Ottawa·D is for Dinner

Brazilian-inspired holiday desserts on D is for Dinner

Guil Fernandes shares two holiday recipes — one familiar to North American palates, one inspired by his native Brazil — on D is for Dinner.

Guil Fernandes owns online bakery Delightful Tastes

Guil Hernandes's milk chocolate peppermint bark. (Guil Hernandes)

Guil Fernandes grew up around delicious baked goods in his native Brazil, where his mother ran a small bakery.

When he came to Ottawa, Fernandes honed his culinary skills at Algonquin College and opened Delightful Tastes, a nut-free, online-only baked goods store.

Today on D is for Dinner, Fernandes shares two holiday recipes: a coconut confection inspired by the flavours of his homeland, and a traditional North American Christmas staple.

Coconut White Chocolate Candy Cups

Guil Hernandes's Coconut White Chocolate Candy Cups are inspired by the flavours of his native Brazil. (Guil Hernandes)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk.
  • 1 c. grated coconut.
  • ½ c. coconut milk.
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter.
  • 1 package (11.5 oz) white chocolate chips.
  • 12 minature ​muffin cup liners.

Instructions:

  1. Over medium-low heat, vigorously stir the sweetened condensed milk, coconut, coconut milk and butter until it thickens enough that you see the bottom of the pan while stirring.
  2. Pour the mixture into a greased dish and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Place half the white chocolate chips in a microwave-friendly container and microwave three times for 35 seconds each, stirring after each session in the microwave.
  4. Spoon the melted chocolate into the muffin cups, filling each halfway.
  5. Using a spoon, draw the chocolate up the sides of the cups until they're evenly coated.
  6. Cool in the refrigerator until firm.
  7. Once firm, divide the coconut mixture into the chocolate cups.
  8. Melt the remaining chocolate in the microwave and spoon over the coconut mixture, spreading the chocolate to the cups' edges.

Milk Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Ingredients:

  • 2 - 12 oz. packages milk chocolate chips.
  • 2 - 12 oz. packages white chocolate chips.
  • 2 tsp. peppermint extract.
  • 8 peppermint candy canes, crushed.

Instructions:

  1. Line a 12-by-18 inch pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Melt the milk chocolate chips in a microwave-friendly glass or ceramic bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, for one to five minutes. The precise time depends on your microwave; do not overheat or your chocolate will scorch.
  3. Stir in the peppermint extract.
  4. Spread the chocolate evenly on the prepared pan and chill until set (about 30 minutes).
  5. Melt the white chocolate chips in the same way you melted the milk chocolate chips.
  6. Stir in ¼ c. crushed candy canes.
  7. Spread the white chocolate mixture over the set milk chocolate.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining candy cane pieces evenly over the white chocolate layer.
  9. Chill until set (about one hour) and then break into small pieces and serve.