As you may have gathered from some of my posts Him Indoors is Brazilian. I have yet to visit his home country, and am looking forward to meeting the family properly when we do. At the moment we communicate via Facebook or Skype, but I know he gets homesick. It must be difficult for them all to be so far apart.
When I feel he needs cheering up I make these traditional Brazilian sweets. They remind me of Rum Truffles. He’s told me his sister Adriana would mix the ingredients together and they’d eat it straight from the pan when they were kids. He calls them Negrinhos, but I found the recipe under the name Brigadeiro.
I follow a simple recipe and was told that I did a great job for someone who had never tried the original. Praise indeed! The cases to hold the sweets in are for petit fours, and I purchased them from Sainsbury’s. The chocolate strands were also easy to find there. You could also use chopped nuts or desiccated coconut as a decoration. The rolling of the sweets and toppings would be good for child participation, but be careful that the mixture isn’t too hot for them.
Recipe (Makes 18 approx)
3 tbsp unsalted butter
400g tin of sweetened condensed milk
4 tbsp of sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Desired toppings- chocolate strands, chopped nuts, desiccated coconut
1. In a medium heavy-based saucepan heat the butter, condensed milk, a pinch of salt and the sifted cocoa to boiling point on a high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 to 15 mins, stirring constantly. The mixture will gradually thicken until it is thick and shiny, and will start to ‘pull away’ from the bottom of the pan.
2. Stir in the vanilla and mix fast. Pour the mixture onto a buttered plate. Chill for at least 2hrs.
3. Butter hands and pinch off the mixture to make approximately 2cm balls. Roll the balls in the desired toppings and then place in the petit four cases.
4. Keep in an airight container and they will last for a few days, or until you eat them all!
I’ve never made a terrible batch following this method, although I’d say it is difficult not to become bored with all the stirring. Patience is a virtue, as they say!
My attempts to make Paçoca, by contrast, have not been so successful! I managed to destroy my food processor pulsing the peanuts 🙁 We’re better off buying this delicious treat!
Thanks for reading,