Brigadeiros (Brazilian Fudge Balls)

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I’ve learned a lot about Brazil over the last two weeks – about their history, the geography of the huge country and the cultural influences that a melting pot always embraces and celebrates.  Now, as the 2016 Summer Olympics have come to a close, I am inspired to make one of Brazil’s most famous desserts – brigadeiros.

These little balls of chocolate fudge heaven are sweet and satisfying after a savory meal.  I tried a couple recipes to get the level of cocoa and butter right – and I think this is the winner.


  • 1 14 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter, plus more for greasing
  • 4 oz. Chocolate Sprinkles
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

Here’s what I did:

In a medium non-stick pot, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and the cocoa powder until smooth.

Once well incorporated, put the pot on the stove over heat on the high side of low.  By the I mean, if you’re stove knobs go up to 8, put it between 2 and 3.  You don’t want it to be too hot, but you need a little bit to get it going.

Constantly whisk for 15 minutes until the mixture reduces, thickens and becomes fudge-like.  For the first 10 minutes, don’t leave unattended for more than a minute at a time. For the last five minutes, don’t leave unattended for more than 30 seconds.  You don’t want the bottom to burn or clumps to form.

After five minutes on the stove, add in one tablespoon of unsalted butter.  Whisk until incorporated.

After 10 minutes on the stove, add in 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract if using.

When the fudge is thick – meaning you can run the whisk or wooden spoon down the middle and it takes a few seconds before the mixture collapses back on itself, you’re ready to take it off the heat.

On a butter-greased plate or glass baking dish, spread the fudge into a 1-2 inch thick layer.  Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to four hours.

Take the fudge out of the refrigerator and use an ice cream scoop to form little balls.  You’ll want your hands to be greased with butter so the fudge doesn’t stick to you and make a mess.

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Roll the balls into a bowl of chocolate sprinkles to cover.  Then place each ball in its own mini-muffin cup for serving. Depending on size, you should yield 10-14 brigadieros.

Refrigerate for up to two days. Enjoy!

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