It took me a while to figure out the exact origin or makeup of fubá . By the way it is pronounced fu-BAH, with a big emphasis on the BAH. Most sources equate it to cornmeal in the U.S.; however it is a very fine cornmeal. It is used as a flour here and can be found in the form of cakes (bolo de fubá), cookies (biscoitos de fubá) and, according to a recipe on the package, even soufflé.
I wanted to try making some things with fubá so over the past couple weeks I gave the cake and the cookies a try. I also should mention that I didn’t do any playing around with different (i.e., less processed) ingredients because I really want to try the original first.
The cake was once given to us as a gift and I’ve had it at parties, so I was able to compare what I ended up with. I baked it in a loaf pan instead of a Bundt or sheet cake pan and I really liked it like this. I could enjoy it as more of a bread. It is similar to a sweet cornbread, although not as course and the butter makes it incredibly rich. It is one of those cakes that can very tempting for breakfast with some coffee.
When searching for recipes on the web, I found a ton, all with something a little different. So I decided to take the easy route and go with the simplest one. They are not exactly like the ones we’ve had at the bakery regarding texture, as shown in the picture above, but the flavor was just as tasty.
Biscoitos de Fubá
Adapted from Tudo Gostoso
1 ½ cups Fubá
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
½ Tbsp anise seeds
½ cup butter, melted
¼ cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Stir the fubá, flour, sugar and anise seeds in a mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks and butter and mix well until the dough is dry and crumbly. Add enough milk to make the dough stick together so that you can form a ball. This was about ¼ cup for me.
Roll the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet, 12 per standard sheet pan. The original recipe includes the step of rolling them in cornmeal first, but I didn’t do this. Flatten the cookies by hand or with a glass. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the sides and bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack. Makes about 18 cookies.
So I’m wondering – have any of you who frequent ethnic/cultural markets come across something similar to Fubá? I’m interested if I can find a similar product when I’m back in the U.S.
Also, for a great variation of Bolo de Fubá check out 5 Star Foodie (winner of the Mango Challenge and box of Brazil goodies ).