Brigadeiro Recipe (Chocolate Fudge Balls) from Brazil

This Brigadeiro Recipe shows you how to make the chocolate fudge balls that are a sentimental and history-filled dessert in Brazil. They are made with sweetened condensed milk and are normally topped with sprinkles!

It’s here, everyone! The moment you all (ahem, I….) have been waiting for! Its BRIGADEIROS DAY!!! I’m clearly very excited.

Brigadeiros are the perfect dessert because they take literally 3 ingredients, 20 minutes, and 2 steps to make. And then—and this is the best part—when they’re done, they taste like little balls of chocolate frosting.

They’re thick enough to hold their shape, but once you take a bite, they melt in your mouth and turn into this awesome, portable frosting treat that just makes me want to sing.

Why is Brigadeiro Important to Brazil?

It’s story time…

Once upon a time, in the year 1945, Brazil was in the process of electing a new president. One candidate in the running was named Eduardo Gomes.

Prior to running for president, Gomes had served in the military and had held the ranking of Brigadier. Over the course of the election, Gomes became known simply as “El Brigadier.” His slogan was (translated), “Vote for Brigadier; he is handsome and single.”

As the election began, Gomes was short on money for his campaign. His supporters wanted to help, so they worked together to develop a plan to sell candy in order to raise money for Gomes’s campaign.

However, World War II had just come to an end, and milk and sugar were scarce. Instead of making typical candy, Gomes’s supporters had to make the chocolate balls using only sweetened condensed milk as a replacement for the butter and sugar.

The sweets were so delicious that they became widely known across the country. Because they were the campaign sweet of the Brigadier, the citizens started calling the chocolate balls “Brigadeiros”. Unfortunately, Gomes did not win the election, but his legacy has lived on in the form of these wonderful chocolate treats.

How Brigadeiro Contribute to Brazilian Culture

Brigadeiros hold a special place in the hearts of many Brazilians. Similar to how Americans celebrate birthdays with birthday cake, Brazilians celebrate birthdays with Brigadeiros. In fact, even if a cake is served at a Brazilian birthday party, Brigadeiros are also served after the cake.

Brigadeiro boutiques also exist plentifully around Brazil and serve a fancier version of these homemade Brigadeiros.

Some are, of course, still simply sweetened condensed milk, chocolate, and butter. However, others are filled with cheese, nuts, dried fruits, alcohol, Nutella, peanut butter, and more. The options for artisan Brigadeiros in Brazil are endless.

Brigadeiro from Brigadeiro recipe

What Ingredients are In this Brigadeiro Recipe

Sweetened condensed milk
Baking cocoa
Unsalted butter
Sea salt
Brown or colored sprinkles

How to Make this Brigadeiro Recipe

In a medium pan, combine sweetened condensed milk and baking cocoa before you turn on the heat. Use a spatula to mix the ingredients together until the cocoa dissolves and the sweetened condensed milk looks brown.

Add the unsalted butter and the salt into the mixture.

Turn the stove onto medium high heat and place the pot over the flame, stirring continuously for about 15-20 minutes. You know that your Brigadeiros are done cooking when you can use your spatula to draw a line through the middle of the mixture and the mixture is too thick to mold itself back together.

Transfer the mixture to a cool bowl and allow to cool for about an hour and a half in the fridge.

Once cooled, break off portions of the mixture and roll into one inch balls in your hand. Roll the balls in your colored sprinkles and enjoy.

Leave a review on this post letting me know what you thought!

Hand holding brigadeiros

The Secret to Making this Brigadeiro Recipe

The secret here is simple, but vital. Make sure to add all of your ingredients together BEFORE you turn the stove burner on.

Before discovering this secret, I heated my sweetened condensed milk up before adding in the butter and the cocoa powder. If you do it in this order, the cocoa never quite combines with the milk and the Brigadeiros end up with some lumps. We don’t want that!

Instead, pour your sweetened condensed milk into the pan, and add the cocoa while it’s still cold. Use a spatula to mix the ingredients until the cocoa has dissolved and the sweetened condensed milk now looks brown. Then, add the butter into the pot, turn on the burner, and start a-mixin!

How Do You Thicken Brigadeiros?

The key to thickening your Brigadeiro is simple: time and heat. Put your pot on the stove and stir consistently for about 20 minutes. The longer you stir, the thicker your mixture will get.

You want to make sure that your Brigadeiro is sufficiently thick before allowing it to cool. If they aren’t, they won’t hold their ball shape and will instead melt into a puddle.

If you’ve been stirring your Brigadeiro for quite some time (maybe a half an hour) and it’s not thickening, try adding another teaspoon or two of baking cocoa to allow it to to thicken. Stir for a few minutes more, then add more baking cocoa if necessary until the mixture reaches your desired consistency.

brigadeiro recipe. brigadeiro on granite withe blue and brown sprinkles.

Knowing When Your Brigadeiros are Ready

You know that your Brigadeiros are done cooking when you can use your spatula to draw a line through the middle of the mixture and the mixture is too thick to mold itself back together.

Once this happens, allow your Brigadeiro mix to cool for about an hour. Use your hands to roll the mix into one inch balls and then roll those balls in the sprinkles. Enjoy!

Adding Sprinkles to Your Creation

The sprinkles on the Brigadeiro are a fantastic added touch, too. Most Brigadeiros come with chocolate sprinkles on top, but some can be served without. I’ll let you in on a secret…. I’m an avid sprinkle HATER.

I never, ever want sprinkles on any of my desserts. That is, unless my Brigadeiros come rolled in them. In that case, sprinkles are my very best friend. I don’t know what it is about this Brigadeiro Recipe that changes my opinion on sprinkles, but just trust me on this one, okay?

How Long Can You Keep Brigadeiros?

Your Brigadeiro should last in the fridge for about a week. There aren’t any easily perishable ingredients in this recipe, so there is no need to worry about them staying fresh.

However, once the can of Sweetened Condensed Milk is open, I normally give it about a week before I throw it out. I would follow the same guidelines for your Brigadeiro.

If you make this recipe and love it, don’t forget to leave a comment on my post telling me what you thought! And ALWAYS remember to post a photo on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #TheForeignFork and tag @TheForeignFork.

If you liked this recipe, don’t forget to check out some of the other recipes on my site I’ve picked out just for you!:

Pile of Brigadieros
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Brigadeiro Recipe (Chocolate Fudge Balls) from Brazil

Brigadeiros are chocolate fudge balls that are a sentimental and history-filled dessert in Brazil. They are made with sweetened condensed milk and are normally topped with sprinkles!

Course Dessert
Cuisine brazilian
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 18 brigadeiros

Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tbsp baking cocoa
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • Brown or colored sprinkles

Instructions

  1. In a medium pan, combine sweetened condensed milk and baking cocoa before you turn on the heat. Use a spatula to mix the ingredients together until the cocoa dissolves and the sweetened condensed milk looks brown.
  2. Add the unsalted butter and the salt into the mixture.

  3. Turn the stove onto medium high heat and place the pot over the flame, stirring continuously for about 15-20 minutes. You know that your Brigadeiros are done cooking when you can use your spatula to draw a line through the middle of the mixture and the mixture is too thick to mold itself back together.

  4. Transfer the mixture to a cool bowl and allow to cool for about an hour and a half in the fridge.
  5. Once cooled, break off portions of the mixture and roll into one inch balls in your hand. Roll the balls in your colored sprinkles and enjoy.
  6. Leave a review on this post letting me know what you thought!

Recipe Notes

The brigadeiros can keep in the fridge for a few days. Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Açaí Bowl from Brazil

Acai Bowl

Açaí na tigela, more commonly known as an açaí bowl in the beachy sections of Los Angeles, comes from the tropical flavors of wonderful Brazil. Açaí is a fruit that grows in Brazil. It is blended up with other fruits and decorated with toppings to create a wonderfully delicious breakfast or snack.

The first time I had an açaí bowl, I was living in New York City. I had passed by a sign advertising açaí bowls every single day all summer. Finally, I ducked into the little shop to check them out. In typical midwestern fashion, I ordered an “a-kai” bowl, and, of course, my miserable mispronunciation made the waitress laugh out loud. She kindly gave me a lesson in the true pronunciation of the fruit, which actually sounds more like “ah-sigh-ee.”

What is Açaí and What is an Açaí Bowl?

Açaí grows on palm trees native to South America. Though most people refer to açaí as a fruit, it should technically be called a drupe, because of the pit that is inside. In South America, açaí is eaten fresh off of the tree in its typical berry form. However, açaí is incredibly difficult to transfer while fresh. Most of the açaí exported from South America comes, instead, in the form of powdered product. 

Health Benefits of Açaí and Açaí Bowls

Many of you know that these tiny, reddish-purple fruits are delicious and are perfect for mixing in a smoothie, but did you know they also provide many health benefits? Açaí berries are full of antioxidants that are linked to a decrease in diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. They also (most likely) lower cholesterol by decreasing overall and LDL cholesterol. In a 2011 study, overweight adults that ate açaí 2 times a day over the course of 10 days experienced a lower LDL. (This study contains a few variables that make the results slightly inconclusive, including no control group, etc.)

Making The Recipe Your Own 

Açaí bowls are easy to customize to your liking! This is the recipe that I made with my açaí powder, but you can try so many other recipe combinations on your own! Experiment by mixing your açaí with strawberries or blueberries. Try it with coconut milk instead of almond milk. Perhaps you could top your bowl with cacao nibs, or maybe kiwi! The possibilities are endless, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with! 

Did you like making these açaí bowls? If you liked this, make sure to also check out my recipe for Strawberry Kissel from Belarus and Caramelized Bananas in Pineapple Sauce from Benin! Don’t forget to share a photo of your açaí bowl when you make it! Tag @TheForeignFork on Facebook or Instagram and hashtag #TheForeignFork to share your creation. And, as always, leave a review on this page to let me know what you thought! 

Mango and Pineapple Peanut Butter Açaí Bowls

Açaí na tigela, more commonly known as an açaí bowl in the beachy sections of Los Angeles, comes from the tropical flavors of wonderful Brazil. Açaí is a fruit that grows in Brazil. It is blended up with other fruits and decorated with toppings to create a wonderfully delicious breakfast or snack.

Course Breakfast, smoothie, Snack
Cook Time 1 minute
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients

Smoothie Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Açaí Powder
  • 1 Banana
  • ½ cup frozen Mango chunks
  • ½ cup frozen Pineapple chunks
  • 2 tbsp All natural peanut butter creamy
  • ¾ cup unsweetened Almond milk

Topping Ingredients

  • Private Selection Coconut Macaroon Granola
  • All Natural Peanut butter creamy
  • Banana
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Chia seeds

Instructions

  1. Combine the smoothie ingredients in a blender until smooth.

  2. Top with desired amount of topping ingredients. Enjoy!

  3. Leave a review on this page letting me know what you think of the recipe 🙂

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Shrimp Empadinhas from Brazil

Shrimp Empadinhas from Brazil are a perfect appetizer to please at a party. They are mini pot pies stuffed with a shrimp and tomato-based filling. 

Yo dudes, pot pies are the BOMB, I don’t care what anyone says. Since I was little they’ve always been one of my very favorite foods. In fact, maaaybe once a year when I was little, I’d get a phone call from Papa Foreign Fork when he was on his way home from work, asking if I’d eaten dinner yet. If the answer was no, he’d tell me not to eat until he got home. Then he’d show up at the door with a nice, steaming pot pie from Boston Market. Mmmm. These were the BEST days! And he was always so happy that I was so happy. 

 Now that I think about it, it’s kind of a weird tradition…. But whatever lol. 

up close of shrimp empadinhas

What are Shrimp Empadinhas? 

Today we’re making a recipe that is very pot-pie-esque from Brazil! The real name of the recipe is Shrimp Empadinhas, and they’re Brazil’s answer to empañadas from other Latin American countries. Empadinhas are shaped like mini pies and are the miniature version of empadas in Brazil. They can be filled with the classic fillings like shrimp, chicken, or hearts of palm. 

In our case today, we’re filling out empadinhas with shrimp. I don’t want to brag you guys, but this filling is SO good. 

A Mistake Turned Delicious

The first time that I was creating the recipe, I accidentally added too much chicken broth, and I couldn’t thicken the consistency of the filling back up again without compromising flavor. The filling resembled the thinness of a soup, so… I ate it as a soup! And seriously, you guys, it was delicious. It reminded me of a lobster bisque soup but with shrimp, and I was SUCH a fan. If you ever want to try the filling like this instead of putting it inside the pot pies, just add a bit more chicken broth than the recipe calls for. You can thank me later. 

Finding the Right Pie Dough for Your Shrimp Empadinhas

To make these empadinhas, you’re going to need some pie dough. The tricky part here is finding a brand that doesn’t rip very easily. The best  brand I’ve found for this is the Simple Truth Unroll and Bake 9” Pie Crust. Every other brand that I’ve used has ripped very easily when assembling the empadinhas, but the Simple Truth brand can hold its own quite well! 

You’re going to need 2-3 boxes of pie crust to make this recipe, depending on the size of your empadinhas. When I used two boxes, I had the perfect amount of filling to make about 48 empadinhas! I did have a tiiiiny bit of filling leftover, but not enough to justify buying another box. However, if yours are slightly different sizes, a third box may be necessary. 

Shrimp Empadinhas Pinterest Graphic

These empadinhas are soft and buttery and they seriously melt in your mouth. The filling is delicious, and they’re the perfect size for popping a few at a party to enjoy. Serve these as an appetizer or as the main course, and I can almost guarantee they’ll be a hit!

If you liked these shrimp empadinhas, you should also try my empañadas from Argentina, my burek from Bosnia and Herzegovina and my Australian sausage rolls. Share a photo to Facebook or Instagram and tag @TheForeignFork or hashtag #TheForeignFork if you amake them! Also, make sure to leave a review and a comment if you tried this recipe! Thanks for stopping by, dear reader; I can’t wait to see you again soon. 

Shrimp Empadinhas

Shrimp Empadinhas from Brazil are a perfect appetizer to please at a party. They are mini pot pies stuffed with a shrimp and tomato-based filling.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, seafood
Cuisine brazilian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 48 empadinhas

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp butter stick butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 lb oz shrimp
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup cooked peas
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 2 boxes refrigerate pie dough
  • 1 lightly beaten egg

Instructions

  1. In a small pot, melt the butter. Add flour and whisk until the flour and butter combine to make a paste.
  2. Slowly add the stock into the pot, little by little. Whisk to combine stock with flour and butter. Then when combined, pour a bit more. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Take out 1/2 cup of mix and reserve. Set the rest to the side.
  4. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium high flame.
  5. Add onion to the olive oil and cook for five minutes or until translucent.
  6. Add garlic and tomatoes into the pan and cook for a 3-5 minutes more.
  7. Put the cocktail shrimp in a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times so that the shrimp are shredded but still are in small pieces.
  8. Add shrimp, corn, peas, and tomato paste into the pan and cook until everything is warm and the peas/corn are thawed.
  9. Add the remainder of the butter and flour mixture into the pan and mix. Allow the combination to simmer for a bit to thicken, perhaps about 5-8 minutes. Only add the reserved half cup of butter and flour mixture if you need the filling to have more liquid.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  11. Using a 3 inch and a 1.5 inch cookie cutter, cut tops and bottoms out of the pie dough. You will need to use a rolling pin to re-roll the dough, and cut again from it. Use all the dough possible.
  12. In an un-greased muffin tin for MINI muffins, place the 3″ circle in the bottom. Fill with a teaspoon and a half of filling. Then place the 1.5″ circle on top and pinch the bottom and the top circles together around the edges.
  13. Once all of the pies are complete, whisk your egg up in a separate bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush an egg wash over the top of the empadinhas.
  14. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through and the tops are golden brown. Enjoy!
  15. Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought! 🙂

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only.