About Me

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"Tout fait Maison" probably is the closest way to express how I like to live my life. I have always love making everything from scratch in my own kitchen since I was a little girl growing up in Hong Kong. Unfortunately kitchens in Hong Kong are much smaller and people do not always have the "real" oven there but only the toaster type oven. Therefore, things did not always turn out in my Hong Kong kitchen until I get my real kitchen here. To me, baking and working with dairy products are like doing science experiments. I get extremely excited when I see that my cheese is forming the way it should be or my bread is rising properly. When my end products come out perfectly, that is probably what I strive for. So I would like to share my secrets with all my friends who enjoy baking and enjoy kitchen experiments as much as I do. I have been a French trained aritsan chocolatier for the last 8 years and I still feel like there are so much to learn in the chocolate and pastry field. Having traveled the world and trained in two of the most amazing schools in France (Valrhona Chocolates and Lenotre),my goal is to spread my joy of baking to all of you.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Brigadeiro (A Brazilian Portuguese Chocolate Bonbons)

Brigadeiro is a cross between a chocolate truffle and a caramel to me and its lovely velvety texture just keeps me wanting more and more.  It is truly one of those bonbons that you cannot stop at one.  Brigadeiro is the Brazilian's favorite sweets and also in Portugal. I was introduced my first brigadeiro in Lisbon  but brigadeiro is definitely much more popular in Brazil.  The ingredient list for Brigadeiro is very simple, pretty much just a mixture of sweet condensed milk, unsweetened cocoa powder and a small pat of butter.  The secret to making the perfect Brigadeiro depends on how patiently you cook it and also when to tell that it is done. If you are not patient and take the mixture off the heat too soon, the mixture will not set and you will not be able to form them into the Brigadeiro ball shape. So just be patient and keep on stirring.  

Basic Brigadeiro:

1 can of Nestle Sweetened Condensed milk (I prefer Nestle because it is the original)
1 tsp of butter softened
4 to 5 Tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa (I use Valrhona's cocoa because I love their deep chocolate color)
Optional espresso, or liquor

  • In a heavy saucepan, pour in the can of condensed milk
  • Add butter
  • Add the unsweetened cocoa powder and best if you can sift the powder then that will eliminate lumps and if you are adding espresso or liquor, you can add them now

  • Stir them together before applying any heat (this step is very important)

  • Now cook the mixture over medium low heat
  • Keep stirring when heating
  • Heat until mixture starts to bubble meaning boiling then turn down the heat to low
  • Keep stirring until the mixture start to thicken
  • When it gets pretty thick and close to done, you should be able to scrap the mixture down the middle and see the bottom of the pan and mixture should resemble a thick brownie batter consistency (if mixture is still runny, keep on cooking it)
  • Then take mixture off heat and pour onto a plate

  • If your mixture is in the correct consistency you should be able to flip the plate over and mixture should keep its place (much like if you whipped your egg white stiff enough)
  • Once cooled, shape them into balls and roll them into whatever toppings you desire

  • Suggested toppings: chopped nuts, cakes or cookies decor sprinkles, crushed cookies, shredded coconut, cocoa powder, confectioners sugar, etc


  1. Ivy, these look fabulous! And so easy too. I wonder which Brazilian bonbons are better, the men or the chocolate!?

    1. Pat!!! I know right, but you know they are pretty tricky to get right tho, you will see when you make them. that was what i thought too then i had to throw away my first batch. =) if you can believe it, really the trick is the part to tell when it is done cooking.

    2. Men are good too by the way!! =)

  2. You make everything look so easy! You are an expert to be able to make it seem that way :-) Thank you for sharing your expertise with us!

  3. I was just about to say the same thing K, and I will anyway:)

    Yes, Ivy, you have a knack for making every recipe sound easy...it's like those gymnasts and ballerinas and ice skaters who make us think we can dance and summersault right off the couch. Thinking and doing...two different things...but I will try:) Thanks for teaching us in ways we can understand!!