I think it’s about time to talk about brigadeiros here.
Usually I try to stay away from the clichés, and try different flavor combinations or give a try to a new technique. But there are some things that are just part of your life and you just cannot let it go. I’m afraid to say that brigadeiro is one of them.
You probably heard about it for the first time in some Brazilian bakery close to your friend or had it in a party thrown by some of your Brazilian friends. I bet that all of them speak of it as if it was the best thing in the world — and you’re probably still wondering what’s so special about it.
The thing is, brigadeiro is by far the most popular party sweet in Brazil. That basically means that every kids’ birthday, every special occasion, and I wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that even weddings feature it. This way, brigadeiros can bring great memories to us every time we eat it. And that’s why some people are crazy about it.
I obviously like it very much, but I have to admit it is some sort of acquired taste. Because I know, and I agree that it’s just too sweet. More recently, even in Brazil, people are starting to revitalize the brigadeiro by adding other ingredients than just cocoa powder. To be honest, even cocoa powder is a sort of “gourmetization” of the recipe, since the original ones call for instant chocolate powder (that is, as you may have realized, even sweeter).
The recipe itself is pretty simple and call for only three ingredients. The key factor here is how you cook it, and to which point. Most Brazilians will know how to make it by heart, but I wanted to show you how to get flawless results each time. But in general, you cook longer to be able to roll it as a truffle, and less if you want to use it as a spread (or as a cake filling, for example).
You can substitute the cocoa powder with other ingredients to make different types of this sweet. The most popular versions are with shredded coconut (beijinho), ground peanuts (cajuzinho) or ground walnuts (camafeu), but I’ve tasted some made with ground pistachio, salted caramel sauce, lime juice and passion fruit that were absolutely amazing.
Why don’t you give it a try?
- 395 g sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
- 20 g butter
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
- chocolate sprinkles
- Mix all the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Cook the mixture over medium-high heat until the butter is completely melted and incorporated, mixing always with a rubber spatula.
- Lower the heat to medium and keep cooking, always mixing.
- Once the first bubbles start to arise in the surface, start to mix more vigorously, to make sure it will not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Keep cooking until it gets a Nutella-like consistency (thick, but spreadable). This will take about 5 minutes after the first bubbles appeared.
- Its temperature reaches about 105°C/220°F once it's ready, so you can also use it as a measure to ensure it's in the right consistency.
- Transfer it to a shallow plate and let cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour before starting to roll.
- Pour the sprinkles in a small-sized bowl to coat the brigadeiros once rolled.
- Spread a little bit of butter in your hands and grab 1 teaspoon of brigadeiro to roll at a time. The butter will make sure it will not stick in your hands.
- Once rolled, coat each brigadeiro with chocolate sprinkles and put them in small paper baking cups. Leave refrigerated until ready to serve.