The Brigadeiro is a traditional Brazilian confection made with cocoa and condensed milk combined into a fudge, which is then rolled into soft balls and topped with vermicelli sprinkles. It is similar to a classic chocolate truffle, except it is made with sweetened condensed milk instead of cream and is a little more chewy and crumbly in texture. The word “brigadeiro” comes from Portuguese and refers to the military rank of brigadier.
Popular history has it that brigadeiros come from Brazil and were invented by the wife of Air Force brigadier Eduardo Gomes, who was a candidate in their 1946 presidential elections. She whipped up batches of this delicious candy and served them at his fundraisers. Although Gomes did not win enough votes, he did win the hearts of the populace, and this Brazilian chocolate has since come to be known by his rank.
The Brazilian brigadeiro recipe is commonly served in the form of small balls placed inside cupcake liners. But some people prefer to eat it right out of the pot, in which case it is called “brigadeiro de colher”. Basic brigadeiro ingredients are condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter. These need to be carefully combined and cooked for a specified time and temperature to get the right consistency. It takes approximately 45 minutes to make a brigadeiro, with 15 minutes of cooking time and 30 minutes for it to set in the refrigerator. If you store it properly in an airtight container, it can last for upto 2 days at room temperature and for at least a week in the refrigerator. There are several brigadeiro recipe variations with different flavours and toppings. Beijinho is a variation that is prepared with coconut instead of cocoa powder. Other common brigadeiro flavors include caramel, cinnamon, and almond. Popular brigadeiro toppings include chocolate curls, nuts, dry fruits, desiccated coconut, and sprinkles.