So, food bloggers couldn’t stay apart and an online bake-sale is about to start at The Tomato Tart. Sabrina Modelle, the host, came up with the idea, contacted some other friends and now there are more than 60 bloggers from 8 different countries participating!
It’s one more opportunity for you to help. The bake sale will be held, silent auction style, on March 30th (to choose your favorite goodies, check here).
The money raised will be donated to Second Harvest Japan, a local food bank that is responding to the crisis in a direct and very meaningful way – by feeding people who are in need.
By the way, do you know Brazil has the biggest Japanese community outside Japan? They immigrated at the begging of 20th century to work in coffee plantations and somehow helped to build a bit of my country home. For me that’s not only a way to help but a way to show appreciation to Japan and its population.
Give Me Flour is donating two box of brigadeiros! A delicious Brazilian soft caramel candy to affirm life can be sweet too.
For those who don’t have an idea of what a brigadeiro looks like, it’s made basically with sweetened condensed milk and chocolate, a chocolate pudding cousin and fudge spread brother that has its own and unique identity. You gotta try!
For those who know, hum…….you know!
A few other things going on:
Asha Pagdiwalla from Fork Spoon Knife and a handful of other bloggers are throwing an International Food Bloggers Auction for Japan to raise funds for the Japanese Red Cross Society towards their disaster relief efforts. The auction is open to all readers across the globe!
Find your way to help!
Mix sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, salt and honey in a medium saucepan. Salt brings up the flavor and honey improves brightness. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly, preferable with a silicone spatula.
We like to say brigadeiro is done when one can see the bottom of the pan. And the time for that varies depending on stove potency or quantity and quality of cocoa powder. More chocolate reduces cooking time. The whole process can take something from 10 to 20 minutes and we have to have in mind brigadeiro will get thicker when it’s cold.
The right consistency of a brigadeiro can be very personal too. If you cook it longer, it’ll resemble soft caramel candy and it will be very sticky. What is not bad if you like soft caramel as I do.
The problem is I do like dulce de leche or chocolate pudding too and I love when my brigadeiros are creamy like them. But although we gain in creaminess by cooking it for a shorter time, we can have a lot of trouble trying to obtain perfect little balls during shaping.
One solution is to make what we call “brigadeiros for spoon”. Fill little plastic cups with small portions of dough to be eaten with a spoon or eat the whole batch straight from the pan.
But, if you really want to have creamy brigadeiro balls, let it chill completely, keep on freezer for at least an hour or on the fridge overnight. Pay attention to the candy cup tips below too!
So far we were talking about classic brigadeiros. But things can always get better. Two important ingredients that can upgrade your candy are heavy cream and chocolate.
I’ve always made mine with heavy cream; it’s perfect, the texture is much cremier and brigadeiro gets less sweet. Besides that, the result is ideal for frosting and cake fillings.
About chocolate, it has been used for a while now; specially on what they call gourmet brigadeiros. It’s up to you but I strongly recommend you to try it, the final texture is certainly the best.
To use heavy cream and chocolate (or both together), make one batch of classic brigadeiro, turn off the heat, mix those extra ingredients and stir. The chocolate will be melted by the warm dough. Return to heat and cook until thick again.
Use as a filling, frosting or fill the little cups while it’s still hot. To make the balls, let it chill completely.
You’ll find a lot of brigadeiro pics and recipes calling for chocolate sprinkles. But, in fact, most of these sprinkles are just made using sugar and some artificial coloring and flavoring. Instead, I like to grate my favorite chocolate bar. Just place the grated chocolate into the fridge for 10 minutes before rolling the brigadeiros in it to avoid melting.
Graze your hands with butter or no-stick cooking spray, take small portions of dough, about a teasponn at a time, and shape it out. Coat them immediately with chocolate.
Finally, little paper cups are an important key to help holding the candy shapes. The tendency of the brigadeiros at room temperature is to lose their rounded form if the paper cups are not suitable. Choose the right size and use 2 or 3 cups fit together to place the balls.
One batch gives you about 30 brigadeiros that, when left behind, can be perfectly frozen. A very handy candy for any occasion!