Brigadeiro is one of Brazil’s most loved and devoured desserts. But what are they?
Brazilian truffles? Chocolates? Brownie balls? Fudge balls? Caramels?
They’re hard to describe. They’re like the fudgy cousin of a chocolate truffle, just without the hard shell.
Traditionally made with milk or dark chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, and butter, they’re velvety soft, creamy, sweet, and totally irresistible. If you’ve never tried one before, we promise it’ll be love at first bite.
A Brief History of the Brigadeiro
According to popular belief, the Brazilian Brigadeiro was first created in the mid-1940s when post-War rations meant condensed milk was used more regularly in desserts (you can read more in this Atlas Obscura article). In 1946, it’s alleged that women made and sold brigadeiros at rallies for the Brazilian politician and Air Force Brigadier, Eduardo Gomes, who was running for President. Unfortunately he didn’t win the Presidency, but his famous and favorite chocolate balls became an integral part of Brazil’s sweet history!
While the original brigadeiro recipe contained eggs, these days the basic brigadeiro is made up of 3 simple ingredients: condensed milk, butter, and cocoa powder. The mixture is then rolled and then covered in sprinkles or another topping. And while chocolate and coconut remain the staple flavors, these days you can find a wide range of gourmet artisan brigadeiros with ingredients like peanuts, guava, mint, coffee, strawberries, cheese, and pistachios (just to name a few!).
Brigadeiros are often served at birthday parties and weddings or simply made at home and spooned directly out of the pot. You’d be hard pressed to find a celebration in Brazil without brigadeiros! They’re synonymous with being happy and having fun!
Ways to eat brigadeiro
Brigadeiro doesn’t have to be rolled into balls and covered with toppings. In fact, unlike many other desserts, you can freeze brigadeiro, spoon it, spread it, melt it, roll it, and shape it. Because of its versatility, it’s impossible not to love!
So there you have it! A little snapshot of what makes the brigadeiro so special!