Sometimes, it takes a follower on Twitter to make you remember something you long forgot about.
When I was considering what to make with the Nestle La Lechera, I polled my readers on both Twitter and Facebook.
A tie occurred.
Then one follower had a write in vote.
What is Brigadeiro?
My mind immediately went to a memory from a million years ago of a co-worker who brought in homemade Brazilian Brigadeiro for a holiday party. (Thank you Maria)
That fond memory instantly changed my mind on what I wanted to share this holiday season. My memories swirled in a delicious chocolate fog. A treat that was a cross between a truffle and a very smooth fudge, but a different consistency than either.I consulted my very first cookbook, the one that has handwritten notes in the back, to find the notes I made on her recipe and realized that it was indeed simple ingredients, sweet condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and vanilla–all things I have on hand usually.
The written directions were a teensy bit more vague.
I ran to Walmart to get Nestle’s La Lechera and more cocoa powder, however, I purchased both regular and dark. I mean who doesn’t love to experiment.
I made batches using both regular and dark cocoa powder and both were exquisite, but I loved the dark version the most….particularly those rolled in crushed candy canes. (Excuse me while I go get another one.)
How to make brigadeiro
A cook’s note, I suggest cooking them over a double boiler, even though most recipes you will find do not call for that. I was taught to use this method when cooking with chocolate, and it works every time. I also recommend freezing the “dough” before rolling it into balls because it is easier to work with and the “dough” does not stick to your hands as much.
I played around with using some different flavored extracts as well, almond, orange, and peppermint, in lieu of the tradition vanilla. These variations made very tasty versions of this Brazilian treat, although not wholly authentic
The possibilities really are endless with this delicious concoction. Roll them in sprinkles, crushed nuts and my personal favorite were the crushed candy canes.
Besides these utterly delectable Brazilian Brigadeiro, how else might you use Nestle’s La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk?
A heavenly hybrid confection of fudge and truffles with a consistency similar to caramel that everyone will love.
- 14 oz. can Nestle La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (regular or dark)
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 3 candy canes; crushed
- 1/4 cup candy sprinkles
- 1/4 cup sugar sprinkles
- 1/4 cup crushed nut of choice
Melt butter in a double boiler.
Add sweetened condensed milk; mix well until well blended.
Sift cocoa powder, whisking until no lumps.
Transfer to a non stick pan and look until a thick consistency, 6-9 minutes, until it pulls away and keeps its shape.
Pour on to a butter plate or baking sheet linked with wax paper.
Chill for at least one hour (freezing is recommended)
Scoop one tablespoons to hand roll into balls.
Roll and coat in desired toppings.
Place in sealed container or on a lined plate/sheet and top with plastic wrap.
Rechill or freeze until ready to serve and enjoy.
- Use any of the toppings or all
- Substitute any other extract to alter the flavor (almond, peppermint, cherry, etc)
- Dark chocolate cocoa powder instead of regular.