brigadeiroAfter a feast of crispy fried coxinha, savory Bobo de Camarao, or any other delicious Brazilian dish, it’s time for the final and, what some people consider, best part of any meal.  Dessert!  There is perhaps no dessert more mouth-watering, rich, and smooth than brigadeiro, a round, chocolate truffle famous for its sugary, decadent flavor throughout the country of Brazil.  This treat was at one point only known by the people of Brazil, but now this confectionary creation is becoming popular in Europe and the United States – with good reason.  This chocolate dessert can be enjoyed as a snack, a dessert after a big meal, or simply on its own.  Brigadeiro is a staple of Brazilian cooking and culture, and its ingredients are just as rich and interesting as its history.

Brigadeiro’s History

It is a Brazilian chocolate bonbon that was first created in the 1940s.  This dessert is named after a famous Brazilian politician of the 1920s, Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes.  Gomes was an Air Force brigadier who became renowned after using his skills to help stop a communist coup in the city of Rio.  Afterwards, this brigadier ran for the presidency in 1946 and 1950, though unsuccessfully.  But what does all this have to do with a delicious, chocolate dessert?  Gomes’ title of brigadier is where the title of the “brigadeiro” stems from.  However, what’s more interesting is the reason that Gomes inspired this candy.  Gomes’ slogan for the presidency was ““Vote no Brigadeiro que é bonito e é solteiro!”  In English, this means, “Vote for the brigadier who is handsome and single!”  Brazilian ladies were quite taken with this gentleman, and therefore, they named this dessert after him.  This dessert was created during a brief period in time where there were no nuts or fruits being imported into the country, but there was still plenty of Nescau (chocolate) coming into Brazil.  One might say that the very creation of this candy is special and unique, due to politics, the end of WWII, and availability of ingredients in the ‘40s.

Brigadeiro is a chocolate truffle

Brigadeiros are chocolate truffles made from chocolate powder or cocoa and sweetened condensed milk.  While it’s easy enough to find these ingredients, the difficult part is getting just the right consistency for this spectacular dessert.  The sweet, chocolate mixture of the ingredients is heated up in a pan on the stove to give it a silky, smooth texture.  Our expert chefs coat their hands in butter and form the chocolate into little balls.  These balls become truffles when they are rolled in granulated chocolate and set to cool.

This sweet treat is a staple at every Brazilian birthday party, and as long as you love chocolate, anyone who tries one loves it.  If you find yourself not able to get enough of this dessert, you might also want to try “Beijinho”.  This is a special variation of the brigadeiro which puts coconut into the recipe instead of chocolate powder.