Brazil – Brigadeiros

This week I ventured back to South America with a dessert my colleague from Brazil recommended – Brigadeiros. These chocolate concoctions were created during World War II when access to fresh food was scarce and sweets were a rare commodity. The dessert is named after a failed revolutionary politician and brigadier of the Brazilian Air Force. This is my new goal in life (to be clear, not the failed politician part, but the part where I get a dessert named after me).

The Bake

I was skeptical of the short recipe for this week. In the past simple desserts have given me many headaches (Nanaimo Bars, Chocotorta), so this time I made sure to read the entire recipe before beginning and watched my pan like a hawk to ensure the mixture did not burn. I don’t know whether the baking gods were giving me a pass this week after the disaster that was Victoria Sponge, but success was achieved! Don’t call it a comeback… okay fine, its a comeback and I’ll take it!

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There are four ingredients in these sweet spheres  – five if you count the sprinkles – and the recipe could not be easier. Combine your four ingredients in a pan and heat until the ingredients come together. The mix transforms from a light brown liquid to a dark brown mixture with the consistency of a very thick pudding.

Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool. When cool the mixture feels like taffy and is easily rolled into balls to then be dunked in the sprinkles of your choosing. I would recommend the classic chocolate sprinkles, but one blogger used the rainbow colored ones and they look fantastic. You could also alter the sprinkles to make ones for different holidays, green and red for christmas, or for your favorite sports team, blue and orange here in Denver. So many possibilities. So many excuses to buy sprinkles.

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The Moment of Truth

Tasty morsels of chocolate-caramel fudge. These cute little guys are silky smooth on the inside and crunchy on the outside. They are easy to make but do require constant attention so the mixture doesn’t burn. These would be great to make with kids who are old enough to recognize the dangers of a hot stove but young enough to thoroughly enjoy anything with sprinkles (I realize this includes everyone over the age of three – who doesn’t love sprinkles?).

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The Recipe

This week’s recipe is courtesy of Olivia’s Cuisine, but similar excellent versions can be found here and here.

1 can (14 oz) sweet condensed milk

4 Tbsp cocoa powder

2 Tbsp butter

Pinch of salt

Sprinkles for decorating

In a small sauce pan combine all of the ingredients (minus sprinkles) together and cook over medium-low heat. Cook, mixing constantly to avoid burning, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a thick pudding – roughly 15 minutes. When your mixing utensil leaves a trace along the bottom of the pan for more than a few seconds the mixture is done. Take the pan off the stove and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, butter your hands and roll the mixture into little balls. A 1/2 tbsp or 1 tbsp is a great size indicator. Finish by rolling the balls in a bowl of sprinkles of your choice.

Fun Fact

Rio de Janeiro was once the capital of Portugal – making it the only European capital outside of Europe.

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