Sometimes you want to make something that looks like you made lots of effort and cooked like a grown up and sometimes you want something that’s delightfully childish. And sometimes you want to combine both which is the perfect time to make brigadeiros.
Massively popular at parties in their native Brazil, these are basically little balls of chocolatey fudge made from condensed milk and rolled in crunchy chocolate hundreds and thousands. They look complicated but are stupidly easy with only 5 ingredients in total and are incredibly delicious.
Kids love helping to roll them and it’s great fun to get creative with decorating them. You could crush up Smarties, add popping candy, use desiccated coconut or chopped nuts or you could go total Christmas kitsch with the contents of the baking aisle. They’d make a cute gift for your kids’ teachers that shows their imagination and love of sugar.
Brigadeiros (makes about 25 pieces)
- 1 x 397g tin of condensed milk
- 25g salted butter (not margarine)
- 30g cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 25g decorations of your choice for rolling
Pour the whole tin of the condensed milk into a heavy based saucepan, scraping the bottom of the tin out well with a spatula. Add the cocoa powder and butter and heat it all over a medium heat, stirring constantly.
Don’t turn away, don’t blink, don’t stop stirring or it will burn. Get into a nice relaxed rhythm of stirring and cook the mixture for about 8 minutes or until it stiffens and leaves a void in the base of the pan when you push it aside with the spatula.
Take the pan off the heat immediately and add the vanilla extract, mixing it in well. Pour the condensed milk mixture out onto a plate and flatten it out a bit and leave to cool for about an hour.
Using a teaspoon, scoop up a spoonful of the cooled mixture and roll into a ball with your hands. This is the bit where the kids get involved. Then roll each ball or brigadeiro through your coating of choice and place in a petit four case. I used chocolate sprinkles and pink glimmer sugar for mine.
The brigadeiros will keep for up 5 days rolled and coated and can be portioned up into small cellophane bags (try Amazon or Ebay for them cheaply) to give as gifts or served alongside coffee or at a party for a sweet treat everyone will love.