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A Creamy, Coconutty, Strawberry-Filled Brazilian Truffle (+ a New Contest Winner!)

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A big congratulations to Chiara Turilli, whose Strawberry Beijinhos {Brazilian Coconut Truffle} was voted the winner of Your Best No-Bake Dessert. Here's a little more about her!

Strawberry Beijinhos {Brazilian Coconut Truffle}
Strawberry Beijinhos {Brazilian Coconut Truffle}

What's your least favorite food?
There are very few things that I don't like. The only thing that I don't enjoy eating is goat cheese. For some reason the I don't enjoy the rangy flavour, but put a piece of Gorgonzola and fresh pear together and I'm happy.


What's one recipe that's been on your bucket list for a while? Why?
Italian cornetti. After learning to make them while working in a pasticerria in a small town in Italy, I have always wanted to try it at home and perfect it at home. It's very challenging to make the perfect dough—you need to use a specific Italian flour and the method is very particular.

Chiara eating canollo in Italy.
Chiara eating canollo in Italy. Photo by Chiara Turilli

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
I baked a beautiful tart from scratch and then dropped it all over the floor as it came out the oven! My brother still took a photo of it to show people. I'm an emotional baker, so let's just say that I had a little cry over my ruined tart!

What is your idea of comfort food?
Since I have Italian blood, that would have to be a plate of my dad's homemade fresh pasta with his homemade bolognese sauce covered in grated Parmigiano!


Apron or no apron?
I need to feel free to be creative, so no apron for me!

Tartelletta di fruttta e fiori—fruit and flower tartlets—that Chiara made.
Tartelletta di fruttta e fiori—fruit and flower tartlets—that Chiara made. Photo by Chiara Turilli

What ingredient (or cooking tip/trick/recipe) have you been excited about lately?
For me there is nothing more amazing than an amazing tart. I have finally perfected my Italian shortbread pastry (pasta frolla) recipe. The two tricks are to make sure to let it rest for a minimum of 12 hours, which ensures a crisp pastry. The second one is to make sure to cook it until a deep golden brown, so that the flavor becomes more caramelized.

What do you make when you're only cooking for yourself?
A fluffy omelette filled with ricotta cheese, mini rosa tomatoes, and ripped fresh basil.

Summertime ice cream store order—go!
I'm obsessed with ice cream, especially Italian gelato, and when I was there last year I realized that my favorite flavors are the rich pistachio and fresh and fruity strawberry. The combination gives you the best of everything!