I am doing cooking project with about 10-15 kids a week and a half from now. The recipe needs to be from Brazil, and the kids range in age from 3-10 but are mostly in the younger segment of that age group (3-6). I have several friends from Brazil and may need to consult them, but I thought first I'd consult the "Cafe Brazil" cookbook I was given by someone in preparation for the project.
I found two recipes that seem like they might be useful. One is a simple recipe for fried plantains. It calls for 2 large plantains and oil or clarified butter for frying. I thought the older kids could pierce the plantains with a knife (well supervised of course) and the younger kids could try peeling it. The kids can also slice the peeled plantains into lengthwise quarters for fries (using a butterknife-- are fresh plantains soft enough to cut with a butterknife?). Of course, then I would have to spend several minutes frying the plantains while the kids did something else, and then we could eat them warm like french fries.
An alternative recipe is for "Angels' Cheeks" and the recipe came from Potugese nuns who came to Brazil and introduced them. I might ask my Potugese father-in-law if he has ever had them too because they sound yummy and interesting.
That recipe would require me to beat egg whites until they were firm (Maybe before the kids arrived? Also-- what exactly does "firm" mean?). Then the kids could beat in the 6 egg yolks, which need to be beaten in individually, as well as beat in the baking powder and flour. Kids who didn't want to help with beating could butter muffin tins, and then they could help pour the batter into the tins. The cakes bake for 20 minutes and are supposed to puff up and turn a "lovely golden color." There is a syrup, made from sugar and water that is brought to a boil (and then when cool, vanilla extract is added), which I could make or have some of the older kids help with. After the cakes cool, the kids could place them in a shallow dish so I could pour the syrup over them.
The second recipe might take too much time, but perhaps not (we have about 45 minutes to one hour for all our activities, and we have at least one other activity to do besides the cooking). On the other hand, I like that the second activity has several ways the kids can get involved and I'm not stuck frying something on my own. Then again, the fried plantains could be a more manageable activity with the number of young kids I expect. But that would require me to add shopping to my to-do list for the week, as I don't have any plantains on hand. The plantains are probably are less sugary, but we could go light on the syrup with the puffed cakes. I'm gonna hopefully have some time to try the recipe a little later this week. Any suggestions about which one might work better?