Christmas Boozy Chocolate and Hazelnut ‘Brigadeiro’

Christmas Boozy Chocolate and Hazelnut ‘Brigadeiro’

Brigadeiro was one of the first recipes I posted in my blog, that was about 6 months ago. I can’t believe 6 months have already passed and it’s almost 2015. I have to say these months were some of the most exciting of my life. It’s been great having the chance to write about Brazilian food, creating and sharing recipes and learning the tricks of food styling and photography. Brigadeiro had to be one of the first because it is such a classic Brazilian chocolate sweet. To us Brazilians brigadeiros are synonym of party and celebration. For this reason I decided to make a Christmas version of the sweet.

The traditional brigadeiro recipe is made with sweetened condensed milk and cocoa powder. Following the trend in Brazil of gourmet brigadeiros and the holiday mood I decided to add hazelnuts, orange zest and glacéd cherries soaked in cachaça to my Christmas sweet. To go all the way with the festive season, for the coating I used a tip by my sister-in-law to turn the chocolate sprinkles into golden colour using chocolate dust. I also added the stars on top so they look more glamorous and suitable for this special time of the year. I think they look like little edible jewels on the table!

Both the star sprinkles and the chocolate dust can be found online or from good pastry supply shops. Have your Christmas dessert sorted with this recipe. This sweet is incredibly easy to make and can be done 4-5 days in advance, just keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. Also, since they are bite-sized and served in paper cases, they are also very practical and handy to serve.

Brigadeiros are also a great edible gift, just place them in a fancy box, tie a pretty ribbon and you are ready to give something different to someone you love!

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year! Stay tuned for loads of new Brazilian recipes in 2015.


1/4 cup (62.5ml) cachaça* or dark rum

80g glacéd cherries

Zest of 1 orange

125 g hazelnuts

2 cans sweetened condensed milk

200ml thickened cream

5 tbs dutch cocoa

100g chocolate sprinkles

1 tsp golden luster dust

Large star sprinkles to decorate (optional)

Golden luster dust, extra for the stars (optional)

Unsalted butter, to grease

33 Petit paper cases (e.g. mini-muffin cases)

*Available from large liquor stores or online


1. Roughly chop the cherries and soak in cachaça for a couple of hours (or overnight if you want a stronger alcohol flavour) in the fridge.

2. Pre-heat the oven 180°C. Place the hazelnuts onto a tray and roast them for 8-10 minutes until golden and fragrant, stirring once. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Rub between your hands to peel them. Discard skin. Roughly chop them.

3. In a medium saucepan pour condensed milk, cocoa powder and cream and using a wooden spoon stir over medium heat until it starts to boil. Reduce the heat to low and keep stirring for 20 minutes or until the mixture thickens and leaves the sides of the pan. Remove from heat.

4. Drain the cherries and stir in the condensed milk mixture while still hot, along with the orange zest and hazelnuts. Transfer the paste to a bowl, cover and place in the fridge for about 2 hours to set.

5. Place chocolate sprinkles in a plastic bag with the luster dust, close the bag and shake it for a few seconds until all sprinkles change colour. Transfer sprinkles into a bowl.

6. Remove paste from the fridge and start working immediately. Grease your hands with a little butter and scoop the paste with a tablespoon. Roll into a ball and throw it in the chocolate sprinkles to cover. Place the ball into a case. Repeat with the remaining paste. If your hands get sticky, you might have to wash and grease it again. If using starts place them in a plastic bag with a 1/4 tsp luster dust, shake until all starts change colour. Garnish with the stars. Keep them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to five days.

Makes: 33


Receita em Português

Brigadeiro Gourmet de Natal com Avelãs


1/4 xícara (62.5ml) de cachaça

80g de cerejas glaceadas

Raspas de 1 laranja

125 g de avelãs

2 latas de leite condensado

200ml de creme de leite fresco

5 colheres de sopa de cacau em pó

100g de chocolate granulado

1 colher de chá de pó dourado para chocolate

Estrelas de açúcar para decorar (opcional)

Pó dourado para chocolate (extra) para as estrelas (opcional)

Manteiga sem sal, para untar

33 forminhas


1. Pique grosseiramente as cerejas, misture com a cachaça e coloque na geladeira por aproximadamente 2 horas (ou do dia para a noite se quiser um gosto mais forte de cachaça).

2. Pré – aqueça o forno 180°C. Coloque as avelãs em uma bandeja no forno por 8-10 minutos até dourar mexendo uma vez. Retire do forno e deixe esfriar por alguns minutos. Esfregue as avelãs entre suas mãos para descascá-las. Descarte as cascas. Pique as avelãs.

3. Em uma panela média despeje o leite condensado, o cacau em pó e creme de leite e usando uma colher de pau mexa sob fogo médio até começar a ferver. Reduza o fogo e continue mexendo por 20 minutos ou até que a mistura engrosse e desgrude do fundo da panela. Retire do fogo.

4. Escorra a cerejas, e as misture juntamente com as raspas de laranja e as avelãs à massa de brigadeiro ainda quente. Transfira a massa para uma tigela, cubra e coloque na geladeira por cerca de 3 horas para esfriar.

5. Coloque o chocolate granulado com o pó dourado em um saco plástico, feche o saco e agite por alguns segundos até que o granulado mude de cor. Transfera para uma tigela.

6. Retire a massa de brigadeiro da geladeira e comece a trabalhar imediatamente. Unte as mãos com um pouco de manteiga e pegue um pouco da massa usando uma colher de sopa . Enrole e jogue no chocolate granulado para cobrir. Coloque o brigadeiro em uma forminha. Repita o procedimento com a massa restante. Se começar a grudar, você deve lavar as mãos e untá-las novamente. Se preferir colocar as estrelas em um saco com 1/4 colher de chá de pó dourado, agitar até mudar de cor. Decore com as estrelas. Mantê-los em um recipiente hermético na geladeira por até cinco dias .

Rende: 33