These rich and fudgy Brigadeiro are a traditional Brazilian dessert made with condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter. They are a delicious end to a meal, and also make a sweet party treat, or tasty edible gift.
Rich and decadent, you wouldn’t believe these Brazilian chocolate truffles are made from just 4 ingredients – and made in 1 pan. Yes, this is a very easy recipe 🙂
I love to make chocolate truffles for an after dinner treat served alongside coffee, or to give as gifts: but often recipes call for cream – which I hardly ever have in the fridge – and lots of chocolate, which, as we are on a tight budget right now, can get expensive. However, this easy Brigadeiro recipe is made with condensed milk and cocoa powder, which I always have in the cupboard. What’s more (and even better?!?) – they can be made in less than an hour – from start to finish; making them a great last minute gift idea!
What are Brigadeiro?
Brigadeiro (pronounced bree-gah-day-roh) are fudgy, slightly chewy, and melt in the mouth Brazilian sweets. Some call them chocolate truffles, others bonbons, to me they taste more like fudge balls. Made from sweetened condensed milk, cocoa and eggs, and a pinch of salt; they used to also be made with eggs, but nowadays tend to be eggless. They are rolled by hand into little balls, and then rolled in chocolate sprinkles.
Whilst traditionally rolled in chocolate sprinkles (vermicelli), I can’t find them anywhere in Sydney – I’m sure they must exist in Australia!? Instead I use either grated chocolate or finely chopped chocolate flakes bars (as in these pictures) to roll them in. They may look more like little fudge truffles rather than the Brazilian bonbons, but the taste is still the same.
- sweetened condensed milk
- cocoa powder
- Pinch salt
- Chocolate flakes/vermicelli, to coat
After World War 2, Brazil was electing a new president, one of the candidates was the charming and handsome Brigadier Eduardo Gomes. He had many female fans (women were now allowed to vote!), and they would prepare sweets to raise funds and awareness for him. Because it was just after the war, many ingredients were still rationed, so, instead of using milk and sugar, one lady created a new candy in honour of the Brigadier (Brigadeiro) sweetened condensed milk was used. Poor Eduardo didn’t win the election, but not everyone has a chocolate truffle named after them, which I hope was some consolation!
You can eat the mixture straight out of the pan, with a spoon, as a fudge sauce (let it sit a few minutes before you delve in as the sugar will be very hot!); or of course roll into balls.
Brigadeiro make the perfect gift: you can pop them into little candy cases or place in a bag to give. I don’t use little paper cases, preferring instead to pop them in a little box lined with tissue and greaseproof paper, or a little bag, and they don’t stick together.
Tips and FAQs:
Keep stirring! This will ensure the brigadeiro mixture won’t burn (and it is quick to do so, so don’t leave it!)
Leave the mixture to cool for a few minutes before you want to roll, it gets pretty hot.
Rolling into balls: I have never found it sticks to my hands when rolling, however, if you find it sticking to your hands, grease them with a little butter.
To coat: you can use grated chocolate, vermicelli, sprinkles or desiccated coconut.
How long do brigadeiro keep for?
They keep for 3-4 days at room temperature.
Can I freeze these chocolate truffles?
Yes you can. Roll the brigadeiro in the chocolate sprinkles/flakes, then place them on a lined baking tray, not touching. Freeze until solid then place in a Tupperware container or ziplock bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Take out and leave to defrost in the fridge.
Why not try…
If you like this edible gift recipe you may also like:
Brigadeiro (Brazilian Fudge Balls)
- 397 g tin sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- pinch salt
- chocolate vermicelli, chocolate flakes, grated chocolate to coat
- Heat the condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter and salt in a small pan over a medium heat, mixing consistently to stop it from burning.
- Continue stirring until thick. The way to test this is to run your spoon across the bottom of the saucepan, if the gap left by your spoon in the brigadeiro mixture takes time to fill, then the mixture is ready.
- Take off the heat and leave the mixture to cool to room temperature – you can eat it like this! or make into balls.
- To make balls:
- Sprinkle your coating (grated chocolate, vermicelli, flake) on a plate.
- Take a teaspoon of the mixture and roll into balls between your hands, then roll in the coating straight away.
- If the mixture sticks to your hands, grease them with a little butter.