Brigadeiros — Brazil’s famous chocolate fudge balls

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Ah, brigadeiro…What would my childhood — and adult life, too– have been without it?

How to explain it to other mortals that so far haven’t had the pleasure of trying brigadeiro (s)?

Well, I will try!

Brigadeiro (Portuguese for Brigadier) is more than just a chocolate fudge ball made of condensed milk, butter, and cocoa powder.  Brigadeiro is the most popular and beloved ‘candy’ (docinho) of Brazil.  From north to south, it is a national passion.

It was created in the 1940s and named after Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, who once ran for president of Brazil.

Brigadeiros

This delicious fella — meaning brigadeiro the ‘candy’– is often served at birthday parties, but can also be found at almost any type of party.  It is typically rolled into balls which are covered in granulated chocolate; at least that is the way brigadeiros are usually served at children’s birthday parties.  However, brigadeiro(s) can also be consumed unrolled, with a spoon (Brazilian pregnant women are well aware of that!) or used as a topping or filling for cakes, cupcakes, brownies, and pastries.

The truth is, no Brazilian kid’s party is complete without brigadeiro — including my own children’s here in the U.S.  It is so ridiculously simple to make brigadeiro, and yet so incredibly addictive, that it has been permanently imprinted into my psyche and into that of all the other Brazilian grownups whom I know too.

Why?  Because it is so good, and as unforgettable as a mother’s love…

Ah, dear reader, happiness is on the way…

Have a delightful weekend filled with Brigadeiro (s)!

Brigadeiros

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Brigadeiros
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Brigadeiros -- Brazil's famous and most beloved chocolate fudge balls...They are to die for!
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Cuisine: Brazilian
Serves: 28
Ingredients
  • 1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup baking cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (softened) plus extra to grease plate and hands
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate vermicelli or good quality chocolate sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Mix the condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter together.
  2. Stove: Cook in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with your wood spoon (about 5-8 minutes). The brigadeiro mixture should be thick enough to show you the bottom of the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture levels out again.
  3. Microwave: Pour mixture into a deep microwaveable bowl. If 900 watts, let cook on full power for about 6 minutes -- removing and stirring at least every 2 minutes, or until thick enough to be rolled (remember that when it cools down, mixture will be thicker). While it is cooking, do not leave the microwave unattended because mixture will rise and possibly bubble over, making a mess. Every time it rises, pause until mixture settles back down. If 1100 watts, cook at 80 % power. Double batches take more time to cook.
  4. When brigadeiro is ready, remove either from the stove top or microwave, mix in the vanilla extract and spread mixture onto a greased plate.
  5. Let cool to room temperature before starting to roll them into balls with greased hands. Use a ½ Tablespoon as measurement. Then, dredge gently in the chocolate vermicellis until totally covered, and place into paper bonbon cups.
Notes
Brigadeiros can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. The mixture can be also stored, covered well, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, brought to room temperature, and rolled into balls.

 

 

By the way, this brigadeiros are perfect for Easter.

   

Brigadeiros are perfect for Christmas as well:

I hope you try brigadeiro (s)!!! Brigadeiro is the bomb! Brigadeiro is quick and easy to make, and super decadent as well! Brigadeiro, brigadeiro, brigadeiro…I love you! 

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Receita em Português: Para quê? Todos sabem fazer brigadeiro!!! Um bom fim de semana pra vocês, compatriotas, na companhia de nosso querido docinho brigadeiro. :)

Brigadeiro

Super delicious brigadeiro...

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Bring your favorite chocolate dessert to Roxana’s home baking #chocolateparty and win amazing prizes from Imperial Sugar®Gold Medal Flour®Safest Choice™ Pasteurized Eggs and KitchenAid® .

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30 Responses to Brigadeiros — Brazil’s famous chocolate fudge balls

  1. Sofia Newton March 17, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    Ah, Denise! Reading your article about Brigadeiros made my mouth water and my mind travel in time as I remembered many birthdays parties and lots and lots of “docinhos” and especially Brigadeiros. You are so correct: it is not a birthday party if you do not have a lots of Brigadeiros present, ready make every mouth happy! Thank you for the thoughts.

    Sofia Newton

    • Denise Browning March 17, 2012 at 2:22 am #

      Thanks so much, Sofia! I am happy to know that brought you good memories…

  2. Jessica January 9, 2013 at 1:02 am #

    I love these!!!!

  3. Ana Paula September 22, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    Denise! Achei seu blog hoje e estou pinning como louca! Menina, quanta receita boa! Que saudade me da’!
    Sou do Ceara e moro na California faz onze anos. Seus brigadeiros de Natal sao lindos. Ontem mesmo estava falando que esse ano vou fazer brigadeiro para todo mundo no Natal.
    Parabens pelo maravilhoso blog. Um abraco

    • Denise Browning September 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      Obrigada por suas palavras e por compartilhar as minhas receitas, Ana Paula! Bem-vinda a FBTY!!!! Espero que você nos visite com frequência. Um abraço.

  4. denise April 20, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    Mine came out too soft, what did I do wrong?

    • Denise Browning April 20, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

      Hi, Denise! I am so sorry. The brigadeiro ” dough” is ready (fully cooked) when it has thickened enough to see the bottom of the pan while pulled aside with a wood spoon and also is running slow. When it cools down it will be even thicker.
      But since yours is already soft, what you can do is using this trick: Let it cool down into a greased plate at room temperature and then, place in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes. Then, grease your hands with unsalted butter, and try to shape into small balls, roll with sprinkles, and place into bonbon cups. You can serve them slightly chilled. In Brazil, we also serve brigadeiro in cups. I mean, we make soft brigadeiro and pour into mini to small cups/glasses, decorate with sprinkles on the top, and serve with spoons. We call “brigadeiro de copo” (brigadeiro in cups).
      So do not worry! In general, it takes about 2 to 3 times to get brigadeiro ‘ dough” right. I hope this helps!

  5. Margie August 19, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

    Hi, Denise! I love your recipes because they remind me of Brasil!

    I have a question. When I lived there, a special treat was bolo de brigadeiro (I think!). It was a delicious chocolate cake with brigadeiro frosting. Do you know what I’m remembering? I hope you can tell me what it was and how to make it. Abracos!

    • Denise Browning August 20, 2014 at 9:08 am #

      Hi, Margie! Thanks a lot. Yes!!! The brigadeiro cake is a simple two to three-layer chocolate cake with both brigadeiro filling and topping. Although I haven’t published a brigadeiro cake recipe on my blog, I have a recipe for brigadeiro cupcakes. Make a simple chocolate cake and use the homemade brigadeiro frosting that is in the post (link) below to fill and top your cake. Then, sprinkle chocolate sprinkles or vermicelli on top. If you will be making the cake using a cake mix, please double the amount of eggs stated in the box so your cake can be heavy enough to support the weight of the brigadeiro frosting without collapsing. I would also add more sugar (1/2 to 3/4 cup) to make it more similar to the traditional Brazilian cake. Of course, for a cake, you will have to double or triple the frosting recipe depending on the the amount of layers and size of the cake. Here is the link:

      http://www.frombraziltoyou.org/brigadeiro-cupcakes/

      Wishing you a great week! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Ava August 22, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    I’m so glad to see this recipe. A friend tried to teach me how to make them but it’s all wrong for me without measurements.

    • Denise Browning August 22, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

      Ava:
      My fave way to make brigadeiro is on the stove top because one can have better control of its cooking point. Follow the recipe and let it cool before rolling into balls. If necessary, refrigerate the “dough” for about 20 minutes before rolling into balls. Always grease your hands with unsalted butter before rolling. It helps a lot! You can use this same recipe to make brigadeiro served into mini cups or brigadeiro frosting to fill and top cakes and cupcakes.For this, you only have to add a bit of heavy cream after the brigadeiro dough has cooked to make it much softer. Enjoy!

  7. Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking September 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    Oh my! Oh my! I think my heart just skipped a beat! I love everything about these fudge balls. I have never been to Brazil but I’m sure I could fly over just so I can stuff my face with a few dozens of these!
    they look amazing! Love the colorful sprinkles!
    Thanks for bringing them to this month’s #chocolateparty
    Roxana | Roxana’s Home Baking recently posted…Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream recipeMy Profile

    • Denise Browning September 1, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

      Thanks, Roxana! The great think about these fudge balls is you can make them at home — not tickets necessary… They are ridiculously simple and quick.
      It is a pleasure to participate in your chocolate party. Congrats on its second anniversary and success!

  8. Sandra Moore September 4, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    My mom and I used to make these together when I was a kid. I helped roll them, but we used granulated sugar. After decades, I had forgotten how to make them. Thanks so much for the recipe. It all came back to me just reading the ingredients.
    I was also looking for a sweet potato candy recipe – docs de batata. Do you have one? I’ll continue to look on your site. Is another candy mom and I used to make together. So you can see why I absolutely need it :)

    • Denise Browning September 5, 2014 at 8:17 am #

      Hi, Sandra! Thanks for stopping by and welcome to FBTY…
      I am glad that you found this brigadeiro recipe. I hope you make these and enjoy… This is the traditional recipe! Chocolate sprinkle are usually used to roll brigadeiros although colorful sprinkles, granulated sugar, and others can also be used to top them. It’s really up to one’ s taste.
      Unfortunately, I don’t have any recipe for sweet potato candy (docinho de batata). What I do have is a pumpkin candy recipe or pumpkin brigadeiro which you can use it to make the sweet potato candy. You only have to use peeled, boiled, and mashed sweet potatoes instead of mashed or canned pumpkin. It is an easy substitution. Here is the link:

      http://www.frombraziltoyou.org/pumpkin-brigadeiros-brigadeiro-abobora/

      Wishing you a wonderful weekend!!

  9. Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog September 27, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    I made brigadeiro during the world cup… they’re SO addicting!
    Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog recently posted…Sticky Asian Garlic Wings [+ $800 Cash Giveaway]My Profile

    • Denise Browning September 27, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

      Hi, Sharon!!! I know… Every single time that I make them, my family and I eat them like there is no tomorrow. We love brigadeiros so much that we make not only the fudge balls (which many times we don’t even roll — we eat by spoonfuls), but also roll cake, frosting, mousses, etc. :)

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