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Learn How to Cook Brigadeiros

By Luciana Lage - Posted on 15 February 2010

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I recently published a post on Brazilian desserts and there I mentioned Brigadeiro. Well, now the whole Street Smart Brazil team has gotten together to show you how to cook Brigadeiro! And, yes, we ate it all at the end :) Continue reading for our video.

Brigadeiro is a soft chocolate sweet made with condensed milk and cocoa. It is present in every Brazilian birthday party. Every Brazilian knows brigadeiro, and everyone who tries it likes it.

It is easy to make brigadeiros, but it can be tricky to get the perfect consistency. Luckily, Street Smart Brazil professora Betânia has a few personal tricks that she is sharing with you in the video (at the bottom of this page).

Brigadeiro was created by the wife of Brigadeiro (Brigadier) Eduardo Gomes, who was a Presidential candidate in Brazil in the 1940s. His wife would cook the candies and serve them during their fundraising events. The guests loved the treat and soon enough people started asking: "Have you tried the Brigadeiro's candy? Where is the Bridagier's candy?" And that is where the name Brigadeiro comes from.

Oiapoque ao ChuíBrazil is a large, very diverse country. We have different dance, music, and cuisine in different parts of the country. Brigadeiro has managed to be popular and to have its recipe unchanged throughout Brazil or, as we say there, from Oiapoque to Chuí. Oiapoque and Chuí are counties located at the extremes of Brazil, Oiapoque to the North and Chuí to the South.

We had a blast making this video for you :) The Brigadeiros came out oh so delicious! Let us know how your Brigadeiros turn out.

The video will give you detailed information on how to prepare your Brigadeiro. You will need:

  • 1 can of Leite Moça (sweet condensed milk)
  • 2 table spoons of cocoa power (You can use more cocoa, some recipes call for 4 spoons. You can also use chocolate powder in which case you need 7 spoons, but the Brigadeiros will be intensely sweet. With practice, you will find your own perfect recipe)
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • chocolate sprinkles
  • a non-stick pan
  • a wooden spoon
  • mini baking cups

 Cooking Instructions:

  • put roughly 2 tablespoons of butter to melt in the pan
  • set the stove top to medium-low
  • once the butter is melted, add a whole can of condensed milk
  • now you will add the chocolate; but wait, if you are using cocoa powder here is Betânia's personal trick: get a glass with a bit of water and slowly add the cocoa while mixing it with the water; this is because cocoa powder does not dissolve very well in the condensed milk, so you want to totally dissolve it with a bit of water and then add the mixture to the condensed milk in the pan
  • stir with the wooden spoon; you will need to stir for at least 20 minutes and it can take as long as 40 minutes; stir in circular movements and make sure you get the Brigadeiro from the sides so it does not stick there and burn
  • the Brigadeiro will get thicker and thicker and will reduce in volume
  • you know it is ready when a) you divide it in half with the spoon and it stays parted for a few secondst and b) you scoop some brigadeiro with the wooden spoon, turn the spoon upside down, and it holds there for an instant before falling back into the pan; the video will show this!
  • when your Brigadeiro is ready, spread the content of the pan on a plate and put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes; you want it nice and firm before you roll it in balls
  • to make the little balls, spread a little bit of butter in your hands and make sure to get your fingers; using a small spoon, scoop some Brigadeiro, put it in your hands, and roll it in a little ball
  • roll the ball on the chocolate sprinkles to cover it completely
  • place your brigadeiro in a banking cup
  • repeat--should yield about 25 Brigadeiros
  • put Brigadeiros in the fridge for about 15-30 minutes to make them firmer
  • they are ready :) Bom apetite!

We would like to thank Mercado Brasil for donating the ingredients for our cooking afternoon. Mercado Brasil is a Brazilian store in the Mission District here in San Francisco. They have a great variety of products including clothing, DVDs, chocolates, coffee, guaraná, and many other food items.

If you like desserts, you need to check out our post about Desserts from Recife, Pernambuco. Some of my personal favorites are there :)

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Photo Credit:

Brigadeiro picture by Rodrigo Senna on Flickrs Creative Commons


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