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When we first posted a picture of brigadeiro on our Facebook page last year, the viral results and reposts were phenomenal! We did not forget you all, especially the ladies. So we decide to write about it, just to set your tongues wagging again.

Brigadeiro (in English, means Brigadier) was born in the 1940s, named after Eduardo Gomes who was a brigadier in the Brazilian Air Force. During this time of war, the shortage of regular imports of candy ingredients like fruits and nuts meant that the creator had to use existing ingredients to make candies, hence the creation of brigadeiro whose sole ingredients are cocoa powder and condensed milk. It is also believed that the creator was actually Gomes’ wife, who would serve these bonbons during fundraising events as Gomes was a presidential candidate.

The outcome of the tough times have nevertheless been sweeter than sweet. Brigadeiro is now a household favourite in Brazil where it is served at parties and gatherings, its recipe remain largely unchanged. That’s not all, it even has a big sister version of a cake (that will be another time)!

Now, don’t confuse brigadeiros with rum balls that you see in many of your local bakeries. Unlike the harder and alcohol-flavoured rum ball which may include other additions like coconut or jam, brigadeiro’s ingredients are simpler, alcohol-free, sticky and chewy in texture, a fun-loving treat for all ages including children to whom alcohol is not deemed a suitable choice. This Brazilian sweetie chocolate invention may be incredibly hard to find in the retail markets, but it’s dead easy to make. We show you how:


  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3-4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder (you can use Milo if you have a sweet tooth), depending on taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons of butter
  • Granulated chocolate

Cooking Instructions:

  • Melt the butter in a non-stick pan at medium-low heat
  • Add in the condensed milk and cocoa powder once the butter has melted
  • Stir with a wooden spoon for about 10-20 minutes to prevent the mixture from burning
  • Once the mixture thickens, remove from heat
  • Spread the mixture on a plate and refrigerate for about 30 minutes
  • Roll one scoop of the mixture into a ball and roll it on the granulated chocolate
  • Place the brigadeiro in a mini baking cup
  • Makes about 20-25 brigadeiros

Tip: Apply some butter onto your hands before shaping the mixture so as to prevent sticking

This article was published on Vida De Latinos’ online magazine, 1 March 2013.

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