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Cornmeal Choux Pastry (aka Broa de Fuba)

Jan 12, 2016

Every time I go back to Brazil to visit my family, there are a few foods I must eat at least once before leaving. That is actually a problem if I'm having a short stay, because I really mean when I have to eat it all. Specially when I was living in Russia, where the supply of some ingredients were nonexistent, my stays in Brazil meant basically eating-drinking-eating, with some short periods of sleeping in the middle.

I always tell my friends that Brazilian food is completely underestimated. Nowadays you have a lot of people going to churrascarias, while drinking caipirinhas and having brigadeiro for dessert. But that's just it. So boring, so simple.
Given the country's size and background, you could imagine we have a very interesting and diverse cuisine, which is true. But no one talks about it.

(I have some plans in mind to change it in the future, but let's stick to the story by now)

One of the things it's a must eat for me are these cornmeal choux pastries. But the interesting thing is that I didn't realize it was choux pastry until about what? Yesterday? Well, yeah.

Well, in Brazil we call these pastries made with cornmeal "broa". More specifically, "broa de fubá" (literally cornmeal broa). Even though there are many different ways to make a broa, my favorite are the ones that are very light and hollow in the middle, baked until browned and puffed. Just like choux pastry.
I've spent YEARS eating tons of this, plus a huge amount of time studying french pastry and I have never got that they are essentially the same thing. Shame on me!

But seriously? How could I even possibly know?

Yesterday I went to search a couple recipes to make it at home for craving purposes and while reading the recipe, I saw that they are made exactly like pâte à choux. So I decided to give them a try, still not believing they could possibly be the same thing. And well, my friend, they are.

Needless to say they are very easy to make. This recipe calls for cornmeal and I really recommend you to use it and not corn flour. It has to be coarse otherwise the texture will not be the same. I had no problems finding it here in Toronto, so it probably should be fine elsewhere.

They are crispy right after you take them from the oven and a few of them were eaten exactly like this. However, they become a little more soft a few hours after baking -- but worry not, that is how we have them in Brazil. If kept in a closed container, it is good for 3-4 days outside the fridge (but I doubt it will last this long!).


Creamy Fudge Filling

Shelf-stable for 7 days, extremely adaptable and price-conscious filling recipe. This one stays creamy even after refrigerating or freezing without changes to texture or taste. Freaking. Game. Changer.

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