This may be the most festive snack you can enjoy while watching the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio. Not only is the brigadeiro the hosting country’s most beloved dessert… there’s also something delightfully ironic about admiring world-class athletic prowess, while eating bonbons on the couch.
I whipped up this recipe to feature in cooking class this week, where I’m planning to celebrate the Olympics with a sabor do Brasil theme. I have a bit of a soft spot for Brazilian cuisine… In college, I studied a year of Portuguese language as part of my general ed requirements, and at the same time I also took up capoeira as a hobby. I met a lot of friendly Brazilian folks, and naturally developed an appetite for the country’s signature dishes.
If you’re not familiar with brigadeiros, they’re a very popular sweet treat throughout Brazil. They’re traditionally made with sweetened condensed milk, butter and cocoa powder (often sweetened Nesquik drink mix). My version is still quite energy-dense (about 50 calories per bite-sized bonbon, before rolling in your choice of topping) but they’re certainly a step toward a more balanced brigadeiro. The ingredient list keeps things simple & not-quite-so-sweet, pairing antioxidant-rich dark chocolate with avocado, which creates a soft, fudgy texture and offers some whole-food benefits like fiber and heart-healthy fats. It’s an indulgent-yet-wholesome culinary preparation that, in moderation, fits right in with Brazil’s progressive food-based dietary guidelines.
These tasty treats are easy as pie, and you can have fun choosing your favorite topping to coat each fudgy morsel. In the photo above, you can see I went with (from the upper left): cocoa powder, hemp seeds, cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut flakes, and – of course – the classic chocolate sprinkles.
Does this tasty combination leave you hungry for more? Try chilling out with a batch of my favorite Avocado Fudgesicles!