I’d never heard of Brigadeiro until Marieli, one of my readers, told me about this Brazilian-style truffle some time ago. I also read that it’s a popular candy in Brazil, was created in the 1940s, and is thought to have been named after Brigadier Eduardo Gomes. As Marieli says, “The ingredients are always the same: condensed milk, butter, and cocoa powder.” There are some different versions, but she gave me the instructions for the traditional Brigadeiro. Marieli recommends using a large wooden spoon to stir the mixture if you have one, which I did, and it worked beautifully.
These candies are chewy, chocolatey, and super yummy–they remind me of chocolate caramels. They would make great treats and food gifts for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter–anytime you want to make or give some special sweets. If you need to make a large batch, you’ll want to double the recipe!
Marielli also said she often uses this Brigadeiro mixture poured over cakes as a frosting (see note in recipe below)–she did that with Pam’s Pumpkin Sheet Cake, pouring the warm Brigadeiro mixture over the cake instead of frosting it with the cream cheese frosting. She also sprinkled roasted almonds on top. Sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it?
Here’s the recipe–thanks so much, Marielli, for sharing it! 🙂
MARIELI’S BRIGADEIRO (BRAZILIAN-STYLE TRUFFLES) from Marieli G.
Makes about 20 to 24 truffles
- 3 Tablespoons salted or unsalted butter, plus an additional Tablespoon unsalted butter to use on your hands when rolling mixture into balls (if using unsalted butter in recipe, add 1/8 teaspoon salt to the mixture when you’re cooking it)
- 2 Tablespoons sweetened or unsweetened cocoa powder (Marieli uses sweetened; I used unsweetened since that’s what I had on hand)
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup of chocolate sprinkles for rolling the truffles in (you could also use shredded coconut or finely chopped nuts)
- Mini baking cups
Place a small to medium non-stick saucepan over medium-low heat on your stove. Add the butter, letting it melt slowly and completely (don’t let it get to a boil).
Remove saucepan from heat and mix in the cocoa powder, blending well to avoid lumps.
Place saucepan back over medium-low heat and add in the sweetened condensed milk, blending everything well. Stir mixture continuously for 20 to 30 minutes, or until you pass the spoon across the bottom of the pan and notice the mixture is thick enough to separate for a few seconds (my mixture was cooked enough after 20 minutes). Note: It’s important to stir the mixture continuously so it doesn’t stick to the bottom and sides of pan, making the mixture lumpy).
Turn off heat, remove pan from stove and pour mixture on a large plate (Note: if you want to use the Brigadeiro as a frosting, you can pour it over your cake at this time). Let mixture cool on plate for easier handling (to cool more quickly, place in refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes–but don’t cool it too much, or the sprinkles won’t stick to the mixture when you roll it into balls).
After mixture has cooled a little, rub a small amount of unsalted butter inside your hands so the mixture won’t stick when you’re rolling it into small balls.
Scoop the mixture with a regular tea spoon (not the measuring teaspoon) and put it in the palm of your hand. Roll into the shape of a 1″ ball (mine were slightly smaller). Then dip and roll the ball in sprinkles, covering the entire surface and place in a mini baking cup.
Repeat with the remaining mixture, rolling into balls, covering with sprinkles, and placing in baking cups. Add more butter to your hands as necessary for easier rolling.
Have you made or eaten Brigadeiro before?