What is it with me, the Eurovision Song Contest and balls, right?

Short answer: I don’t know, but OMG, do you need to know about these particular balls.

Shorter answer: please let’s stop saying ‘balls’.

These… spheres of tastiness… are called brigadeiros: traditional fudgy Brazilian sweets, or truffles, that taste like chocolate caramel – and they are absurdly easy to make. It seems presumptuous to start a recipe post by saying ‘you’re welcome’, but… You totally are.

Step into my office to witness the glorious simplicity of these sweets…

Yep, this is, essentially, a three-ingredient recipe. All you really need to do is mix these guys together, warm them up, pour them out, let them cool, roll them up and try not to eat them all in one go. I guarantee that the hardest part is the last bit. That is, unless you have a major aversion to stirring.

Once the mixture goes onto the heat, you’ll likely find yourself doing a lot of stirring. This stuff has to come to a boil and then cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes, giving it plenty of opportunity to scald, so it’s probably best for all concerned to keep the contents of the pan moving until the caramel is thick enough to come off the heat and set. You will be so sick of stirring by the time you have successfully created this beautiful chocolate goo… Just don’t moan to anyone who’s recently made risotto; they’ve had a tougher bicep workout than you and the disgruntled punch you receive will hurt.

As frequent b+a flyers will know, I’m not in the habit of taking a straightforward recipe and, like, sticking to it. So anyone who thinks we’re going to make a bunch of uniformly basic brigadeiros during this post should probably quit slouching and pay attention at this point, for here there be coconut…

In my first deviation from the main recipe, I tipped approximately a third of the chocolate mixture into a separate bowl from the rest and stirred through a generous scoop of shredded coconut before leaving both bowls to come to room temperature, then putting them in the fridge for an hour to firm up for rolling.

Further deviation: three types of crunchy coating. Yep, just like that, this truffle two-step became a waltz. I mixed chocolate hundreds-and-thousands with dark chocolate nuggets to coat the standard chocolate truffles, coconut and flower-shaped sprinkles for the coconut ones (I added some bright green sugar because the white/yellow mix looked a little too much like egg-fried rice – the green may have made it worse, I’d prefer not to talk about this right now) and I mixed up a few different shapes of rainbow nonpareil to coat my stuff(l)ed truffles.

I can imagine the Eurovision viewing party chat now:

“So how was your day?”

“Well, I stood around making miniscule balls of Biscoff spread, then I coined the term ‘stuffled truffles’ and told the internet about it… Where are you going?”

I was going to be crass and say that I’d ‘pimped’ a third of my truffles with caramelised biscuit spread, but instead I’ll take a leaf from RuPaul’s inimitable lexicon and say that I ‘sissied’ my truffle shuffle. With caramelised biscuit spread. A teeny 1/4-teaspoon scoop of it, which I chilled to firm it up for wrapping in the caramel.

The method (and madness) was similar to those caramel-stuffed cookies I made a while back: gently fold the outside around the inside and carefully seal, in this case just by pinching the edges together and giving the ball a good roll to smooth over the sealed ends before dredging it in a colourful coating.

“They see me rollin’…” (sorry).

Et voilà! Left to right: biscuit spread-filled, standard chocolate, coconut. Not bad for a first attempt, eh? No, I will never be mixing shredded coconut, sprinkles and granulated sugar ever again – thanks for asking. I let the finished truffles chill in the fridge again until it was showtime.

The votes all in, these brigadeiro beauties received ‘douze points‘ across the board from my fellow Eurovision-gazers.

When I wasn’t shouting squiffily at the television screen (Bulgaria: “Look, H&M goths!”, Australia: “She’s in the Matrix!”, Justin Timberlake talking: “What the hell is going on with his accent??”) I was squiffily yelling at those assembled about how easy these were to create.

As the saying almost goes, ‘in budget prosecco there is truth’: JT was definitely talking super weird, and (RECIPE ALERT:) brigadeiros are an uncomplicated delight to knock together.

Well! That’s that for another year, sequin and strangely-upsetting-backup-dancer-wise. I’ve come through it more or less hangover-free (I rehydrated before bed during a 2am MasterChef iPlayer session) and with a new favourite confectionery to mess with (I’m not done adding hacks and tweaks… there’s gotta be a way to make these things boozy), so while Ukraine was the literal winner of the evening, I can’t help feeling that I too have won. And, frankly, so have you.

I said it at the start, but it bears repeating: You are so – so – very welcome. x


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