Brigadeiro – A Brazilian Dessert/Un postre brasileño

-traducción en español al fin de esta entrada-

Well, well, well.  Has it been too long since I’ve put up a new entry?  Unfortunately it has!  I am looking at the date that my last entry was posted and I am ashamed of myself for letting this blog go so long without any kind of maintenance.  The good news is that though I haven’t beent he best blogger there have been nearly 60 people everyday who still visit The Handicapped Kitchen.  So, thanks goes out to all you who have been visiting!  Truth be told, the last months of my work in Peru were absolutely so jam-packed it was ridiculous to even think about mustering up something in the kitchen and then set up studio to take pictures.

To update you on where I am at, I have recently moved from Puno, Peru to Quito, Ecuador and am now living at only about 9,000 feet above sea level!  It doesn’t matter much, the air is still thin and anything beyond a brisk walk turns into my lungs becoming coughed out onto the sidewalk.  But, Ecuador is a beautiful country, so that makes up for it!

As for the dessert, I wanted to share with you all this very popular Brasilian dessert.  It is called brigadeiro (pronouned bree-gah-day-roo).  They are little balls of chocolate that taste something like tootsie rolls, but much more delicious.  And they are simply easy to make!

You need these three ingredients!  That is it. They are

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp butter or margerine

Put all the ingredients in a medium sauce pan and mix together.  Put over medium heat and stir constantly.  Yea, there is a reason that is bold and italicized.  It is very important.  You are working with milk here, and if you burn it… yuck!

I made a video for this post specifically because it is hard to explain the consistency this dessert should have when the dough is ready to be taken off the heat.  The video is at the bottom of this post.

You will cook this dough over medium heat and stir constantly for about 10 minutes.  It will begin to boil within the first few minutes and will thicken gradually.

You will see in the video that you want to take the dough off the heat when the dough seems to sit in the middle of the bottom of the pan in a mass and seems to pull away from the sides of the pan.  It will seem like a big blob.

Remove the pan from the heat and with a spatula scrap it out into another heat-proof bowl and let it cool.  I let mine cool for a little over an hour.

Then, grease your hands with butter or something of the kind -especially your fingertips- and pul out the dough a piece at a time and roll into balls.  Place them on a tray.  At this point, if you decide to, you can roll them in crushed nuts or powdered sugar or cocoa powder.  They really make for cute little desserts.  When they are all rolled into little balls put them in the fridge over night.  Serve chilled.


Bueeeeeno, ¿hace mucho tiempo que no escribo una nueva entrada?  Desafortunadamente, la respuesta es un gran ¡SÍ!  Estoy mirando la fecha de la entrada anterior y me da vergüenza por dejar a este blog tanto tiempo sin ningún tipo de mantenimiento.  La buena nueva es que aunque yo no he sido lo mejor de los blogueros hay muchos de ustedes que cada día están visitando a The Handicapped Kitchen a pesar de mi negligencia.  Diario tengo casi 60 visitas.  Entonces, toda mi gratitud les mando a ustedes que son más fieles que yo.  Para decir la verdad, los últimos meses de mi trabajo en Perú eran absolutamente demasiado atiborrados de eventos y la preparación para salir y fue agotador para pensar aún en la posibilidad de pasar un día en la cocina ni que hablar de sacar fotos de la comida.

Para ponerles al corriente de mi vida y donde estoy, recién me he mudado desde Puno, Perú a Quito, Ecuador y ahora vivo a ¡2,800 metros sobre el nivel del mar!  No importa tanto, pues, porque el aire sigue siendo menos rico de oxígeno y algo más que dar pasos ligeros hace que mis pulmones quieran voltearse de mi cuerpo al suelo.  Pero, Ecuador es un país hermoso, ¡así que lo compensa!

En cuanto al postre, o quiero compartir con ustedes este postre brasileño muy popular.  Se llama brigadeiro.  Son bolitas de chocolate que se asemejan a un dulce americano Tootsie Rolls, pero mucho más delicioso.  Y, que más que ¡son fáciles hacer!

Los ingredients que necesitarás son tres.  ¡Eso es!  Son:

  • 1 lata de leche condensada
  • 3 cucharadas de cocoa puro
  • 1 cucharada de mantequilla o margarina

Pon todos los ingredientes en una olla de tamaño medio y mezcla.  Ponlo sobre medio fuego y revuelva constantemente.  Sí, pues, hay una razòn porque he puesto esa palabra en letra negra y cursiva.  Es muy importante.  Estás tratando con leche, pues, y si lo quemes… ¡qué asco!

Hice un video para esta entrada específicamente porque es difícil explicar como debe parecer la consistencia de este postre cuando está listo remover del fuego.  El video está aquí al fondo de esta entrada.

Lo cocinarás sobre medio fuego y lo revolverás continuamente por uno 10 minutos.  Empezará hervir entres los primeros minutos -no desvies la mirada ni dejes de revolverlo- se va a hacer más espeso gráduamente.  Ve el video -que también está en español- para ver la consistencia.

The Videos/Los Videos

Borrachitos – Rum Balls

“Buen dia” to everyone.  My day has come to an end and to celebrate that fact I am in bed with apple slices, caramel sauce and two borrachitos.  It’s a good end to these past two days.  Have you ever had several days that feel like one big long day?  Those are my Wednesdays and Thursdays.  So, coming home and finding these little chocolate delicacies still in the fridge is quite the lucky surprise.  Living with 8 other ravenous fridge mongers things like these disappear QUICKLY!

They are, in English, “Little Drunkards.”  But, were profoundly popular in the 60s as Rum Balls.  From the blatantly obvious name of the chocolate truffles, it’s clear that they have rum in them.  Of course, there are always options to replace alcohol, you can replace the rum with apple or orange juice.

When I searched for these online, I had the hardest time finding them!  I had first tried these in Arequipa, Peru.  They were in a little bakery hidden in the Plaza de Armas.  It was really an accident that we stumbled upon La Canasta one day and when my eyes locked with a big chocolate ball sitting in the display case I knew I just had to try it.  Yum, yum, yum.  It was food love.  I’m beyond happy that what I made in my kitchen turned out to be exactly what I had from La Canasta that blessed day.

I’m pretty sure these will quickly find their way into stomachs among your household members.  They are rather quick to conjure up as well.  Conjure, sounds witchy, that’s as much Halloween theme you’re going to get out of me here.  But, in all seriousness, which should always be our attitudes in the kitchen…………… yea, these are simply simple and can even be considered a no-baking confection!

Anything that is no-bake, to me, is kind of a cheat.  Sorry to all of you who vie for the other side.  So, I baked a cake, which turned out to be the BEST cake I’ve ever made, let alone at 12,000 feet, and posted an article on it.  It’s The Perfect High Altitude Cake.  It raised up to pretty and looked so nice… it was a shame though because I had to mash it all up into crumbs.

recipe adapted from The Joy of Baking. 

2-3 cups mashed chocolate cake
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup rum, apple juice or orange juice
4 tbsp corn syrup or honey

melted chocolate
confectioners sugar
cocoa powder
finely chopped nuts

If you click on the link above for The Joy of Baking it will take you to the Rum Ball recipe.  My adapted version is a little different.  There’s also a nice video you can watch.

Basically, my version is cheaper.  Nuts are not inexpensive.  So, I used cake instead of vanilla wafers and nuts like TJOB has listed and I also doubled the recipe because I made a 9×13 cake and had a lot of it to use.

So, mash up your cake into fine crumbs.  I just used my hands.  It’s fun to get dirty in the kitchen.  Then, mix in the confectioners sugar.  At this point you may want to get a wooden spoon, because honey or corn syrup won’t be fun to clean off your hands.  Mix in the corn syrup or honey and then the rum or whatever liquid substitute you decide to use.  Mix well.  If your “dough” turns out looking shiny, then mash in some more cake.  You should have a dough that has a satin look.

Before rolling them you may want to put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes.  They might be too sticky to handle, but I honestly didn’t have an issue with this.  Roll into little balls.  You can make them as big as you want, really.  I made them about 2 inches.

Melt your chocolate, or get your stuff to roll them in ready and make ’em pretty!  I’d have to say that out of all the topping ideas, the chocolate covered borrachitos turned out to be the most delicious, though some of the others were just so darn pretty.

As for dipping them in chocolate, I just plopped them in the chocolate and covered them completely and then fished them out with a fork and placed them on a cookie sheet with saran-wrap.  Let them set in the fridge.

Store these babies in the fridge.  The flavor does enhance and change with time.  So, you may want to make them a few days in advance before you bust them out for a party or what-not.  Try not to eat all of them at once, they are quite the temptation.

P.S. The boxes are origami boxes I made from parchment paper.  I’ve got a clever plan to do more things with these little guys.  You can go here to find out how to make them.

P.P.S. You can follow The Handicapped Kitchen on Facebook!  Go to and click the “Like” button to get the latest news on THK in your news feed!


Chocolate Dipped Banana Cake Balls (C.D.B.C.B.)

When you fall your supposed to pull yourself up and try again, right?  And the advice goes that even if you fall again you pull yourself up again.  One, I don’t like failing.  Two, if I fail I hate repeating something I feel should’ve worked the first time.  Baking at high altitudes is a great exercise for me in this department. 

A week ago I tried making Carrot Cake Rolls.  M-mmm.  It sounds good, right?  My inspiration was the classic Pumpkin Roll.  So, I found a Carrot Cake recipe and a Pumpkin Roll recipe and combined the two.  What happened?  I got a cookie sheet full of goop that didn’t set until an hour of baking (it should have only been 15 minutes). 

“What did you want to do, Trevor?” you ask.  I wanted to take the cookie sheet and chuck it out the front door hoping to catch a passing taxi in my baking-gone-wrong rage and bust out his window.  But, instead I slopped on the cream cheese frosting (which at this point I was feeling was a waste of good cream cheese) and rolled it up.  Later, everyone told me it wasn’t very pretty but it was the best thing I had made so far.  Can you imagine how upset I was?  Argh!

So, I decided to try it again, except this time instead of using carrot I would do a banana variation.  Mashed banana is similar to pumpkin puree, so I thought it might turn out better… nope.  It was practically identical the result.  This time I even adjusted the amount of flour, sugar, and leavening crap.  It got me nowhere.  So, looking at my kitchen towel with my sad excuse of a Banana Cake Roll with cream cheese oozing out everywhere, instead of getting upset and wishing doom on the 12,000 foot high city of Puno and all it’s residents, I threw it all in a bowl and mashed it together.  This is what it became. 


I was really happy to have them turn out and actually hand them to somebody feeling proud of what I was giving them.  Cracked and brittle Carrot or Banana Cake Rolls are just not acceptable. 

Banana Ball Base

3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup mashed banana

The Binder

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1 cup powdered sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter (softened)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup oatmeal (if needed)

Chocolate … about 175 grams (or 6 oz) of bittersweet chocolate. 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and grease a pan… I think you could use a 9×9 pan just fine.  I used a cookie sheet, but that was when I was making a Banana Cake Roll… now you’re making C.D.B.C.B. 

Make the flour mixture by whisking together in a bowl all the dry ingredients except the sugar.  In your mixing bowl mix the eggs and sugar until thick then beat in the mashed banana.  Then stir in the flour mixture.  It’s fine if it’s still lumpy.  Then, pour into the pre-greased pan and put in the over for 15-20 minutes or until when pressed slightly with your finger the cake springs back. 

While baking prepare the cream cheese frosting.  In a mixing bowl blend together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add the vanilla extract and then gradually add the powdered sugar. 

When the cake is cooked turn out, scoop out, or whatever, just get it out of the pan into a bowl and mix it together with the cream cheese frosting and also, at this point, dump in the 1/2 cup oatmeal as a further bonding agent.  If you feel the cake and cream cheese frosting will bind together fine without the oatmeal then leave it out.

Melt the 6 oz of chocolate over simmering water.  Here’s a link that can give you further advice on how to melt your chocolate correctly.  Melting Chocolate.     

Once your chocolate is ready spoon out some of the “dough” you now have and roll it into a ball with your hands.  Stick it on the end of a fork and dip it into the chocolate only covering the bottom part… if you want to cover the whole thing with chocolate you’ll just need more chocolate.  Then place on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap.  Once you’ve got your pan full place in the freezer for a couple hours and voila!  You’ve got my mistake made delicious.