Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Gluten Free: Chocolate and Rum Brigadeiros

Brigadeiros are the Brazilian version of truffles and they're far too easy to make. Named after Brigadier Eduardo Gomes — a much celebrated Brazilian hero — the sweets were sold during his presidential campaign in the 40s. The campaign was said to have had the slogan "Vote no brigadeiro, que é bonito e é solteiro",  which roughly translates as "Vote for the brigadier who's good-looking and single". He didn't win.

The rum isn't traditional but I had a tiny bottle of Rumbullion and thought I'd put it to good use, although it does increase the setting time. If rum isn't your thing, try our chilli and orange version or lemon and coconut. If you want a traditional sweet, just use cocoa powder and chocolate sprinkles, otherwise let your imagination go running.

Chocolate and Rum Brigadeiros (makes about 25, depending on how much mixture you've eaten while 'checking' if it's set)

Cooking time: 10 minutes
Setting time: Your mixture will need at least 3 hours setting time, probably overnight if you're using rum.
Assembly time: 15 minutes

You'll need:
  • 1 tin condensed milk (usually these are 400 grams)
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 30ml dark rum
  • Sprinkles of all colours and varieties - you can also use desiccated coconut or chopped nuts.
Make it!
  1. Add the condensed milk, cocoa powder, rum and butter to a pan and stir constantly over a low heat. Don't stop stirring. No, really. Your mixture will burn if you do.
  2. After about 10 minutes your mixture should have thickened to a consistency that makes stirring tricky, then you're done.
  3. Transfer your mixture to a bowl and pop in the fridge until set. Lick the mixture off the spatula.
  4. When your mixture is set, it's time to roll into balls. Spread some butter on your hands before you start - this stage gets messy and the mixture will stick to your hands. You'll probably ignore this stage for the first ball thinking 'how sticky can it be?' Go and wash your hands.
  5. Roll the balls around the size of a ping pong ball and then carefully roll them about in your sprinkles of choice. If you're using lots of different sprinkles, it's handy to have them all in different bowls so you can get a bit of a production line going. 
  6. Pop them back in the fridge until you're ready to eat them. Share them with people you like. Maybe.
Top tip: If you've got any mixture left because Wimbledon was starting it'll taste brilliant in a cake or dolloped on top of some ice cream.

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