Brigadeiros are as Brazilian as a food can get. They are soft candies made with sweetened condensed milk ( a staple in any Brazilian pantry) and normally flavoured with chocolate. The recipe is very easy, no wonder brigadeiros are one of the first things Brazilian kids learn to make in the kitchen. The condensed milk is cooked with some butter and chocolate over low heat until is just at the right point. What’s the right point? It depends, if you are planning to make them for a party and present them as little truffle balls (like in the picture), then you will need to cook it until the condensed milk has reduced by about 1/3 of it’s volume and it is thick and pulling away from the sides of the pot. If you are just making these for yourself and your family to eat by the spoon full (oh, yes, you read that right), then there is no need to be so picky about the cooking time, just cook it down until you see the condensed milk is thick.
Personally, I think you can make brigadeiros with any flavour you want, not only with chocolate. To prove my point, I made these wonderful corn and cinnamon ones. Corn and cinnamon is one of my favourite combinations and they work very well on this sweet and soft candy. Fresh corn is the best option, but frozen corn (previously thawed) works too. I hope you enjoy them much as I do.
Corn and Cinnamon Brigadeiros Recipe:
makes about 25 small candies
You will need:
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
2 cups of fresh corn kernels
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, plus more for your hands and plate
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 cup of sugar, for decoration
Small paper cups
Place the condensed milk and the corn in a blender and blend well, scraping down the sides of the blender cup to remove any condensed milk that might be stuck to it.
Pass the mixture through a fine sieve placed over a medium pot and discard any solids. Place the pot over medium heat and add the butter and cinnamon. Cook, stirring often, for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced in size and thickened up. To test, scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, you should be able to make a trace and see the bottom.
Transfer it to a plate lightly coated with butter and let it come to room temperature. (see note)
Once the brigadeiro have cooled use butter to coat your hands and shape the brigadeiros into small balls (a teaspoon). Roll each one on the sugar and place them in small paper cups.
You can leave the brigadeiro in the fridge , tightly covered with film for up to 1 day. Remove from the fridge 15 minutes before you plan to roll them and continue with the recipe.