I’ve only been cooking for a relatively short time, but I’m learning quickly that I love making sweet things. Baked things, chocolate covered things, melty things rolled in crunchy things.
Last weekend, I awoke with a craving for something new, something I hadn’t tried before. And my favorite foodie blog totally delivered… Coconut Milk Brigadeiros!
The name’s great, but what on earth is a brigadeiro, you ask? It’s a little, Brazilian, melty, coconut milk confection rolled in yummy things like toasted coconut, crushed nuts, & my dear friend, chocolate. They’re wildly simple to make and even more wildly delicious. Seriously…
Start out with a 1/2 cup of coconut milk – and not that watery Taste of Thai business if you have a choice.
Then, 1 cup of glorious sweetened condensed milk.
Add them to 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tsp of light corn syrup in a heavy saucepan.
Just bring it to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat down to low. Now comes the muscle part; you have to whisk it constantly until it’s fudgy. Every recipe I came across suggested this process should take about 8 minutes… Ha! I had to whisk that bad boy for 22 minutes. 22 minutes! Whisking and whisking, without scraping the bottom or sides of the pan.
Finally, finally it was fudgy enough! I removed the pan from the heat and gingerly slid the gooey mixture into a bowl. The key here is to not scrape the pan – there will be some browned, slightly burnt looking residue and you want no part of that going into your precious brigadeiro. Let it cool to room temperature and then pop it into the fridge for a few hours. The recipe says for at least 4 hours, but I’ve made this recipe twice – once I waited 40 minutes, the second time I chilled it overnight. It didn’t make any noticeable difference to me!
While it was chilling, I tackled my toppings. Renegade as ever, I took a few liberties with my topping choices. First, I prepared the pistachios… de-shelled them and then crushed them in a ziploc bag with the back of metal ladle.
Took my beautiful coconut flakes and accidentally overtoasted them! Thankfully they turned out to still be delicious, but heed my warning… you probably won’t need to toast them any longer than 3-4 minutes. That way, they’ll be toasted enough to bring out the flavor, but will retain their color.
For the first batch, I also used those cheapie candy-colored sprinklers from the grocery store. But to be honest, I did it more the photographic opportunities than the taste!
The second batch is when I really hit my stride… my workspace was completely organized and efficient and I added crushed graham crackers, crushed almonds (smashed with a ladle), and chocolate to the mix! I thought that I had a bar of 70% Ghiradelli at home, but much to my surprise, it was unsweetened! Ack, I thought. What to do?! Well, I used the unsweetened anyway and the sweetness of the brigadeiro totally meshed with the chocolate, giving the impression that the chocolate was indeed sweetened. Woot woot!
The rolling process if definitely the most fun! After having chilled for multiple hours, the coconut milk mixture will be very, very firm. Like you can knock on it with your knuckles and it’ll make a sound firm. So I took my teaspoon measure and doled out teaspoon-ish sized portions, rolled each into a ball shape and then plopped them in their respective toppings receptacle.
It’s best to work quickly because the warmth of your hands will definitely make the candy more malleable, thus losing its shape more easily. Also, things can get pretty sticky, so upon the suggestion of my favorite food blogger, I kept my hands slightly damp with a drop or two of cold water.
Want to see the final results?
And the glorious 2nd batch!
Delicious. Relatively simple. And inexpensive?! Brigadeiros might just be the perfect candy!
Edit: Turns out I was a little misinformed! “Brigadeiro” refers to the chocolate version of this candy. “Beijinho” (or “little kisses”) refers to the coconut milk version that I made. Thanks to all the Brazilians who helped set me straight – especially my little NYC Brazilian!
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen…