Brasilian Fudge and An Amazing Experience

When I found Manu’s blog Dessert First I was thrilled. Not only because she makes amazing things but also because she lives in Brasil. I had the amazing experience when I was in high school to be a foreign exchange student to Brasil. I went the summer between my junior and senior year. I know it’s totally cliche to say it changed my life… but it did. It was an amazing trip! And not just because Brasil is a beautiful country, the family that I stayed with was… hmmmm, what’s even the word? Amazing? Fantastic? Awesome? I don’t think any of these words really fits them. They were the best part of my experience and I will never, ever forget them. I stayed in Vila Velha, Espirito Santo. Here’s where it is. Awesome, right?

Here’s a picture of my Brasilian family.

This was taken in 1984 (yep, I’m that old!) My parents and 5 Brasilian brothers: Paulo, Beto, Ricardo, Caique and Tunico. The only brother who lived at home at the time was Beto. He was the best big brother. He taught me Portuguese and showed me all around. My Brasilian parents were amazing also. My Mom taught me how to cook and they took me all around the country to visit family and see the sites.
My pictures aren’t very good. They pretty much downright stink. Remember it was 1984 and we didn’t have digital cameras back then.

Here are some of the amazing places I was able to see while I was there.

And the food? Oh man! Do I miss the food.
So when I saw the recipe for Brigadeiro (Brasilian fudge) on Manu’s blog I was thrilled. I immediately wanted to make it. Not only because I remember eating this amazing and yummy dessert but because it brought back so many great memories for me.

I had to convert the measurements because they were in grams. This was harder than you might think. (I’m not a math teacher) =o) But I think I did a good job.

* 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
* a little less than 1/4 cup of good quality dark chocolate chips
* a little less than 1/4 cup of good quality milk chocolate chips
* 1 Tbsp. butter
* chocolate sprinkles
– Add milk, chocolate and butter in a pan.
– Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until everything is melted and mixed.
– Reduce heat to medium low and cook another 10 minutes (stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn.) The mixture will be thick and needs to moved away from the bottom of the pan when you push it aside. (Does that make sense?)

– Let cool.

– Butter your hands and form into small balls. (Buttering your hands is important. It’s super sticky!)
– Roll balls in sprinkles (This is a great job for little helpers) =o)

We used the traditional chocolate sprinkles and also some heart sprinkles since Valentine’s Day is coming up. My daughter thought they looked very festive and girly.

Thanks for taking a stroll down memory lane with me. It makes me want to travel and return to Brasil. I can only imagine how much the country has changed in the last 25 years. But my heart tells me it’s still amazing and beautiful and home to friendly and loving people. Someday I’ll return and take my kids with me. At least that’s my dream. And we all should dream, right?

Come check out the linky parties on my sidebar! =o)


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  1. Hey,

    The fudge looks amazing…Yumm yumm…:)


  2. Wow, 25 years! I doesn’t seem that long ago that you were off on a great adventure. It’s nice to see your photographs. Hope you and the kids can go for a visit someday.

  3. Great post!!! My sister in law is from Brazil and she taught me how to make coxinha. It’s delicious!!! I can’t wait to show her this fudge recipe.

  4. Jenna – coxinha is next on my list. That and kibe! Both amazing foods! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. sounds delish! I love the Valentines ones, very festive!!

  6. Yummy!

  7. my neighbor is from brazil and made this for me for christmas last year, but never gave me the recipe…now I have it ;o)

  8. I was at a playdate and a mom brought these!!! (I can’t remember what country she is from but it may have been brazil) They are amazing! I am super excited to have the recipe! Thanks!!

  9. Sounds like an amazing experience!! Love how you added the hearts… What a great little treat for someone special!! (=

  10. These sound good! And they look so cute!

  11. Those heart sprinkles are pretty much the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Together with the fudge, it’s a stinkin cute dessert. I’m totally going to try this.

  12. Brazil has been on my “wish” list since I was in the 6th grade. Maybe someday… For now, I will try these. I’ll bet the Daisies would love them!

  13. Those look yummy and cute! I’d love for you to link up at Fun For Kids Friday!

    Jo @ SmileMonsters

  14. Looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience. It looks so beautiful! When you go back to visit take me with you!!

  15. AMAZING POST! Certainly an exchange program is one of the richest expierences!
    I’m glad that you made the recipe! Your brigadeiro is so perfect! The Valentine’s ones are soooo cute! Love them!
    I live in South of Brazil and when you come here I know you’ll want to see your Brazilian family, and show beautiful places to your children, but you are invited to visit me too!

  16. The recipe sounds yummy & I love your family photos! Thanks for linking up with Fun for Kids Friday!

  17. That is so neat that you got to spend time in Brazil. I served an 18 month mission in Brazil so I can totally relate to how wonderful it is and how lovely the people are. I also miss all those foods – the guarana, the coxinha, etc. Your brigadeiro looks exactly the way I remember it. I still make it that way too and I also make a different version of it which is to pour it over chocolate wafer cookies.

  18. Fun post! Thanks for sharing all your memories and photos of your adventures as a foreign exchange student! I bet your Brazilian parents were happy to get a girl after all those boys, even if only for one summer:) Your fudge looks wonderful!

  19. I really enjoyed your post and getting to know you and your family. The fudge looks amazing! I am following you from Decidedly Healthy or Horridly Decadent Saturday Party. Thank you for sharing and you have a great week end!

  20. Brazil is so gorgeous! And this fudge looks yummy to boot. Thanks for sharing with teh Saturday Decidedly Healthy or Horridly Decadent Blog Hop.

  21. Stumbled upon your blog from one of the link up parties… ironically I was talking to my friend at work who is Brazilian and he was trying to describe these to me. Now that I have found the recipe on your blog I will definitely be trying these ~Cara Lee

  22. I love the little virtual tour of Brazil that you put up. Pretty amazing! And the fudge sure looks like fun!

  23. What a great post, it looks like your experience in Brazil was amazing. I love your chocolates, especially the ones with the heart sprinkles.

  24. What an amazing experience that must have been to stay in such a beautiful country with a local family.

    This fudge looks amazing. We all love fudge in my family. I will definitely have to make this. I love the idea of the heart sprinkles for Valentine’s Day too:)

  25. So much fun! It brings me back to my foriegn exchange experience (only a couple of years later…) The pudding looks SO yummy!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can’t wait to see what you have for next week!

  26. mmm these look delish! Thank you for linking up to Katie’s Cucina weekly link party!

  27. mmm! These look good! The ones with the little hearts are so pretty!

  28. These Brazilian fudge looks very sweet! Although after eating this, I might need to visit my dentist (Laurel, MD-area). I live two towns away from him so it’s quite the distance but my family loves him so it’s okay. Who knows, I might end up making a box for him too! Hahaha. Come to think of it, my baking tools are in my parent’s house in Laurel, MD… Dentist seems to be in luck!

  29. Hi, I am Brazilian and I loved seeing a little of my country here.

    Carol Novaes

  30. as a brazilian, I must say, “Brigadeiro” rocks, lol!!! I usually bring this fudge to my friends (ok, not that often) and everybody loves it! Coxinha is also on my list to do 🙂
    oh, now I miss Brazil…

    (loving your blog).

  31. What a wonderful post – took me down my own memory lane. I went to Brasil 3 times when I was in high school/college (in the 80’s as well). Brigadeiro was a favorite! Goiabada was another sweet I loved!

  32. had to come over on Raina’s advice and follow you

    hugs Rebecca

  33. I’m from Brazil, and have been in the States for fifteen years. I’m glad you had a good time while there. I can’t wait to take my kids. I have to try your Brigadeiro recipe. I use unsweetened cocoa, and use shortening on my hands instead of butter because it’s tasteless. I gotta try using chocolate chips though. It sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing! How about you tackle cheese bread next? Yummmy!

  34. Oi!!! Eu fiz intercambio em Brasil tambem!!! Do you speak Portuguese still? I was a Rotary Exchange student for 1 year 17 years ago. I lived in Sao Jose do Rio Preto in the interior of the state of Sao Paulo. I miss it so much, and still have dreams in Portuguese!!! I had quite the addiction to Guarana while I was there, and enjoyed all the foods (I’m not too picky and love to try something new!)Thanks for the little reminder of my beloved Brasil!

  35. What an amazing experience that must have been for you! I know that one of my very favorite things about being a high school registrar is enrolling exchange students – well, enrolling them is really complicated, but meeting them and seeing them go from not speaking a word of English to being able to tell me about their adventures just a few months later just floors me! Thanks so much for playing along on Flashback Friday. Oh and the fudge looks amazing too!! 🙂

  36. What a fantastic experience. Do you still keep in touch with any of them?

  37. What great photos and wonderful memories. I would definitely want to go back! I hope you get to some day!

  38. Erin: Thanks so much for your lovely words…I am happy to know that you had a great experience in my home country. I hope you can visit Brasil again — this time with your kids. Mine want to stay there, going to beaches every single day and eating my mother’s treats. Um abraço!!!