Here is another Brazilian childhood favorite, bolinhos de chuva (rain balls if you are to translate this literally), and they are exactly what they look like, fried dough *sips on coffee looking unimpressed*
Literally, the last time I ate one of these was when I was a kid. My mom never really liked to fry anything that much, and my dad always thought they were so boring, that they tasted like umbrella handles, and he swears that’s where the name must come from! Haha don’t listen to my dad, guys.
Truth is though, I can’t really blame my dad for thinking this way. After making these recently with my mom’s recipe, I thought ugh… why did my mom ever feed us this? My mom swears that this is just how all the recipes are.
Unconvinced, I began a mini saga to find a better recipe to replace my mom’s. She embraced me in the research because she was annoyed that I didn’t believe her – she wanted to prove herself right, you know. Turns out that, my mom was right, and we couldn’t actually find bolinhos de chuva recipes that varied that much from what she had – some used more eggs, some didn’t use vanilla at all, some used too much flour, and others not so much. Bottom line is, all of these turned out to yield some dense bolinhos, that tasted very doughy, sometimes eggy, and sometimes like nothing at all – like umbrella handles! Haha
Ok, you must be asking yourself, geez girl, how are these even popular then? Well, my guess is because when you hand anything covered in sugar to a kid, it becomes a hit.
Long story short, my mom’s recipe worked great for when I was a kid, but as it turns out, I became an adult with high fried dough standards, so, I changed everything. And let me tell you, the bolinhos are so awesome now, that they make me feel like a kid again! Yay!
Make it, take a picture and share it #cookingwithaline and let me know how you liked it
What about you? Did you love something as a child that you then hated as an adult? Did you try to fix it or did you just stop eating it? Leave me a comment and let me know
Brazilian Funnel Cake Balls Step by Step
ok, so… no fancy equipment needed here, gente. I did everything by hand.
I start with mixing the sugar coating, just so I have it ready and out of my way. Just mix the sugar with the cinnamon, and set it aside.
Then, if you are using a fryer, you can make sure it is all set up now, and heating up. If you are frying in a pan, just add the oil to the pan and leave it over low heat, just so it warms up, but not too hot to get to temperature too fast – I highly recommend you use a thermometer to help you maintain the temp at 350F
Gather up your ingredients now – add the vinegar to the milk, combine all the dry ingredients…
Whip the egg with the sugar and the vanilla real nice…
Then add the milk/vinegar mixture to the egg mixture and whip real nice again…
(If you are frying in a pan, now is a good time to crank up your heat so its’s nice and hot by the time you are done with the next step)
Then fold the wet mixture with the dry ingredients (real nice… ahaha I’ve made it a thing now)
Look at it – it’s a nice little looking dough, isn’t it?
Time to Fry your Brazilian Funnel Cake Balls
Using a small ice cream scoop, or 2 spoons, form little balls (like a 2-bite donut hole) and drop directly into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and balls are cooked through.
When they are nicely fried, scoop your bolinhos and drop them into a platter lined with paper towels for them to dry a little
While the bolinhos are still warm, drop them in the sugar cinnamon mixture to coat evenly
These little suckers are great on any morning or afternoon, with some coffee or tea – plain or with some jelly
Share your pictures #cookingwithaline so I can see how your bolinhos turned out 🙂
Brazilian Funnel Cake Balls
For the dough:
- 1 ½ cups of flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1 whole large egg
- 1 tsp of vanilla ext
- ¾ cup of milk
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- oil for frying
For the sugar coating:
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 1 Tbsp of cinnamon
For the sugar coating:
- Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a large plate and reserve.
For the dough:
- Prepare the oil for frying
- Add the vinegar to the milk and let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients. Set aside.
- Add the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg with the sugar and the vanilla
- Add the milk and vinegar to the egg mixture and whisk
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold gently to combine
- Using a small ice cream scoop, or 2 spoons, form little balls (like a 2 bite donut hole) and drop directly into the hot (350F) oil. Fry until golden brown and balls are cooked through.