Cultural Recipe of November: Brigadeiro


Made in 3 quick steps and with only 3 ingredients, brigadeiros (a.k.a Brazilian truffles) are an incredibly popular and easy to make Brazilian sweet. There are many variations of it: spoon brigadeiro which is soft and gooey, beijinho which is made with coconut, or even whisky brigadeiro. But none are more beloved (or delicious) than the traditional one.

When I think about brigadeiros, I think of my family, parties, and fun. Usually, when brigadeiros are served, you are surrounded by your family, your friends and it is a happy occasion. There is no children’s birthday party in Brazil without it. No family reunion without it. It’s a big part of our culture, but it started in quite a peculiar way.

As crazy as it sounds, the first brigadeiro wasn’t made with lots of love, by someone’s mom or for a birthday party. It was first made in 1945, for the presidential candidate Eduardo Gomes’ electoral campaign. Gomes was a brigadier in the army and was very popular amongst the ladies, his slogan even being “Vote no brigadeiro, que é bonito e solteiro.” This loosely translates to “Vote for the brigadier, who is good-looking and single.” Some of his very devoted supporters thought about making sweets to boost his campaign. This was a very challenging job though, due to the fact that this was in the post-war and there was an immense shortage of fresh milk and sugar. The solution was using condensed milk. It was then mixed with chocolate and butter and the brigadeiro was born. They were a huge success, despite the fact that Gomes ultimately lost the election. Today, they are still extremely popular in Brazil and around the world.


Ingredients (for 30 brigadeiros):

1 can of condensed milk

1 tablespoon of butter

4 tablespoons of powdered chocolate

1 pack of chocolate sprinkles



Step 1: Add condensed milk, butter and powdered to a big pot on low heat. Start mixing

Step 2: Keep mixing, until the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot anymore.

Step 3: Once it’s cooled down, put a little bit of butter on your hands, and start rolling small chunks of the brigadeiro into small balls.

Step 4: Roll them on the chocolate sprinkles, and put them in small, paper wrappers.