Bem-casados – Happily Married
Bem-casados (happily married, if it can be translated), are two little sponge cakes filled with dulce de leche, egg curd or jam, and are a must have in any wedding in Brazil. They are individually wrapped in crepe paper and tied with a little bow (oh, so adorable!), and offered in the end of the wedding reception as a favor to the guests. The confection represents the couple together in their new sweet life.
If you’ve ever been to a wedding in Brazil, you probably know how everybody is fascinated about this little cakes. People can do almost anything to go home with as many bem-casados as they can grab (don’t get me wrong, everything is done in a very polite and discreet way). If you look close enough, you will see the most elegant ladies stuffing their golden purses with the things. I have a friend who lines his tuxedo pockets with ziploc bags so he can bring the favors home already packaged.
Why all the crazyness about it? Cause they ARE FRIGGIN’ DELICIOUS. So delicious I decided I was not going to wait for the next wedding to have my share of bem-casados.
Bem-casados (adapted from here) – 35 sandwiches
Individually wrapped, arranged in a box, they make a great father’s day gift. Or just serve them as dessert, with sliced strawberries and ice cream.
- 4 egg whites
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 7 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup firm dulce de leche
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
Preheat oven to 200°C/ 390°F. Butter and dust with flour two large baking sheets. With a 1 1/2 -inch round cookie cutter, mark circles in the baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
In a bowl, sift flour and baking powder. Set aside.
With the electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Still beating, gradually add the sugar, and continue beating until it’s glossy and with firm peaks. Add the yolks, one at a time, and beat until well mixed. Sift the flour mixture over the eggs, and gently fold with a large rubber spatula. You don’t want to deflate the batter.
Drop teaspoons of the batter on the baking sheets, using the circle marks as your guide, to form round little mounds. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until light golden. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack while they are still hot. Let cool completely.
One the cakes are cold, fill half of them with about a teaspoon of dulce the leche and cover with the other half.
Mix the confectioner’s sugar with the water. Put every bem-casado on a fork and pour the syrup over. Let the excess run and live to dry a bit over a wire rack or silpat before wrap.
Mine were wrapped with cellophane paper, tissue paper and tied with ribbon.