In Rio de Janeiro, where I grew up, Brigadeiro is not only the most traditional sweet, it's also the favorite one.
Brazilians grow up eating Brigadeiro, which are at every birthday party and pretty much any kind of celebration. I tried my first when I was around 2 or 3 years old. My mom told me that she gave me a small bite at my cousin's birthday party and, of course, I asked for more right away.
My grandma Lucila is not a traditional baker or cook, but there are a few things that she likes to make and that she does like no one else. Her Brigadeiro, for instance: She takes so much time and has so much patience during the process, which makes her recipe special. On rainy days, my mom and I would watch movies and wait for my grandma's Brigadeiro; when the movie was almost over, the Brigadeiro was finally ready. But they were always worth the wait.
It was from Grandma Lucila, the most special lady in the world, that I learned to make these treats. In my opinion, what defines a Brigadeiro is the consistency: It's something between a fudge and a caramel—really unique and very delicate. It requires patience and love to reach the perfect texture. The batter is slowly cooked until it's a velvety consistency, then it's hand rolled into a luscious rounds and covered with chocolate sprinkles or nuts.
I started my own Brigadeiro company, My Sweet Brigadeiro, in 2011, after I came to New York on vacation. Soon after, I enrolled in a business course. I started making Brigadeiro as gifts for my friends. When I realized how much everyone loved them, I opened My Sweet Brigadeiro (and never returned to Brazil!). Our new facility and studio is located in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and we also sell our sweets to corporate clients and gourmet markets like Whole Foods. I created mysweet.com in order to serve customers in all fifty states.
At My Sweet, we use the highest quality ingredients: 100% cocoa, organic nuts, and sweetened condensed milk from a local producer. Every Brigadeiro is handmade to order.
- One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tablespoons pure cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon salted butter, plus more for shaping
- Chocolate sprinkles, for sprinkling