Traditional Brazilian Brigadeiro Recipe

brigadeiro balls

If you know anything about Brazilian cuisine or if you have a Brazilian friend, you probably already know what Brigadeiro is. And for sure you also know that it is Brazil’s most popular sweet treat!

brigadeiro balls

If you don’t know what Brigadeiro is, don’t worry, you are not the only one! I’m here to help you change that, but be prepared, it will change your life!!

Brigadeiro is a bite-size chocolate sweet. Some people say it tastes like chocolate fudge, others say it tastes more like truffles. I’ve also heard that it is similar to a soft caramel. Personally I think they are more similar to chocolate fudge.

Traditionally, they are made of sweetened condensed milk, chocolate milk powder and butter. The most popular way you can find the brigadeiro is hand rolled into balls and covered in chocolate sprinkles. 

brigadeiro balls in a stand

Before moving to Montreal, we owned a pastry shop in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Back in 2009, when we started our business, there were only a few variations of Brigadeiro being sold.

  • Classic, made with  chocolate milk powder,
  • The white version, that actually doesn’t contain any chocolate and
  • “Beijinho” made with coconut (the husband’s favourite!).

In the past few years, brigadeiro has become very commercial and lots of different new flavors have been invented. They are now being called “gourmet brigadeiros”.

Gourmet Brigadeiro is an amazing new concept, it puts together the art of confectionery and the tastes and aromas of top quality ingredients such as the best chocolates from all around the world.

They can come in a sort of different toppings and in sophisticated flavours. Pistachio, lime, passion fruit, dark chocolate, Crème Brûle, Churros, Nutella, Champagne are a few examples.

brigadeiro balls

In Brazil, no celebration is complete without brigadeiros. Honestly, I don’t remember ever going to a party that did not have brigadeiros.

At the parties, the brigadeiros are usually placed on platters near the cake. By the time everyone gathers around to sing happy bday to you! it is VERY common to find some empty paper cups left by the ones that could not resist until the “happy bday” song to eat them. (I must confess, I’m not proud of it, but I’ve done it before!)

brigadeiro balls

Here I’m going to give you the Dark Chocolate version, my favorite. The bitter taste of the cocoa powder and chocolate 54% make it less sweet and perfect, in my opinion.

While the brigadeiro requires some patience, it is not at all difficult to make.  After you roll them and cover with sprinkles, you can put them in small candy cups. 

Here at home the kids love to help rolling them in the sprinkles. If you have kids too, ask them for a little help, they will love this bonding time. And of course that some brigadeiro balls will be lost along the way (if you know what I mean!!!). J Have fun and enjoy!

brigadeiro balls
brigadeiro balls

Ingredients

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 100gr heavy cream (I use the whipping Cream 35%)
  • 30gr cocoa powder
  • 20gr good quality dark chocolate between 50% and 70%
  • 10gr butter, plus more for rolling balls
  • Good quality chocolate sprinkles (or any other type of sprinkles you like)

Instructions

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine first the cocoa powder and the condensed milk. After well mixed add the butter, cream and chocolate. Cook, always stirring, until thickened (about 10 minutes). You will know that it is in the right consistency when it comes out easily from the bottom of the pan.

brigadeiro batch
brigadeiro batch

Remove it from the heat and let it rest until room temperature.

Put your sprinkles in a plate or bowl. Then, grease your hands with butter and roll the brigadeiros into cherry-size balls.

brigadeiro balls

After that, roll the brigadeiro balls into the sprinkles and place them in paper/foil candy cups.

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