Some days ago I got a polish visitor in Brasilia. His name is Marcin and he was on a round-the-world trip over 55 days. He helped me a lot for my trip fo Poland planning so I wanted to help him here as well.
Marcin had only a few days on Brazil and he chose two cities: Foz do Iguaçu and Brasilia. For everybody I told that, his choice was always a bit weird. Why not Rio de Janeiro? Or São Paulo? Fortaleza or Florianópolis? Foz do Iguaçu makes sense, we have the falls and everything, which is beautiful. But Brasilia?
It’s not as if I don’t like it here. I love Brasilia and I can’t imagine myself living anywhere else in this country (perhaps Curitiba?). But we, as Brasilia born people, know the city isn’t exactly the first touristic destination. Even though we have miles of art and architecture works on plain sight and for free, it’s not where most brazilians come to when vacation time comes. In fact, Brasilia on vacation is wonderful: no cars, no traffic, nobody, just peace and silence.
But Marcin explained to me the reasons why somebody would choose Brasilia. According to him, you have to really enjoy modern architecture or history. He liked both and so he said Brasilia was the most beautiful city he had seen so far.
He also told me he studied Brasilia during his art course back in Poland, and that the city was one of the few – if not the only – examples of planned and projected cities that were actually built. He said projects keep on coming, but to actually make them come true is quite extraordinary.
I must say I wasn’t expecting him to enjoy Brasilia so much, but it hits me with proud when someone besides me sees beauty in here. It’s difficult to explain – even to those who live here – how to love Brasilia. I hope you all like it too, those who live and those who visit.
Brown sugar minicupcakes and walnuts brigadeiro
Yields: 30 mini cupcakes or 12 cupcakes
1 cup + 1 tablespoon (145g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
113g (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup (80g) brown sugar, spooned
2 tablespoons (25g) white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup (80ml) milk
1 – Turn your oven to 180˚C. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat butter and sugars until you get a light and fluffy misture.
2 – Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Then add the vanilla extract and beat again to incorporate.
3 – Alternate the addition of the dry ingredients and the milk, ending with the dry. Do not overbeat your batter.
4 – Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling only until 2/3 of each one. Bake them for 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you’re making stardard cupcakes with this recipe, adjust the time accordingly.
Walnuts brigadeiro frosting
Yields: enough for all 30 mini cupcakes with the swirl on the photo
1 can (195g) sweet condensed milk
200g heavy cream
10 tablespoons (100g) walnuts, chopped finely
1 tablespoon (14g) butter
1 – Take all ingredients to the stove on low to medium heat, on a heavy duty sauce pan. I processed the walnuts and passed them through a sieve first, so the 100g are all after that. If you want to use them just after processing and without the sieve, by all means you can, just keep in mind that the bigger the pieces of walnuts, the more likely it will be to clog up a star tip.
2 – Boil the mixture, stirring constantly, for about 15 minutes, or until you reach the point where it falls in pieces, not ribbons, from your spatula. If you’re not sure if it’s done, get a plate that was kept in the freezer and put some of the brigadeiro on it. Wait a few seconds and then try with a spoon by pulling it up. If it keeps its shape, then it’s ready.
3 – Transfer the brigadeiro to a plate or bowl and let it come to room temperature before frosting the cupcakes.
The flowers are made of fondant. The tip is a plain round one, but be creative! The only problem is maybe using a star tip, since the walnuts might get stuck and clog the opening. That’s why I preferred a round tip. To repeat this swirl on the photos, apply steady pressure and create a ball on top of each cupcake. Close it and them make another smaller ball on top.
This brigadeiro is AWESOME. I would eat it by itself easily, and I’ll say that’s what happened with what was left inside the bag.
Have you ever visited Brasilia? If so, what did you think?