I loved watching the Rio Olympics (and seeing the success of Great Britain!) and I decided to try baking something Brazilian in honour of the games. I know that the Olympics actually finished last week, but we still have the Paralympics to look forward to, and everyone (at least here in Britian) is still riding on the wave of joy that the Olympics seemed to bring! This is a slightly different recipe to usual, but I hope you find just as interesting and delicious.
Brigadeiros are a traditional and popular Brazilian fudgey chocolate truffle, commonly eaten throughout the country and across other South American countries. Like a combination of fudge and mousse, they are made from condensed milk, cocoa and butter. I first came across Brigadeiro’s last year at university when one of my housemates made them as part of a Brazilian meal she was cooking for a large group of people. They were delicious and I was excited to try and create my own version of this traditional treat.
Brigadeiros originated in Brazil in the 1940s. Their exact creation is somewhat debated and there are many differing versions of how they came about. One story is that they were created during the Second World War at a time when fresh milk and sugar were scarce and condensed milk was used a substitute to create desserts and sweets. It is also stated that they were named after the brigadier Eduardo Gomes during his campaign for the 1945 presidential elections. It is said that the truffles were made by his wife and sold to help fund his campaign. A slightly different version sites women who promoted Gomes’ campiagn (and who could vote for the first time in 1945 in Brazil) creating the truffe to fundraise for it. Despite his popularity (and his apparently dashing appearance) Gomes failed to be elected, however his legacy lives on through brigadeiros!
Brigadeiros are extremely popular throughout Brazil and considered a delicacy, often served at birthday parties. Nowadays there a many different variations of the sweet, with different flavours and toppings including pistachios, coconut and almonds, however they were traditionally topped with chocolate sprinkles. My version uses grated dark chocolate and cocoa powder as a topping but you can choose to cover yours in whatever you like! The mixture can also be eaten unrolled and from the bowl with a spoon. Brigadeiros are really easy to make and perfect for any occasion, be it a birthday celebration or with a cup of tea.
Brazilian Chocolate Brigadeiros
- 1 x 400g / 14ozg can condensed milk
- 40g / 1.5oz butter
- 40g / 1.5oz cocoa powder
- 1/2tsp vanilla extract/essence
- 30-40g topping (e.g. cocoa powder, finely grated chocolate)
- Heat the condensed milk, butter and cocoa in a saucepan on a high heat, bringing it up to a boil. Then turn down to a medium-low heat and gently simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until it becomes thick, fudgey, and pulling away from the bottom of the pan, stirring constantly
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla
- Pour into a bowl and place in the fridge. Chill for at least 2 hours
- Use a teaspoon to form the mixture into balls
- Roll the balls in the desired toppings and place in paper cases
I hope you enjoy this little chocolate treat! Let me know what you think of it in the comments.
Thanks for reading!