If you are invited to a birthday party in Brazil, chances are that you will see birthday cake on the table – but you will also see the small, round chocolate treat known as Brigadeiro. These yummy little bit sized desserts are have a wonderful smooth, sticky, melt-in-your-mouth texture and are covered in granulated chocolate.
The first time I tasted a Brigadeiro in Brazil I groaned and rolled my eyes with pleasure – they have such a luxurious texture and a full-bodied chocolate flavour despite their small size. They are just big enough to fill your mouth with the indulgent flavour but small enough that you might reach for another one.
If you are travelling in Brazil and you are a chocolate lover – trying a Brigadeiro is an absolute must. If you are lucky enough to attend a birthday party in Brazil they will likely be served along with the other desserts, but if not you can also find them at any local bakery. They are also sometimes eaten at weddings, family dinners and afternoon coffee breaks.
This delicious chocolate treat is named after a well-known Brazilian politician in the 1920s who was called Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes. He was also an Air Force brigadier general known for quashing a communist coup in Rio. Also, he later ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in the years 1946 and 1950.
Why was the candy named after an army general? Gomes was tall, dark and handsome and when he ran for president one of his slogans was, “vote for the brigadier, he’s good-looking and single.” Women sold these good-looking and single-bite fudge-like sweets as fundraisers to support him.
Brigadiero was created in the 1940s when access to fruits and sweets were limited, which caused sweet-makers to have to be very creative with the simple ingredients they did have. These tasty treats are made of simple unsweetened milk, organic cocoa powder and unsalted butter. In order to create the perfect silky, melting texture the ingredients are usually hand-stirred.
It is also possible to find brigadeiros with different toppings such as coffee, pistachio and coconut – but the simple classic chocolate variety is the most popular. The beauty of the brigadeiro is in its simplicity, it only has a few ingredients but they perfectly fit together to create an indulgent mouthful of chocolaty goodness that is totally irresistible!
Wrote by: Kelly Dunning