Pieces of love (“Amor aos pedaços”) is a delicious Minas Gerais traditional sweet. Minas is a place full of homemade delicacies. It is one of those ancient recipes with a curious name whose origin lies in folklore or has been lost. There is no doubt, though, that this delicious coconut and pineapple combination live up to the recipe name.
• 600 g fresh pineapple pulp
• 125 g dried grated coconut
• 250 g sugar
• 3 egg yolks
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 400 g all purpose flour
• 175 g sugar
• a level tablespoon baking powder
• a pinch of salt
• 100 g softened butter
• 3 small eggs
• sugar and cinnamon (optional) to coat
- Peel the pineapple and remove the core that is lighter in colour and fibrous in texture. Grate or blend the pulp, without making it a smoothie. If you don’t have fresh pineapple use canned drained pineapple.
- Combine all the filling ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring continuously, until all the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick and begins to detach from the bottom of the pan. It takes about 25 minutes.
- Set aside and allow to cool completely.
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and make a hole in the middle.
- Add whole eggs and softened butter.
- Amalgamate the ingredients without over working the dough. This dough must remain very soft and pliable but, if needed, add more flour.
- Wrap the dough in plastic film and put in the refrigerator to let it harden.
Method to assemble the cake
- Line a small rectangular mould (20 x 30 cm) with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into two parts, one piece slightly larger than the other.
- Use the larger piece to make a uniform layer at the bottom of the mould. With your fingers gently lift up the edges of the dough (5 mm thin edge along the perimeter of the mould).
- Top the dough with a uniform layer of filling.
- Roll out the smaller dough piece between two pieces of parchment paper and cover the cake. Gently press and smooth any remaining air bubbles with your hands, press edges firmly together to seal, then cut off excess dough. Use the advanced dough to make biscuits.
- Bake it in a preheated oven at 180°C until the top becomes lightly golden brown. It takes about 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely. Use a sharp knife to gently cut the cake into 5 cm squares and, if you want, trim off lateral edges of the cake to make visible the filling.
- Toss the cake squares in sugar to coat (mixed with cinnamon, if you like) or dust them with powdered sugar.
- It can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for several days.
• Pieces of love can be wrapped in cellophane tied with a ribbon, such as a gift box: a great idea for a creative gift handmade with love.
• Use the larger holes side of a grater to grate the remaining dough evenly over the filling, without pressing. Bake the cake, let it cool down and sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon.
• Add 30 ml of cachaça (sugar cane liquor) to the filling.
Yield: 24 pieces
Posted on: 04 December 2017