Brigadeiro - Brazilian Chocolate Truffles

Brigadeiro is the most popular dessert in Brazil.  Rich gooey yummy chocolate truffles that are obligatory presence in any child's birthday party.  

It's also one of those foods that seem to have magical powers, like grandmother's biscuits and chicken soup:  For example, one of your duties as a Brazilian friend (in particulary if you are a girl) is to make brigadeiro to any heart bronken friend that will devour the treat straight from the pan, with a spoon whilst watching a romantic movie.  :-)

It's something imprinted in your childhood memories: I will always remember the fights I used to have with my brother and sister disputing who was going to eat the leftover from the pan and the best thing was to help Mum rolling them: one for the tray, one for me - perfect even division.

A bit of history, the theory is that the sweet was created in the late 40's.   Its creation is connected to the political campaign of army Brigadier Eduardo Gomes that was running for president.  There are two versions of the story, one is that the sweets used to be served during his campaigns parties and other is that it used to be sold by housewifes to support his campaign.  In any case, Brigadeiro means Brigadier as it was named after the politician (and no, it didn't work, he lost the campaign).

70 years later and one Viva! to the globalization, Brigadeiros are now starting to be popular in many places in the world.    Personally I have been a bit anoyed with the recipes I saw in some quite famous (an not Brazilian) food blogs.    I am Brazilian, borned and raised and this post is the real deal.

Brigadeiro is basically condensed milk, a bit of milk just to help mixing, butter and chocolate - i like making with cocoa but the fact is that my mother, my grandmother and my great grandmother before her, as almost any Brazil mum, used to make it with drinking chocolate and it is just as memorable.     Most important:
  • Brigadeiro does not have Cream!!!
  • Brigadeiro does not have Coconut (this is even worse!! we have another similar sweet named beijinho that has coconut)
The old Brigadeiro recipes used to have egg yolks but it is also optional; However, adding one yolk to the mixture gives it a better texture.

Cream is added to make it softer to be used as cake filling and icing.

Living in Australia for three years now, I started a new tradition in my Aussie family and now all my little Aussie nieces and nephews have Brigadeiro for their Birthday.    Follow the recipe and start your own Brigadeiro tradition :-)




Brigadeiro - Brazilian Chocolate Truffles
Prep Cooking Total Yields Difficulty Cost
30 min 30 min 1 hour 20 Easy $$
Author: Classic cooked by Rachel Elich      Rate the Recipe:
Ingredients
  • 1 Can sweetened condensed Milk (395g)
  • 1/4 Can milk (use the condensed Milk can as measure) (optional)
  • 1 Heaped tablespoon butter plus some for greasing your hands
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • Chocolate sprinkles
Directions
  1. Grease a large plate with butter and set aside.
  2. Place all ingredients except the chocolate sprinkles in a fairly tall and heavy bottomed  pan - use a non sticky pan if you have one.  
  3. Mix well all ingredients with a wood spoon before turning on the heat.
  4. Stir the mixture over medium heat for about 10-15 min.  You will know when is ready when it "comes with the spoon" - basically you pull the mixture with a spoon and it takes time to go back. 
  5. Remove from the heat and spoon it into the plate.   
  6. Leave it to cool down at room temperature for about an hour.   Don't put it in the fridge as it can get too hard.
  7. Grease your hands well with butter, roll the Brigadeiros into balls and dip them in chocolate sprinkles.   Grease your hands again every time the sweet starts sticking to your hands or they are not getting properly coated with the chocolate sprinkles (the butter helps having an even coat)
  8. Serve then in small paper liners.
Brigadeiro can be kept in room temperature for 3 days and they are better if kept out of the fridge! They last a week in the fridge and a month in the freezer.   If you are not going to consume it in 3 days, freezing is the best option as it keeps better the taste and texture - before serving take it out of the fridge and leave it to defrost at room temperature for a couple of hours.

Rachel Elich

Rachel Elich is a globetrotting, computer engineer, project manager, designer, untamed cook extraordinaire who backpacks around the world. Along the way on adventures, Rachel has adopted and incorporated international influences into all aspects of her creative work endeavours.

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