With tomorrow being Father’s Day, I wanted to make something a little bit on the celebratory side. And even though I had made a batch of these not that long ago, I decided what the heck…Steve NEEDS these! (I’m so NOT rationalizing this – kinda sorta…) I also made these again because now I have somewhere to easily share the recipe with all of you! Give me a minute and I’ll think of another excuse, er reason. Guys, nothing says celebration more than these little jewels of Brazilian confection that have brought so much joy to children’s birthday parties and bewitched the tastes of every foreigner who has ever tried them.
They are pronounced “bree-gah-day-roh”, go on, say it with me. And please roll your Rs because that’s a must. When you have more than one, and you always have to have more than one, they are bridageiros. They are little caramel chocolate truffles of goodness.
What is simpler than 4 little ingredients? People, I’m telling you, stir up a batch or two of these as dessert for your next potluck, or as a sweet post dinner party treat with your liqueur or port wine and you will be a hero. Trust me on this one. One tip. I have found that the La Lechera brand is best. I have tried to make this with the other traditional brands, but for some reason, the mixture does not set nearly as well.
Not only are the ingredients few and simple, you can just dump the condensed milk, butter and powdered cocoa into a medium sauce pan and start stirring. It dissolves easily and evenly without any effort. I like to use a silicone spatula because it makes it easier to scrape the sides and stands up to the heat. And you do need to scrape the sides and mix the scrapings back into the mixture frequently or the sides and bottom will set too soon or the bottom will burn.
Cook until the mixture is noticeably thicker and begins to separate from the bottom of the pan. It should be a little bubbly by then. I always like to stir it for a minute more to make sure I get a good set after it is cooled.
Pour into a buttered dish or bowl and allow to cool completely. And I mean completely! Do not get impatient and start rolling these guys while the mixture is warm because you will end up cursing a blue streak. Well, I end up cursing up a blue streak when I do that, so I’ve learned to wait. So should you.
When it has cooled, smear both hands with a little butter or margarine, then scoop up enough to make a ball the size of a US quarter. I’ve also learned that having a friend at this stage is much more productive. One gets to have greasy, rolling hands. The other gets to coat the formed balls in the chocolate sprinkles. Now, picture applying the sprinkles with greasy buttered hands and the mental picture should tell you that a friend at this moment is a little blessing.
The little rolled and sprinkled bundles of joy go into little paper candy cups and then you are done!
Actually, you are done after the quality control step. Because you have to. Well, because I have to. Oh, wow!
Say it with me...Brigadeiro
- 1 14 oz can of Nestle Brand La Lechera condensed milk
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon margarine or butter without salt and more for coating hands
- Chocolate candy sprinkles
- Butter a dish or shallow bowl and set aside.
- In a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan, mix the sweetened condensed milk, cocoa, and butter.
- Over medium to medium-low heat, stir mixture continuously to cook evenly and prevent the bottom from burning.
- Cook until mixture is lightly bubbling, is noticeably thickened, and stir passes expose the bottom of the pan.
- Cook and stir for a minute more.
- Remove from heat.
- Immediately pour into the prepared dish or bowl.
- Allow to fully cool.
- Butter hands and roll into small balls.
- Roll formed balls into chocolate sprinkles to thoroughly coat.
- Place in paper candy cups for storage and serving.