One of the things I still don’t understand is why Brazilian food is not more popular overseas. I do my best to show it to my friends — and to all of you reading me now — but only a few recipes are getting more mainstream in the last couple of years. One of them is Brigadeiro.
This is the kind of recipe that almost everyone down there knows how to do, which not necessarily mean that everybody does it well. We naturally have a sweet tooth and people tend to use overly sweet ingredients while making it. It might taste good for me or for any other people in Brazil. But I have to admit that it might taste awful to an “untrained” person.
But I have to tell you that there is a way to make awesome, not overly sweet brigadeiro, and it is very easy. You just need to counterbalance the sweetness of the condensed milk with dark chocolate or dark cocoa powder. That’s it, no big deal.
Once you’re done with the recipe, you can either mold it as small balls and cover it with chocolate sprinkles, or use like I did, to frost these awesome carrot cake cupcakes.
This recipe, also adapted from Joy, can be perfectly used to make a full-sized cake. I would just advise you to double (or triple) the frosting recipe in case you want to make a layered cake filled with brigadeiro. And in case you end up with more brigadeiro than you need for this recipe, don’t worry: you can always eat it, spoonful at a time
- 2 cups of carrots, shredded
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- ⅛ cup buttermilk
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup canned pineapple, cut in small cubes
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup sultanas or dried cranberries
- 1½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp dried ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 pinch of dried cloves
- 1 can of sweetned condensed milk
- 1 tbsp of butter
- 1½ tbsp of dark cocoa powder (with at least 70% cocoa)
- Preheat your oven at 180°C. Prepare two cupcake pans and line them with cupcake paper cups.
- In a large bowl, mix the carrots with eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract, pineapple, walnuts and sultanas.
- On a different bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients to the carrot mixture and mix until just combined.
- Fill the cupcakes until ⅔ full and bake them for about 20 minutes.
- In a cast iron pan, mix all the ingredients until the cocoa is almost dissolved in the condensed milk.
- If your cocoa powder is too dark, you may consider using 1 tbsp or less.
- Put the pan over medium heat and mix well until the butter has been melted.
- Once the butter has melted, lower the heat to a minimum, and keep stirring with a spatula until the mixture has firmed up (a good way to know if it's ready is to count about 5 minutes after the first bubble bursted in the surface). Never stop stirring!
- Remove the brigadeiro from the pan and set aside until it comes to room temperature.
- Prepare a pastry bag with an open star tip (I used 1M from Wilton) and frost your cupcakes.
- Decorate with sprinkles if you wish.