Anybody else out there gone soccer-crazy? My family is glued to every game, and when the United States is up, watch out! The screams can be heard a mile away. Personally I’ve never been much for sports, but I do love how a good game can bring the whole family together. It was my husband who suggested I post a recipe for the World Cup. “Something Brazilian,” he said, “in honor of the host country.” I suddenly remembered an easy Brazilian treat a friend taught me years ago called brigadeiros. Just the memory made my mouth water. They taste like chocolate milk in truffle form. It’s such a simple concept, I just had to share it with you.
Brigadeiros are truffle-like confections made from cocoa or chocolate powder and condensed milk. As the story goes they were named after Eduardo Gomes, a Brigadier (brigade commander) in the Brazilian Air Force. When he ran for president of Brazil in 1945, his slogan was “Vote no brigadeiro, que é bonito e é solteiro,” which translates to “Vote for the brigadier, who is handsome and single.” Whether it was his good looks or his platform promoting middle-class families we can’t be sure, but Gomes did attract many female supporters who sold these chocolate brigadeiro candies as fundraisers. These sweet little treats are also known as negrinhos in some southern parts of Brazil.
Brigadeiros could not be easier to make and they taste amazing, plus they make your house smell bonkers delicious while you’re cooking them. They’re definitely worth trying. What a fun addition to a World Cup party. Go Team USA!
- 2 cans (14 oz. each) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (make sure it's unsweetened!)
- Candy sprinkles
- Sweetened shredded coconut
- Crushed nuts
- Crushed pretzels
- Crushed vanilla cookies
- Mini chocolate chips
You will also need
- Small pan (nonstick is great if you have it), whisk, wooden spoon, mini paper baking cups for truffles (optional)
- Grease a small pan with 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Pour in the 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk and 5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder. Whisk the mixture together over medium heat until the butter melts and the cocoa is fully integrated into the sweetened condensed milk.
- Switch from a whisk to a wooden spoon. Continue stirring over medium heat till the mixture begins to boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook, stirring constantly. Scrape the sides of the pan from time to time to make sure the mixture doesn't stick or burn. Do not stop stirring; if you leave it alone for even a minute it will burn.
- After 10-15 minutes the mixture will begin to thicken and pull away from the sides of the pan. You can run your spoon through the middle of the mixture and a valley will appear-- it should take around 3-5 seconds for the valley to close. At this point you're almost done. Continue stirring for 2 more minutes till batter is quite thick and collecting in the center of the pan. Resist the urge to eat the whole pan of brigadeiro batter. It's super tempting.
- Remove pan from heat and pour the batter into a greased bowl.
- Refrigerate the batter for about 45 minutes until cool and somewhat firm.
- Butter or oil your hands. Scoop the batter and form into small balls of about 2 teaspoons each, rolling between your greased hands.
- Once they are rolled into balls, brigadeiros can be rolled in a variety of toppings. Here I've used sprinkles, coconut, nuts and mini chocolate chips. I've made several more suggestions above. After they are rolled, they are traditionally placed into mini paper baking cups. I didn't have any on hand when I photographed these brigadeiros, so I placed them directly onto my grandma's pink glass plate for a pretty presentation.
- You can eat them right away, or chill them again till firm. Brigadeiros should be stored in the refrigerator to preserve their freshness, they will last about 1 week.