This chocolatey, caramely, chewy truffle is the no-bake dessert you’ve been missing in life. Using just four simple ingredients, this Brazilian Brigadeiros recipe leaps to life, leaving you with an unforgettably delicious treat.
Portugal has opened a world of new flavor experiences in my life, and not just traditionally Portuguese foods. In addition to the Japanese flavors around every corner, Brazilian food is both common and wildly popular throughout the streets of Lisbon and the surrounding seaside villages.
Today’s amazing Brazilian truffles are just one of the new food experiences that fill my dreams. Their flavor is more complex than the simple list of ingredients suggests, and the texture is rich, a little chewy and deeply satisfying.
I’ve never been a huge fan of traditional fudge. The flavor has always been too sweet and the texture a little too soft and melty. This easy brigadeiro recipe fixes all of my perceived ills with fudge.
These Brazilian fudge balls of delight are perfect for birthday parties, holiday cookie trays, valentine’s day desserts or any time you need a sweet treat. I’ve kept the recipe simple and traditional, but check out the FAQ’s for how to incorporate different flavors and textures into these epic truffles.
What you’ll need to make this delicious Brazilian chocolate balls brigadeiro recipe:
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Chocolate sprinkles (multi-colored sprinkles also an option)
Step by step instructions for this Brazilian chocolate balls brigadeiro recipe:
To begin, add butter and condensed milk to a saucepan over medium heat. Sift cocoa powder into pan. Stir with heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will look grainy and take a few minutes to heat through and become smooth. No worries! Just keep stirring.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 10-14 minutes until the mixture is thick and a bit sticky. (Be sure to use the spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan as you stir.) The fudge mixture should be smooth and thick holding its shape on a spoon before it’s finished.
Pour the cooked chocolate confection onto a plate that has been greased with butter or cooking spray and let the mixture cool. (I usually cool at room temperature, but you can cover and refrigerate, or even freeze, if you’re in a hurry.)
To form the truffles, spread softened butter on the palms of your hands to keep the fudge from sticking, then use a melon baller scoop or a spoon to break off about 1 tablespoon chunks of the truffle mixture and roll into chocolate fudge balls.
Roll each brigadeiro in sprinkles, then place in mini paper candy cups for serving.
Note: I prefer cooking with salted butter. If you use unsalted butter in this recipe, add a pinch of salt to the brigardeiro mixture as it cooks.
Tip: Rolling all of your chocolate fudge balls before rolling them in your sprinkles will make the process easier, as the sprinkles tend to stick to your buttered hands.
FAQ’s and Variations:
While these chocolate balls are the most popular version I’ve seen here in Lisbon, there are several variations you can try out at home. Probably the second most popular is the coconut truffles. For this version, use the same can of sweet condensed milk and butter, then cook over low for the same time. Once cooled, roll the caramel fudge in toasted coconut. I know. Amazing, right?
You can also make either forms of fudge and use a different outer coating, including mini white chocolate or dark chocolate chips, crushed Oreo cookies, multi-color sprinkles, diced nuts or other nonpareil confection or colored sugar.
I’ve heard that many Brazilian homes used Nesquik chocolate milk powder in their traditional brigadeiro recipe. Others use a quality chocolate chip for their flavoring. I prefer the unsweetened cocoa powder, but if you’re out of cocoa, give another chocolate variety a try!
The beauty of brigadeiros for me is the caramel fudge flavor and texture, which is created from the simple list of ingredients that are used in balance. So 1/4 cup of cocoa powder adds a lovely chocolate flavor without muting the caramel flavor and texture. I’ve made them using 1/3 and 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, and they were still delicious, but verging on a tootsie roll level of chocolate flavor. (for me, this is an excellent accident, as tootsie rolls are a guilty pleasure…just not the traditional Brazilian dessert I was aiming for.)
To store, move the Brazilian chocolate balls to an airtight container or a shallow dish and cover in plastic wrap. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for up to 2 months.
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