To complement the first half of my holiday care package (see Part I: Mulled Spice Packets), we ventured into territory we’ve never been before: Brazilian cocoa truffles! …also known endearingly in their motherland as “brigadeiros.” See three kinds below: Dark chocolate balls rolled in chocolate sprinkles and cocoa powder, and a white chocolate variation rolled in chopped pecans and cinnamon.
In spite of their fancy-sounding name and look, these little bonbons are quite simple to make. They’re named after a Brazilian Air Force brigadier, Eduardo Gomes who, legend has it, had a body shape looked a bit like a cocoa bonbon. An interesting historical tidbit on Wiki about the role of Nestle in spawning these tasty inventions and their subsequent popularity in both Brazil and Portugal in the 1940s and 50s.
14 oz condensed milk
4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
A dash of *patience* for rolling the sticky suckers into balls
Instructions: Combine the condensed milk and cocoa powder in a pan and cook over low to medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring often to avoid burning, until mixture becomes thick and shiny. Let cool and chill in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes. With buttered hands, roll the chocolate into balls and give them a nice tumble in the coating of your choice — chocolate sprinkles, chopped nuts mixed with cinnamon, cocoa powder, or use your imagination! Place in mini cupcake cups.
I bought a few polar blue gift boxes and squeezed six of the roly polies in there.
The only frustrating part of the truffle-making process was getting them to keep their rotund shape after placing them in the mini paper cups. Gravity and perhaps the warmth of our apartment persisted in making them sink downward and take the shape of the paper cup. What we ended up with was something more like Reese’s Pieces-shaped bon bons. Though Sven made me feel better by insisting their unique shape gave them a more artisanal quality. Ah but of course — a more artisanal quality. Thanks, hubbie bub *e