Monday, July 2, 2012

Brigadeiro, Truffle or Fudge? You be the Judge.

     I've heard people refer to Brigadeiro (Bree-guh-day-doh) both as Brazilian Fudge and/or Brazilian Truffle, but the truth is, it's technically neither. It's not really important either, because the point is, it's delicious. The method used to cook it does resemble making fudge somewhat, though.
Brigadeiro translates into what would be a Military General in English, and this particular treat was named after Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes, who was famous for defeating a communist coupe. This was actually created for him during his first campaign as president back in 1946-1950, and was first referred to as "docinho de brigadeiro" or "General's  Little Sweets." Over time, Brigadeiro stuck as the official name for it.
     Today Brigadeiro can be found at any festive gathering, birthday party, deli, bakery, or any children's event. It is the most popular of sweet treats in Brazil, and there are actually quite a lot of variations of it. I will probably post a lot of these variations closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas, which would be a good time to share some of these newly learned treats with family. I once made Brigadeiro for everyone at my son's 3rd birthday party that we had in the United States, and that year it became a traditional staple in my US family's Christmas cookie platter. It really is that good. So easy to make!

So here's what you will need:

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated!)
  • 1 tbsp of butter or margarine preferably with no salt added (though honestly, I make it all the time here in Brazil with salt added margarine because it's cheaper than the no salt added, works just fine!)
  • 4 tbsp of cocoa powder OR 7 tbsp of any chocolate drink mix powder
  • Tiny cupcake liners-- tiny. I found them at Schnucks while I was in the states, so I know you can get them at a normal grocery store. I found them around where they sell icing dispensers and sprinkles and such.
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Any pot.. non stick is good, but I don't use non stick here in brazil and I just let the pot soak in water for a bit after I use it.
  • 1 cup of chocolate sprinkles
  • OPTIONAL - small fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, raisins, nuts, etc. you get the idea, that can be covered with the brigadeiro and rolled into a ball. Very yummy option indeed.

1. Put condensed milk, butter, and chocolate powder into pan.
2. Place pan over medium heat.
3. As contents start to heat up and melt, begin stirring with the wooden spoon. Don't stop!
This is not ready yet. See how it sticks to the sides? It should start pulling off of the pan when it is ready.
4. Continue stirring with wooden spoon, slowly and steadily, and it will begin to take on a darker color. The texture will begin to thicken. 

5. Don't stop stirring. You will be stirring for about 8-10 minutes when you will begin to notice that the mixture will start to bubble and boil. You will end up stirring for about 5-8 more minutes after this, and the color will be darker. The smell will get a lot stronger, but if it starts to smell at all like burning, it's time to stop. 

6. Mixture is ready when you pick the spoon up and nothing falls off of it right away. It's a lot like fudge in the sense that if you don't cook it enough, it will not come together properly when you are ready to roll it into balls, and if you cook it too long... you will have more of a toffee when it cools off. So just try to pay attention to the consistency.
See how it has started to  pull away from the pan? It's ready to take off the fire.

7. Take the mixture off of the heat and let it cool down enough to put it into a heat safe bowl. You can either leave this in room temp. to cool for 3 hours, or put it in the fridge and let it cool for about 1.5-2 hours. 

8. Once cooled, it should be thick, but pliable with the fingers. You will need to set up a little station.
9. Take a platter or serving dish and line it with your mini cupcake liners. Also take a deep plate or bowl and pour in the chocolate sprinkles. Bring the pot of cooled brigadeiro over to your station and lightly coat your fingers/hands with butter. You will need to do this from time to time throughout your sprinkle coating adventure, so keep it handy.
10. Take the mixture out with buttered fingers in small to medium pinches and roll into a ball.  If you are embedding fruit or nuts into these balls, this is the time to get them into the middle of the ball and roll it up inside.
11. Roll the ball throughout the chocolate sprinkles and then place it in a mini cupcake liner. I have also seen people use a spoon to spoon sprinkles over the ball, but I find it's quicker if you just use your hands. Kids love this project by the way. 

12. Keep repeating those steps until all of the mini cupcake liners are all full. Depending on how big your balls are... you will get anyway from 15-30 balls per recipe.
13. Keep in the fridge until time to serve, and try not to let them sit out in extreme heated temps. They'll melt! 

Note: Feel free to play with this one. You don't have to use chocolate sprinkles, you can use coconut, colored sprinkles, crushed nuts, etc. I've even seen someone use sesame seeds. 
Also, you can make this a vegan version if you can find soy condensed milk and use margarine instead of butter.

A couple ideas:

1 comment:

  1. Should you use sweetened or unsweetened coconut instead of choc sprinkles.?