Last week we started celebrating our first anniversary, and today marks our 100th post!!! What could be better than two celebrations on a row? For this occasion, I decided to make a cake that I love, and that I’ve been wanting to prepare and share with you for a long time now, but never really got to it. Today, I finally had the perfect excuse to make it. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you the exquisite, the one and only, torta Bruselina.
Bruselina had a glorious past in Lima, and for many years it was the “it” dessert in many of the best restaurants. Now it’s not as popular, as the taste of Peruvians has become a bit more sophisticated, and crazy fusions and avant-garde creations are what people look for in a dish; but it can still be found in several bakeries and pastry shops. However, I prefer to make things at home when it’s possible, and in this case the recipe is easy enough, so why not?
The baking and the whipping can be done in advance, and the dessert can be assembled the day that you’re going to eat it. Nothing extra is necessary to enhance the beauty of this dessert, but you may add a scoop of ice cream or caramel sauce, if you want. The only rule: always serve it very cold.
This is not a torta or cake, in the strict sense of the word. It´s more like a delicate and soft dessert, and extremely addictive (you’ve been warned!). You can change the recipe and make it with cinnamon instead of cocoa, substituting the latter with 1/2 cup of flour and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. A couple decades ago I had my fare share of this “cake” at a Brazilian restaurant in Lima called Rodizio. The place has since gone out of business, but the memory of its Bruselina has stayed with me. This was their dessert specialty, and they had it in the 2 versions I’ve mentioned above: chocolate and cinnamon. Which one was better? Impossible to choose.
About our post # 100… I want to express my gratitude to some people that have made this journey so beautiful and exciting for us: first of all, to Morena, my daughter and the other half of this team. She had the idea of this blog, and it´s a delight to work with her every day.
To Eduardo, whose constant advice has been priceless, who believes in us and always has great expectations for this blog. To Alex and Hector, whose friendship, help, and technical support helped us get started, and once we got off our feet, helped us overcome more than one crisis. To Rachel, a talented designer and good friend.
To Ana, the original inspiration behind this, and all our Hermanas, for their friendship and support. And of course, to all our readers, friends and followers, because it’s a pleasure to share with you everything we know and love about Peruvian cuisine.
I send a big, virtual piece of Bruselina to you all!!!
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 ½ sticks butter, softened
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ cups cake flour
- ½ cup cocoa
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup grated nuts / almonds
- Parchment paper
- Whipped cream
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Put the parchment paper in baking pans, and draw 7 circles in the paper (8 inches / 20 – 22 cms) or cut them, round, square or rectangular.
- In the mixer at high speed, beat butter with sugar until creamy. Add eggs one by one, beating 8 minutes after you add the fourth egg.
- Meanwhile, sift together the flour with cocoa and baking powder. Reserve.
- Continue beating at a lower speed and add the ground nuts, flour and cocoa. At this point, do not over mix, just enough to form a moist batter.
- If you want, you may grease the paper, but I don´t do it. You may spray a little water in the baking pans, so the paper doesn´t move around. Spread about ½ cup of the batter in each circle using a spatula. The circles should be thin but no transparent.
- Bake for 15 minutes, approximately. The resultin cookies must be cakey and a little crispy on the borders. Be careful and do not let them burn. Cool in racks.
- To assemble: Start with a cookie, cover with whipped cream and repeat the layers. Finish with a cookie. You may garnish this dessert with toasted almonds, more whipped cream, and toffee. Refrigerate at least two hours.
- Note: You can bake the cookies up to 15 days in advance. Store them in tightly sealed tins.