Brigadeiros are a kind of fudge/truffle from Brazil that's often enjoyed for carnival, but really I think most people will make any excuse. They’re a really easy sweet treat that the whole family will love.
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When my elder son was younger, he didn't have a particularly sweet tooth. He liked fruit, but I delayed introducing him to that much sugar and he never really got that much of a taste. Things have changed, though. I still limit a fair bit, and he's largely good with that and enjoys his Medjool date after dinner rather than a 'true' dessert most nights. But he definitely enjoys sweeter things, and has a thing for chocolate.
I sometimes make healthier takes on things like my chocolate zucchini muffins and sweet potato brownies. Now and again, though, I indulge more, as I did when I made these for his preschool class a while back. They were an instant hit with the whole class, teachers included.
Where does the name brigadeiros come from?
They were apparently invented by a brigadier’s wife (hence the name - ‘brigadeiros’, Portuguese for brigadier). When he went into politics, she would make and serve them at fundraising parties and they soon became a hit. You'll often find them at Carnival (Mardi Gras) and other special occasions. (By the way, if you're looking for other mardi gras ideas, take a look at mardi gras food around the world).
Whenever you choose to serve them, they’re sweet, slightly gooey and delicious. They're not the kind of thing you would have every day, and I with my not-too-sweet tooth would not be able to eat more than one at a time, but for now and then, they are a delicious treat.
How to make brigadeiros
These are relatively easy to make as they only have a few ingredients. The only tricky bit is getting the right consistency of the mixture without it burning. Really you jut need to keep gently stirring over a relatively low heat, keeping the mixture moving so it doesn't stick and burn. Then once it's thick enough, pour onto a greased plate. Cool then roll little balls with buttered hands and roll the balls in chocolate vermicelli/sprinkles.
I'm sharing these for today's Foodie Extravaganza as the theme is chocolate, in celebration of National Chocolate month. I'm sure for many, my kids included, that's every month given half the chance!
I can understand, and I do like to add the odd bit of chocolate in here and there like chips in my strawberry empanadas, pear galette and chocolate pumpkin pastry twists. Then that bit more in things link sweet potato brownies and chocolate raspberry almond tart.
These brigadeiros might technically not have all that much chocolate in there, but they feel like an all-chocolate indulgence. Sweet, chewy and deliciously smooth, they'll be an instant hit.
Try these other bite-sized treats (perfect for gifting!)
- Cranberry truffles
- Raspberry blueberry chocolate bark
- Turron de jijona (Spanish soft nougat)
- Plus get more ideas, both sweet and savory, in the snack recipes archives.
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk 1 can (398g)
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 oz butter 55g, plus a little more for hands/plate later
- 2 oz Chocolate vermicelli or chocolate sprinkles 55g, approx
- Mix together the condensed milk and the cocoa powder until smooth and there are no lumps of cocoa. Note - if your cocoa powder looks lumpy before you use it, sift it into the condensed milk to make a little easier.
- Melt the butter in a small pan then add the cocoa-condensed milk and mix in. Cook over a low-medium heat for around 10 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens enough so that it takes a few seconds to flow back to cover the bottom of the pan when you stir it from the bottom. It will also hold to the spoon pretty well.
- Lightly grease a plate with butter then pour the mixture onto the plate. Leave to cool completely (you can speed up in the fridge).
- When the mixture is cool, pour some chocolate vermicelli/sprinkles on a small plate and lay out some mini baking cups. Lightly grease the palm and tips of the hand you’ll use to roll with a little butter.
- Take a heaped teaspoon of the mixture and roll it in your hand to form a ball. Roll it in the chocolate vermicelli/sprinkles so that it is covered on all sides (you may need to press them on a little) then place in the baking cup. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. They’ll keep a day or two out in a cool place, a good week or more refrigerated.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
See all the other chocolate creations for today's Foodie Extravaganza:
- Browned Butter Dark Chocolate Marshmallow Muffins by Food Lust People Love
- Chocolate Dream Whoopie Pies by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Chocolate Nonpareil Drops by Family Around the Table
- Chocolate Tart with a Shortbread Crust by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Double Chocolate Chip Banana Bread by Hardly A Goddess
- Easy Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes by Our Good Life
- German Chocolate Cake Macarons by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Healthy Chocolate Truffles by Simple and Savory
- Homemade Chocolate Praline Easter Eggs by Sneha’s Recipe
- Homemade White Chocolate with Strawberries and Rose
Petals by Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Sachertorte by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Salted Juniper-Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato Chocolate Mole Soup by Faith, Hope, Love and Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
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