This dish is a luscious cake made primarily from ‘aipim,’ known in English as cassava or yuca, and ‘coco’, the Portuguese word for coconut. These two ingredients, abundant in Brazil, marry beautifully in this dessert, creating a combination of textures and flavors that can only be described as distinctly Brazilian.
- 1lb of aipim (500g) peeled and grated
- 1 cup (150g) of fresh grated coconut (the flesh of half a coconut)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cups (250g) of sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup (200ml) of milk
- Working with aipim takes a little effort. They say that some types of manioc are toxic if eaten raw, so always cook it. If you can get your hands on fresh aipim, it comes in the dirty tree-root-like form. Look carefully at the exposed flesh. It should be white with a little pink around the edge just under the skin. There should be no black or green stains on the flesh. Do not wash the roots before peeling them. This will be just too messy. Peel the skin off the roots by standing them on end and cutting downward with a sharp knife like you would peel and eggplant. Be careful with your fingers! Then wash the tubers. Make sure to trim away any black or green spots that may have formed on the flesh. From this point you can grate the aipim for the cake.
- Coconut also takes a little work. I broke open and grated a coconut for the cake but you can use store-bought, unsweetened, grated coconut if you wish. To break open a coconut, secure the coconut safely on the counter by wedging it between objects so when you hit it, it doesn’t fly away. I used a thick cutting board and a few kitchen towels. Break open a part at the top with a large knife. Pour out the juice to chill and drink after all the hard work. Break the coconut into pieces. Pop the coconut flesh from the harder, outer shell. Trim away the thin, brown skin. Cut it up into small pieces and grind or grate in a food processor a little at a time. Coconut is very fibrous and oily and will gum up your food processor if you put a lot in at one time. Process the coconut in small batches.
- Now you have a pile of grated aipim and a pile of grated coconut.
- Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease a bundt pan, a 9-inch round or square cake pan, or 12-muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together. I find it better to mix with my hands, working the ingredients together like a coleslaw.
- Transfer the mixture to the cake pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges become golden brown.
- Turn out from the pan when still warm. It won’t pop out like a regular sponge cake. It is heavy and gooey, but with a little encouragement from a rubber spatula it will come out of the pan onto a cooling rack.
- Let cool completely, and serve. Or, don’t wait for it to cool completely and enjoy warm bolo de aipim.
- Prep Time: 40 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Brazilian
Keywords: cassava, coco, coconut, cake, baking, brazil, brazilian