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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Childhood Treat is a Trendsetter for 2014

As the mother of a tween and a teen, I am often reminded about how lame and uncool I am in regards to music, clothing, technology and vernacular.  Fortunately, I have a thick skin and know that despite the good natured jabs I receive from my children, I am fairly adept at staying on top of current trends.  This theory was validated a couple of weekends ago when I attended a session at Food Blog South, on culinary trends for 2014.

Trendologist, Kara Nielson gave a fascinating presentation on where trends start, how they move into the mainstream and what initiates them.  One of her examples was, that as a result of the World Cup being held in Rio de Janeiro later this year, we will see a growing interest in Brazilian food.  She highlighted brigadeiros as a new "it" food to look out for.  I sat silently chuckling to myself, since brigadieros are a ubiquitous part of any Brazilian child's birthday celebration.  This is a treat that enjoyed often as a young girl, living in Brazil and one that I still

Yes! I am ahead of the curve on this one.  So far ahead in fact, that Chef Nancy and I have already done two Brazilian classes at Cook's Warehouse, where we featured brigdeiro inspired desserts.  Traditionally, a mixture of sweetened condensed milk, butter and Nesquick powder are stirred together over medium heat, until thickened.  The mixture is then cooled and rolled into truffle-sized balls and coated with chocolate jimmies.  The warm mixture is also perfect as a topping for  cakes and cupcakes.

This delicious sweet treat has been around for decades and was originally created by the Nestle company as a way to promote their condensed milk and chocolate drink mix products.  Generally speaking, the recipes are all basically the same.  I am providing the recipe that I grew up with, which uses the Nesquick (Nescau, in Brazil) drink mix, but certainly if you wanted to cut down on the sweetness, you could substitute an equal amount of cocoa powder.

I love that an old favorite of mine, has the potential to become the next big thing for 2014, and will gladly do my part to help promote this chocolaty delight that I am still passionate about all these years later.

Brigadeiro used as topping for chocolate cupcakes

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 heaping tablespoons of nesquick or cocoa powder 
1/4 cup butter
Chocolate Jimmies
Non-stick cooking spray

In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk the condensed milk and chocolate drink mix together.  Add the butter.  Stir continuously until the butter is melted and the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes.  You want the mixture to be caramel-like in texture.

Remove mixture from heat and pour into a pyrex dish.  Once mixture is completely cooled, spray your hands with non-stick spray and roll mixture into balls.  Place jimmies in a shallow bowl and roll the balls in the sprinkles to cover.

Traditional truffle-style Brigadeiros

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