Bolacha Maria Cake


Bolacha Maria

Hello again,

Besides rice pudding, I love Bolacha Maria cake which is a popular dessert within the Portuguese community. This cookie cake reminds me so much of a Tiramisu because of the layering of the cookies.  Although this recipe was created in 1874 by an English baker, it became popularized in Spain and Portugal, particularly during the Spanish Civil war. The creation of  the cake was  to celebrate the marriage of the Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia with the Duke of Edinburgh. It was to help celebrate an exuberant economy, a symbol of prosperity.   Quite the Victorian dessert, but I made a slight variation shhhhh….I added guess what ?…..some liquer…Kahlua.

The recipe:

1 package  of Bolacha Maria cookies  (use 2-3 rolls of packaged cookies)
2 cups of icing sugar (more or less) (you must taste as you add the sugar)
3 egg yolks
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup of espresso coffee (room temperature)
1 lemon or lime for zest (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tablespoon  of Kahlua
sugar sprinkles – colorful ones and/or blanched sliced  almonds, or crushed hazelnuts are nice toppings as well.

The method:

1) Add your soft butter with egg yokes, and begin mixing with electric mixer, adding  slowly the icing sugar,
2) Add your 3 tablespoons of coffee, and mix then add your tsp. of vanilla extract. Add some Lemon or Lime zest, about 1-2  tsp.
3) Add your tablespoon of  Kahlua and again mix well, taste with your spoon to see if it needs more coffee or sugar, or Kalhua :)  (you will need to experiment to your taste buds)
4)Then after your icing is done to your liking, with a paper towel sheet spread some butter over top of your cake plate.  
5)Then you begin dipping your cookies and create the layering process. You would prepare this on a round cake plate.
6) Dip your cookies once to fully wet the cookie, but don’t drench it because it will fall apart when you spread your icing.
7)Start with a cookie in the middle and work your way around it like a flower.
8)With your wooden spoon scoop a lump of icing and begin at the center and spread to the surrounding cookies. Making sure all cookies are covered with the icing.
9)Then alternate each layer so as to overlap the layers.
10)When you get to the top layer, cover the rest of your icing and the sides to cover all parts of the cookies. Then you top with your sprinkles or sliced  almonds or crushed hazelnuts, heck you can even crunch up a cookie and use that instead.

Incidentally, would sir or madame appreciate a spot of tea with a slice of Bolacha Maria?
Enjoy !

M.D.

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