Quindão de Yayá

Whether you spell it Iaiá or the old-fashioned way Yayá, this superb Brazilian coconut and egg dessert is tops on my list of sweets. Iaiá, by the way, is a diminutive of sinhá, which is an alteration of senhora. Those of you who know Brazilian music will recognize the title of a famous Ary Barroso song, "Os Quindins de Iaiá."

Enough cultural notes. Here's Yara Roberts' recipe for a large size quindim or quindão (you'll need one 8-inch ring mold, the same kind used for Pudim de Leite):

9 egg yolks

3 whole eggs

1 lb sugar

2 Tbsp butter, melted

1 medium size coconut, grated (you should get 2 1/2 cups) or 1 bag grated unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup raisins

1 Tbsp butter to coat mold

Heat 1/2 gallon of water on top of stove and preheat oven to 350° F. Using a whisk beat the whole eggs lightly. Add the yolks, beating until the mixture is homogeneous. Add the sugar, the coconut and mix everything very well. Add melted butter and mix. Coat a mold with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Shake to remove excess. Place the raisins around the bottom of the mold very carefully and pour in the mixture slowly.

Place the mold in the center of a roasting pan and pour the hot water around it carefully so you don't spill water inside the mold. Bake the quindim in this bain-marie for one hour. Insert a toothpick into quindim; it should come out dry. Allow quindim to cool and unmold it on a serving dish. Decorate with tropical flowers and sprigs of mint. Serve at room temperature. Serves 8.

Maria's Cookbook