What is Ambrosia Origin ingredients and recipe How to make


Ambrosia is a Brazilian sweet, inspired by Iberian recipes (Portuguese or Spanish), prepared with milk, sugar and eggs. Some recipes use lemon juice/juice or white vinegar to curd (curdle) the milk, while other traditional recipes use cured (aged and contaminated with acidophilic bacteria) milk. Ambrosia is usually flavored with cloves, cinnamon and lemon zest.

Origin of Ambrosia

Ambrosia is one of the recipes whose origin is related both to Greek mythology, which used the expression “food of the gods”, and to the history of Portugal.

This is due to the fact that ambrosia has different meanings in these two cultures, which, together, gave rise to one of the sweets that most pleases the Brazilian palate.

Recipes similar to ambrosia recipe

Dulce de Leche Cortado : Dulce de leche recipe typical of Latin American countries (Venezuela and Cuba, among others). Chopped milk ( cut milk ) or fresh milk mixed with lemon juice is used. Unlike ambrosia, eggs are not normally added to the recipe.

Chaimui : recipe from the Goa region of India. Usually made with curdled milk. It is similar to the cut dulce de leche recipe, but it is less cooked and less sweet. Spiced with cardamom and served with pistachio pieces.

Ambrosia ingredients

Ambrosia is prepared with simple and inexpensive ingredients. It is similar to dulce de leche, but with two additional ingredients: eggs and lemon juice. Eggs and milk are curdled to give ambrosia the characteristic texture. Some ambrosia recipes do not use lemon juice (or vinegar) to curdle the fresh milk – in these cases, only the egg is curdled.

Prefer whole/whole milk, as the milk fat will add more creaminess to the ambrosia recipe. As in our dulce de leche recipe , it is also possible to replace part of the milk with cream, which will add even more flavor and creaminess to the ambrosia.

In our ambrosia recipe, we use lemon juice/juice to curdle (curl, coagulate) the milk. The lemon juice will make the milk sour. In this acidic environment, casein molecules (one of the proteins present in milk) cluster together and form milk curds. The remaining liquid is whey.

The fresher the milk, the less acidic it will be. As milk ages, bacteria that metabolize lactose ( Lactobacillus acidophilus ) and produce lactic acid will cause the milk to become more acidic and naturally clot. Many traditional ambrosia recipes use this type of milk instead of adding lemon to the milk.

There are also several ambrosia recipes that use fresh milk and do not curd the milk with lemon or vinegar. Thus, the final recipe will be more similar to the dulce de leche recipe. The only curds present in this type of recipe are egg curds.

ambrosia recipe

This recipe uses milk, sugar and scrambled eggs. The milk is curdled with lemon juice and, together with the eggs, will give texture to the dessert. We use cloves, cinnamon and lemon zest to season the ambrosia.

To make the ambrosia creamier, we recommend first mixing the sugar with the milk before adding the lemon juice, and finally adding the beaten eggs before the milk boils. This will reduce the size of the milk curds and they will become incorporated into the egg curds. The final result will be an ambrosia with a more homogeneous color, greater caramelization, more creaminess and softer curds.

How to make

1. In a blender, beat the eggs until smooth.

2. In a thick-bottomed pan, add the milk, the beaten eggs, the sugar, the lemon juice, the cinnamon and the cloves.

3. Take to medium fire and let it cook.

4. The ambrosia will cook and will be at the cutting point, and a syrup will form around it. When the ambrosia is golden brown (approximately 3 hours) make two cuts in the candy, dividing it into quarters.

5. Then, with the help of a spatula, turn the ambrosia quarters over and cook for another 15 minutes. If necessary, add a little milk.

6. Turn off the heat and transfer the ambrosia to a glass container and decorate with cinnamon sticks or powder.

7. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

The Sweet of the Greek Gods

It is known that, in Greek mythology, the gods had both divine aspects and human passions and wills; which makes clear their ability to satisfy themselves with some things in the earthly world, such as food.

Thus, it was common in Greek culture to believe that the gods ate a sweet, nectar-based meal; and that it was considered the delicacy of the gods, since it had a divine flavor, and the ability to promote, to the human who drank it, immortality and extreme happiness.

From then on, the expression “of the gods” emerged, widely used to refer to sweet or savory foods that are indescribably tasty. And from there, the name ambrosia also emerged, which would later become one of the sweets most appreciated by Brazilians.

The sweet ambrosia

Our trip to learn a little more about this sweet leaves Greece and goes to the Iberian Peninsula, more specifically to Portugal. As recorded in history, already in the Middle Ages, Portuguese sweets were based on eggs and sugar; also taking advantage of other ingredients and spices that might be available.

Thus, around the fifteenth century, in addition to the egg and sugar, milk was added to the recipe, as well as vanilla , and in some recipes, cinnamon; thus originating this traditionally Portuguese sweet, which was consumed mainly in the convents of the time, as a way to take advantage of the foods that were more perishable.

To get to Brazil from then on was easy. It is believed that some cooks who came to Brazil during the colonization period already knew the recipe, which was then brought to Brazilian territory. Ambrosia, then, became widespread in the states of the South and Southeast regions, gaining popularity, and new versions that include cloves and lemon juice to enhance its divine flavor.

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