Chocolate Pave – A Brazilian Dessert

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chocolate pave


We have a spunky reader who has been asking for me to post a Brazilian dessert recipe forever. In fact, I think she made the request before we even started blogging. That is how on top of it she is.  And she has been completely delightful in not letting me forget her request.

Well. Here you go. Chocolate Pave.

Pave (pa-vay) is a dessert with layers of cookies and chocolate whipped cream custard topped with dulce de leche.

I first made this dish for The Strong Man. I think it is so special to be able to create a dish for somebody that is meaningful for them.  Shawna talked about this type of love in The Individual is the Heart of Value.

I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but many years ago The Strong Man tilted his head to one side and stared off into the distance and began telling me about a dessert he had eaten in Brazil called pave. I don’t remember how he described it exactly, but I do remember thinking, “I’m going to figure out how to make that.” I have done that with a lot of Brazilian dishes (some more successfully than others.) But the internet makes this job quite a bit easier. I would not have even known where to start.

I found a recipe and followed it. The Strong Man was thrilled!  He said it was pretty close to what he had eaten there.  The recipe needed a little tweaking, to make it work consistently. But I think I’ve got it now.

The recipe uses Maria cookies which are little tubes of cookies that taste a lot like animal crackers. They are found in the Mexican or Latin food aisles.

You can also omit the cocoa powder and end up with a vanilla version of this dessert.Both are pretty delicious!

Denise, I hope you enjoy this recipe!



Chocolate Pave – A Brazilian Dessert


  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tubes Maria cookies
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus 1/2 cup for thinning dulce de leche
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder


  1. Remove label from sweetened condensed milk. Place unopened can in a large saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil (make sure that you keep adding water, so that the can doesn't explode!!!) Boil for 1.5 hours.
  2. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of an exploding can, then pour out sweetened condensed milk into a small sauce pan and heat over medium low heat, stirring often, until milk turns a caramel color. This will take about 30-45 minutes. You may need to add some extra cream to thin the dulce de leche back to a pourable consistency.
  3. Add egg yolks, sugar and butter to the top of a double boiler. Place the top over simmering water. Stir constantly until the yolks start to thicken. (Make sure the top of the double boiler isn't touching the simmering water and make sure you stir constantly, scraping the sides of the double boiler. This will help prevent ending up with scrambled eggs.) When the eggs reach 160 or when they have thickened, remove immediately from the heat and place the double boiler top in an ice bath.
  4. While the eggs cool, whip the heavy cream until stiff. Add cocoa powder.
  5. Strain cooled eggs through a fine sieve into a large mixing bowl ( to remove any egg that became scrambled.) Add about 1/3 of the whipped cream and stir until combined. This will loosen the egg mixture and make it easier to fold into the remaining whipped cream.
  6. Fold in the other 2/3 of the whipped cream. Trying not to deflate the whipped cream. Set aside.
  7. Dip a Maria cookie quickly into the 1/2 cup milk. Then use them to line the bottom of a shallow rectangular dish (I used a 8x11 dish).
  8. Cover cookies with 1/3 of the chocolate pave cream. Place another layer of milk soaked Maria cookies, then another 1/3 of the chocolate pave cream. Place another layer of soaked cookies and the final 1/3 of chocolate pave cream. Top with one final layer of soaked cookies.
  9. Pour the dulce de leche over the top layer of cookies and carefully smooth.
  10. Refrigerate until firm.

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  1. Denise says

    Hi Anita!! 😀 I finally got back from being out of town this weekend. :) Had a wonderful time and came back to your wonderful Chocolate Pave recipe!!! Thank you so much for thinking of me, I mean this delicious recipe!! I’m going to make it this week and I know it’ll be awesome. Thanks again and I look forward to more of your great recipes and stories. 😉

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