cooking

Brigadeiro, a Brazilian Sweet: Valentine’s Version

Hi everyone, Happy Valentine’s Day!!

I know it’s a Tuesday, but I decided to share this Brigadeiro recipe today on actual Valentine’s Day rather than tomorrow, so those who still have to prepare a last minute vday treat, can do so with ease! I wish Valentine’s day always fell on a weekend so I had more time to bake delicious goodies.

I was introduced to Brigadeiro last summer at my cousin’s birthday party, when his Brazilian-American girlfriend had made them. Unfortunately, I had no idea these existed in the universe, had absolutely no idea on how they were made, what was in it, and how they tasted. However, no taste bud can go wrong with chocolate. For some reason, my brain picked between two potential flavors on how Brigadeiro would taste: either tootsie rolls (I am not a fan of tootsie rolls) or Lindt chocolate (I think I was expecting something gooey to be inside the ball, just like a Lindt chocolate). It tasted like neither. The moment I took a bite into one, I was in heaven. There’s no proper way to describe how Brigadeiro taste. It’s fudgey, chocolately, and just so so so good. I proceeded to eat 5 more as I learned how easy it was to make.fullsizerender-18

The word, Brigadeiro, was definitely a foreign word to me at that time. Although I had a Brazilian foreign exchange intern in my lab who would share pretty much everything you needed to know about Brazil, including the food and the way of life, she forgot to mention the most important sweet that brings Brazilians together- Brigadeiro!! Brigadeiro is a small chocolate ball covered in chocolate sprinkles that is always present at a celebration, mainly birthdays. Today, I decided to make Brigadeiro for Valentine’s day, as it is a very special day for me and my Valentine. Of course, this is a very rich sweet and should probably only be indulged on special occasions or be shared with more people besides yourself. I must warn you…once you eat Brigadeiro, you’re never going to want to stop eating them! All you need are 4 ingrediants – so easy!

Let’s get started!

Ingredients:
Yields about 10-12 Brigadeiro

  • 14 oz (usually 1 can) of sweet condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (plus a little bit more for your hands when rolling into balls)
  • 5 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • Sprinkles (whatever color your heart desires)

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized sauce pot, pour the sweet condensed milk in and add 2 tablespoons of butter.
  2. In a small bowl, add 5 tablespoons of cocoa powder and some water to dissolve the cocoa powder. Stir with a spoon until dissolved.
    • The cocoa powder doesn’t fully dissolve in sweet condensed milk, so dissolving it in water beforehand does the trick.
  3. Add the cocoa powder-water mixture to the pot and place on stove on medium-low.fullsizerender-3
  4. Here comes the semi arm work out/what feels like a century but is actually only 20 minutes: Stir the contents of the pot with a wooden spoon or spatula constantly!
    • Constantly means constantly. Don’t let the mixture burn.
  5. Continue stirring for about 20-30 minutes or until the mixture thickens. You want to make sure the heat is still on medium-low to medium. Any higher than medium and the chocolate will burn.fullsizerender-12
  6. You will know the mixture is thick enough and ready when you run a wooden spoon right through it on the bottom of the pan. Both sides of the Brigadeiro “batter” should take a while to touch back together. fullsizerender-1
  7. Once thickened, turn off the stove and butter the top of a large plate.
  8. Pour the Brigadeiro “batter” on the plate and spread evenly.
    • This is the part where you can taste test and lick the spatula after spreading the batter evenly.
  9. Let it cool at room temperature for about 30-45 minutes.fullsizerender-11
  10. Arrange your mini cupcake liners and pour the sprinkles in a bowl.
  11. Place a little butter on your hands and grab about a table spoon of the Brigadeiro batter and roll into a bite sized ball.
  12. Fully cover the Brigadeiro in your favorite sprinkles and place in a mini cupcake liner.
  13. Chill for about 30 min and then serve!

fullsizerender-10

Suggestions, Substitutions, Tips & Tricks:

  • Use whatever sprinkles you want! Traditionally, chocolate sprinkles are used. Today, I used Valentine’s Day sprinkles and liners. You can even use crushed Oreos or coconut flakes; whatever your heart desires.
  • The bottle of sprinkles I used was just enough to cover 10 Brigadeiro. I suggest having 2 bottles or a bigger size if you are making more.
  • Constantly stirring until the mixture thickens can be tedious. I suggest putting on some music or having the TV on in the background.
  • Make sure you constantly stir- this is a hit or miss with Brigadeiro.
  • The more cocoa powder you add, the more chocolatey it’ll be. I went ahead and added 5 tablespoons; 4 tablespoons is the “normal” amount.
  • Since these are homemade, each Brigadeiro will not be the same size and that’s ok! If you want to present them as the same size, I suggest using a tablespoon to scoop the batter before rolling each Brigadeiro into a ball.

I hope everyone can try making Brigadeiro this weekend! This will be a very special treat for your Valentine, your friends and family, or even for yourself! You can never go wrong with chocolate. It takes minimal effort to make them and you can get very creative with the exterior coating. I love being culturally open and incorporating cuisines together. So, I am already planning on spreading this Brigadeiro goodness over brownies as a frosting for the next occasion! My mouth is already watering..about to go eat another Brigadeiro!

Tag me on Instagram, @cookingwithovenmitz, if you do make it. I would love to see your version of it. Click follow and hit the like button to keep updated on new recipes!

See you next Wednesday!

-Mitz

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