Fun Facts About Brigadeiros—Brazil’s Favorite Candy
Brigadeiros are the most iconic Brazilian dessert. The traditional brigadeiro is a bite-sized chocolatey ball rolled in sprinkles and placed in a candy wrapper. While they look like bon bons, the smooth chocolatey texture is more reminiscent of fudge. But, trust us, they need to be tried to be fully understood 😉!
Since the brigadeiro was created in the mid-1940s, the original recipe has been reinterpreted in a number of ways. Today, gourmet brigadeiros are available in many flavors using milk, dark or white chocolate. Favorites include coconut, peanut, sweet corn and Ninho (flavored with Nestle’s powdered milk). Brigadeiro-inspired truffles can be filled with lemon, passion fruit, figs, Nutella, churros and even cheese, such as the parmesan and guava combo called Romeo + Juliet.
Curious to know more? Here are some fun facts about Brazil's No. 1 candy:
Brigadeiros are named after the rank of a handsome military figure
The original brigadeiro is chocolate rolled in sprinkles.
During his campaign in 1946 for the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil, the handsome Brigadier Eduardo Gomes won the hearts of young women across the country. You can say the bachelor was so cute his admirers wanted to eat him up!
In Rio de Janeiro, Heloísa Nabuco de Oliveira, a crafty confectioner with a sweet spot for Gomes and, along with her family, a supporter of his candidacy, created the chocolate candy in his honor. She named it the doce de brigadeiro (which translates to “brigadier’s sweet” in Portuguese; the name was later shortened to simply brigadeiro).
Soon other women joined Heloísa in making the confections, selling them to raise funds for the candidate's campaign efforts. (The 1946 election was the first national election in which Brazilian women were allowed to vote.) Gomes may have lost his presidential bid, but the treat he inspired is a proven winner!
An ingredient was dropped from the original recipe
Each brigadeiro is rolled by hand.
Heloísa’s original brigadeiro recipe contained egg yolks and some traditionalists still include them. While egg yolks make the candy creamier, the ingredient fell out of favor. Soul Sweet Boutique’s brigadeiro recipe contains: condensed milk, heavy cream, cocoa, milk chocolate, dark chocolate and, because you could never have too much chocolate, chocolate sprinkles.
Grab a spoon and dig right in
We use brigadeiro cream in our chocolate cake in a jar.
In addition to the candy you can pop in your mouth, Brigadeiro cream is widely used in Brazilian desserts. You can layer it in cakes as Soul Sweet Boutique does with its Chocolate Brigadeiro cakes in a jar. Add crushed cookies, like Maria Biscuits, for a Brazilian take on cookies and crème known as Palha Italiana.
A staple at every celebration
In Brazil, it's not a party without brigadeiros. The candy is often placed around the birthday cake to be eaten after the candles are blown out. But not everyone has the will power to wait so expect a few empty wrappers on the table.
As Brazilians have immigrated, global demand has grown for brigadeiros. And—like the cute brigadier who inspired them—they are now admired and enjoyed by sweet lovers all over the world.
Soul Sweet Boutique's Brigadeiro + Truffle Menu
Chocolate Sprinkle: A fudgy confection dipped in delicate sprinkles. Truly a chocolate lover’s dream.
Coconut: Satisfy your coconut cravings when you bite into this decadent confection.
Ninho: Takes you back to your childhood when you snuck spoonfuls of condensed milk (or icing from the tub).
Peanut: Magic happens when you throw peanuts into the batter.
Sweet Corn: Just the right amount of sweetness with a subtle kick of cinnamon.
Churros: The experience of dunking churros in smooth, rich toffee rolled into two bites.
Dark Chocolate Fig: Some call it the forbidden fruit. Perhaps that’s what makes this combination of fig and dark chocolate so hard to resist.
Lemon: White chocolate and fresh lemon juice come together to form a delightfully tangy treat.
Nutella + Ninho: Ninho brigadeiro on the outside, creamy Nutella on the inside. Double yum.
Passion Fruit: One of the signature flavors of Brazil gets the brigadeiro treatment.
Romeo + Juliet: When two feuding flavors, savory parmesan cheese and sweet guava, fall in love.