Monday, March 18, 2013


In the Brazilian military, they're high-ranking officers. But, if you hear a Brazilian talking about Brigadeiros, it’s far more likely that he/she is referring to a sweet, one that’s a tradition at children's birthday parties.

But are downright delicious at any time.

Essentially,brigadeiros are gooey chocolate truffles that look like this:

But that's just the simple variety. There is one shop in São Paulo that offers them up in more than fifty different variations.

They do that by mixing additional ingredients into the mixture (like grapes or strawberries) or by rolling them in something other than chocolate sprinkles (like chopped nuts).

Way back when, these delicious little sweets used to be called negrinhos.

The current name, so the story goes, stems from mid-1940’s when this guy, Brigadier Eduardo Gomes was running for political office and managed to enlist hundreds of girls to make them and sell them on the street to help him raise money for his campaign.

His campaign slogan was Vote no Brigadeiro, que é bonito e é solteiro, which translates as Vote for the Brigadeiro, who’s handsome and single. (No, I’m not kidding. Yes, it rhymes in Portuguese. And, no, he didn’t win. He lost out to Eurico Gaspar Dutra, the guy for whom the Via Dutra, the main road between the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro is named.)

Want to mix up a batch of brigadeiros of your own? Nothing simpler. Just follow these simple instructions.


A (fourteen ounce) can of condensed milk.
3 Tablespoons of (unsweetened) cocoa.
1 Tablespoon of butter.
Chocolate sprinkles of your choice, either dark or milk. If you can’t find good ones, (like the Dutch brands, De Ruijter, Droste or Van Houten) you can shave your own from chocolate bars. The usual sprinkles , the ones you'll find easily in your local supermarket, tend to be more decorative than tasty.


In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the butter, cocoa and condensed milk.
Cook, stirring, until thickened (about ten minutes). The mixture will turn brown. Again, do not fail to stir throughout this process. Use a wooden or plastic spoon.

When you catch glimpses of the bottom of the pan as you stir, it’s probably done. Remove it from the heat and let it cool to the point where you can touch it. Then cover your hands (or gloves) with butter, roll it into little balls and roll it in the chocolate sprinkles.

You're done!
Pop them into the little forms as shown in the picture. That way, they won’t stick together and can me served easily. You can eat them immediately, or chill them until you're ready to serve them, maybe with coffee, after dinner..

The yield from the above recipe depends on the size you like them.  If you make them about the size of a medium strawberry, you’ll get about twenty with this recipe.

And you can also use the ingredients, once they've been cooked, to fill and cover a cake.

Leighton - Monday 


  1. I was desperately trying to diet, Sr. L. Now I'll have to delay it a week, but Lord knows what you'll tempt us with next week.

  2. If you smash some digestive biscuits to tiny pieces with a rolling pin ( blunt force trauma you might like to call it) and add that to the mixture - you get doodlebugs! Jeff, if you stir and smash enough, you will use up more calories than you will eat. (you won't but it helps ease your conscience if not your waistline)

  3. Just reading this raise my blood sugar. Thank you for the virtual, visual feast!

  4. These may even entice Detective Kubu into the kitchen.