We are loving our regular kitchen playdates and the kids are bonding over our collective love of international food and cooking together. Kitchen playdates can get messy, but if you don’t mind the clean-up (make the kids help!), they a wonderful post school activity. Especially when the weather is bad in the winter, it’s ideal to get busy in the kitchen and learn a little bit about cooking, measuring, teamwork and in our case since it is usually an international recipe, the world. We usually make part of the meal with the kids and then have an early dinner and call it a night. It’s a welcome change of routine for all of us.
Our last kitchen playdate was an easy sell and we had the kids all amped up and excited. We took trip to Brazil to make brigadeiros, which are an essentially a chewy, fudge-y chocolate truffle. We have made regular truffles before, but it was our first time with the Brazilian brigadeiros. It was good fun teaching the kids how to say the word “brigadeiro” and also teach them a little about Brazil and it’s cuisine.
I first learned about these delectable treats from a Brazilian class mate and it seems that these treats are served at almost every birthday party in Brazil. According to Street Smart Brazil, “brigadeiros” was created by the wife of Brigadeiro (Brigadier) Eduardo Gomes, who was a Presidential candidate in Brazil in the 1940s. His wife would cook the candies and serve them during their fundraising events. The guests loved the treat and soon enough people started asking: “Have you tried the Brigadeiro‘s candy? Where is the Bridagier’s candy?” And that is where the name Brigadeiro comes from.
This is a particularly fun recipe to make with the kiddos. And aside from the time on the stove, the little ones can participate in everything else. Our kids also learned that cocoa even though it is “chocolate” is super bitter and “not yummy” to eat on it’s own. Though is amazing how quickly kids will taste anything chocolate :).
And of course, we gave them colorful and yucky sprinkles (non traditional) to decorate their candy with. The brigadeiros taste best with chocolate sprinkles and perhaps even coconut, but the kids, as always, seem to think colorful is best!
Brigadeiros – recipe from Street Smart Brazil – they have a helpful video on their website
- 1 can of Leite Moça (sweet condensed milk)
- 2 table spoons of cocoa power (You can use more cocoa, some recipes call for 4 spoons. You can also use chocolate powder in which case you need 7 spoons, but the Brigadeiros will be intensely sweet. With practice, you will find your own perfect amount (we used 2 tablespoons)
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- chocolate sprinkles
- Put roughly 2 tablespoons of butter to melt in the pan
- Set the stove top to medium-low
- Once the butter is melted, add a whole can of condensed milk
- Then add the chocolate – However, if you are using cocoa powder – get a glass with a bit of water and slowly add the cocoa while mixing it with the water; this is because cocoa powder does not dissolve very well in the condensed milk, so you want to totally dissolve it with a bit of water and then add the mixture to the condensed milk in the pan (good trick!!)
- Stir with the wooden spoon; you will need to stir for at least 20 minutes and it can take as long as 40 minutes; stir in circular movements and make sure you get the Brigadeiro from the sides, so it does not stick there and burn
- The Brigadeiro mixture will get thicker and thicker and will reduce in volume
- You know it is ready when a) you divide it in half with the spoon and it stays parted for a few seconds and b) you scoop some brigadeiro with the wooden spoon, turn the spoon upside down, and it holds there for an instant before falling back into the pan (the video on their website shows this)
- When your Brigadeiro is ready, spread the content of the pan on a plate and put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes; you want it nice and firm before you roll it in balls
- To make the little balls, spread a little bit of butter in your hands and make sure to get your fingers; using a small spoon, scoop some Brigadeiro, put it in your hands, and roll it in a little ball
- Roll the ball on the chocolate sprinkles to cover it completely
- Place your brigadeiro in a small banking cup
- Repeat–this should yield about 25 Brigadeiros
- Put Brigadeiros in the fridge for about 15-30 minutes to make them firmer
- And they are ready to enjoy!