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. It 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.
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, it 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 these fudge balls — 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 these beloved fudge balls!
- 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
- Mix the condensed milk and cocoa powder together until obtaining a homogeneous mixture (without lumps of cocoa powder). Then, stir in the butter.
- Stove: Cook in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and 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.
- 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.
- When brigadeiro is ready, remove either from the stove top or microwave, mix in the vanilla extract and spread mixture onto a greased plate.
- 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.
By the way, these are perfect for Easter.
They 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!