This Brazilian Chocolate Fudge Cake is a popular dessert that goes by the name "Bolo Brigadeiro" in Brazil. (Photo by Luciana Schrader / www.cookingbrasil.com)

Brazilian chocolate fudge cake is very popular in Brazil. The decadent cake, known as “Bolo de Brigadeiro,” and comes from the Portuguese words “Bolo” meaning “cake” and “Brigadeiro.”

The word Brigadeiro literally translates as the military term Brigadier but also refers to “Brazilian chocolate truffles.”

The origin of the word referring to Brazilian truffles is very curious. Many believe that the treat is named after Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, who became a candidate for President of Brazil after World War II in 1945. Many supporters held parties during his campaign and make these chocolate fudge balls to sell to raise votes and funds. They would advertise them as the “Brigadier’s Truffles.”

Gomes did not win the election but the fudge balls are now a staple in Brazilian cuisine. Today we just call them “Brigadeiros.”

No one really knows when the first “Bolo de Brigadeiro” was put together or by whom, but it is safe to say that someone decided to cover the cake with the special fudge instead of chocolate glaze or frosting or “ganache” and the Brazilian chocolate fudge cake was created.

REQUIRED INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 ounces of unsweetened dark chocolate
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 12 tablespoons of butter softened
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • powdered sugar
  • chocolate sprinkles

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup of coffee liqueur and 1/2 cup of milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. First, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease two round cake pans and line them with parchment paper.
  3. Chop 4 ounces of the dark chocolate and place in a saucepan with 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Stir until melted and creamy over a water bath. Turn off heat but leave saucepan in water to keep chocolate mixture soft.
  4. Beat butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until creamy. I like to use a food processor for this. Then add the eggs and beat well. Add the previously melted chocolate mixture, as well as the flour, cocoa powder, salt, milk and baking powder. Mix it all together.
  5. Place cake batter in cake pans dividing evenly and bake for 30 to 35 min or until fork comes out clean from the center.
  6. While cake is baking, chop the other 4 ounces of dark chocolate in saucepan. Add the other 1/2 cup of heavy cream and condensed milk. Stir constantly over medium heat in a water bath until mixture is bubbly and creamy. Remove from heat but leave pan in water to keep chocolate soft.
  7. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes. During this time, put chocolate fudge in a bowl and place in the refrigerator.
  8. Remove one cake from the pan and place onto a serving platter.
  9. ** If you chose to add the coffee liquor, see the note below).
  10. Remove the fudge from the refrigerator and spread a layer of it over the cake.
  11. Place the other cake layer on top.
  12. Spread the rest of the fudge over the entire cake and dust with powdered sugar and chocolate sprinkles.

** Use a fork to prick all over the bottom cake layer. Drizzle the milk and coffee liqueur mixture all over and let the cake absorb the liquid. Spread the fudge, place the other cake on top and return to instructions.

Luciana Schrader adapted the common Brazilian dessert into a new recipe for her blog, cookingbrasil.com.