of a not-for-profit foundation in cooperation with the folks of the Universidade Federal de Viçosa, this doce de leite is preservative-free, not ultra-sweet, and particularly smooth. I got half a tin from my fabulous neighbour, who is from Minas Gerais in Brazil, and I am enjoying every bit of it. Really. After this one, you can’t really eat any other brand without feeling short-charged. It’s that life-changing!
Category Archives: L’Heure du Gouter
Choco Bolo, formerly known as “The Best Chocolate Cake in the World” opened not long ago on the Upper West Side (Broadway and 70th, I believe) and beyond the serving “the best chocolate cake in the world” they also sell pasteis de nata, or Portuguese custard pies. I won’t say they are the best pasteis de nata I’ve ever had, but they are good, and satisfy my occasional craving for a heavy dose of sugar, eggs, butter/cream, otherwise known as Portuguese sweets. I’m happy they are around.
In the beginning, brigadeiros (I know it’s hard to pronounce. Just say “brigadier” and you should be pretty close) were nothing but a mixture of condensed milk, Nesquik and butter, stirred over heat until the mixture came off the sides of the pan, cooled, rolled into little balls, and coated with chocolate jimmies.
They are named after Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes, which according to the Wikipedia entry for brigadeiros, was a “handsome, well-built, liberal” candidate for presidency in Brazil in 1946 and 1950. Although he failed both times, he was a favorite with women voters, who developed the recipe (courtesy perhaps of Nestle introducing powdered chocolate and condensed milk to the Brazilian market) and sold brigadeiros to raise funds for the dashing brigadier.
Simple brigadeiros are ubiquitous in Brazilian children’s parties. However, most recently, the appearance of “brigadeiros gourmet” (where Nesquik just won’t do) has propelled them into more sophisticated, adult gatherings where variety (semi-sweet, milk, white chocolate) and unusual combinations (pumpkin and almonds, salted caramel, etc.) are sought and enjoyed.
At Bain Marie, a little enterprise founded at Columbia University’s graduate student kitchens, brigadeiros are made with Belgian chocolate and other high brow items. They join Brigadeiro Bakery and My Sweet Brigadeiro in spreading the brigadier’s sweets all over New York.
I ordered several boxes from Bain Marie this past holiday season to give as gifts and they were universally appreciated. I ate two 24pc boxes pretty much by myself. They are small.
I’m calling this doughnut because that’s what the girl behind the bar at Tarallucci e Vino on Columbus and 83rd street said it was, but I am sure it has a resounding Italian name. It’s fried dough alright, and when I got it to go for breakfast I thought to myself, “it’s too big, I’ll save half for later. By the time I got to 81st street it was entirely gone.
Ordered these cake pops from Stick&Pop for my daughter’s third birthday and they were beyond my expectations. Ok, the ones I really liked were the dark-chocolate-covered vanilla cakes with jimmies (I think they are called “Birthday Cake”), but they were gone before I could take a picture (the one in the picture is chocolate cake with white chocolate and confetti on the outside).
What I loved about the Birthday Cake was the moist, not too dense cake, and the delicious dark chocolate on the outside. So glad I ordered them! Surprisingly, most guests weren’t acquainted with cake pops, and I am glad I converted some of them. Cupcakes are cute and all, and dispense with the use of forks and plates, but these are even cuter, and possibly yummier, and make for a great presentation (cupcakes require a bit more work, I’d say). So, perfect for the last minute party I had to put together last week.
Owners Christy and Jacki could not have been more gracious throughout the process and ordering these pops made me feel like New York is just a small town after all.
Good old fashioned ice cream parlor right on route 9 in Red Hook. Soft serve and hard flavors! This blueberry pie has swirls of blueberry and chunks of cookie crust.
Right on the way to my house after swim lessons… dessert before lunch!
Another find at Buenos Aires Bakery in Jackson Heights, Queens: the Chicken Empanadas. The filling was mostly dark meats, left in big chunks, and the dough was thin, baked through, and with a pleasant bite. The light in the picture was not the greatest because the bakery had painted windows, but trust me, the empanada is great, and so is the sandwich the migas. I can’t wait to go back and see what else they have.
We left the Union Square playground with the intention of getting a cookie at City Bakery but were detained by the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck at the corner of 17th Street. We waited a good 15 minutes in line for a Salty Pimp treat — vanilla ice cream with dulce de leche, sea salt, dipped in chocolate — because every little treat they serve seems to be painstakingly crafted by loving hands and served with a big charming smile. I loved the salty caramel thing, and the chocolate was delicious. I only wish it weren’t soft serve ice cream.
These amazing filled cookies are not available all the time at the West Side Market and I am glad they aren’t because they are one of my favorite sweet treats — just like that, from a supermarket shelf. What I love about them is that although the filling looks thin from the outside the inside of the hazelnut cookie is concave making a lot of room for the delicious dulce de leche filling. Really. So glad it’s not available all the time.