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Brigadeirão is a Brazilian traditional Chocolate Flan. It means “Big Brigadeiro” or “Giant Brigadeiro”!
Brigadeiros are chocolate fudge bite-size balls rolled in sprinkles. They both have some similar ingredients. They are served at all parties in Brazil. I promise I will share the recipe soon.
Brigadeirão is an easy family-size chocolate fudge flan made in the blender and baked in Bain-marie (Mary’s Bath). Although there are variations, its main ingredients are sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and eggs. It is usually covered with chocolate sprinkles. I believe I am the only person who prefers it without the chocolate sprinkles.
It’s all good!!! It’s gluten-free. It is super-rich, dense (like a thick pudding) and creamy at the same time. It’s fudgy, uber-chocolatey, irresistible, and addictive!!! Do you know how it melt in your mouth? Similar in texture to a chocolate mousse, more like a flourless chocolate torte. There isn’t very much “syrup” like a regular flan. But no matter – this is delicious! It is a hit among people of all ages.
On top of that, it’s easy to prepare. It is beginners friendly and requires no special cooking skills. All we have to do is blend a few ingredients in the blender and then bake.
The only secrets are:
- The quality of the cocoa powder you use – Any cocoa powder would work, but higher quality ones will give the Brigadeirão flan a nicer flavour. You have to be careful with the pure cocoa powder because it’s strong and could make the dessert look black and taste bitter.
- And of course, in being careful not to overbake it.
My sister-in-law, Marisa Macedo, always makes this recipe. As I love it, I decided to adapt her recipe to bake faster (10 minutes) in a pressure cooker and share it with you. I am also sharing my sister-in-law baking instructions in the oven (60 to 90 minutes), so you can try both versions. The texture will be slightly different, but both delicious. Let me know which one you prefer 😉
Are you looking to impress your guests, family, and friends? Something everyone will enjoy? Then you are at the right place. A company-worth dessert that’s super easy to make. It makes an excellent dessert for potlucks, get-togethers, Sunday meals, as well as for Easter and Christmas.
While this is a very easy recipe to put together, remember to make it ahead if you want to bring it somewhere, or serve it at a gathering because the flan needs to rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight before you remove it from the pan.
If you like Flan, you should also check out my other very popular recipes:
- Condensed Milk Flan
- Coconut Condensed Milk Flan
- Meringue flan Fast2eat
- Coconut Tapioca Flan (Pudding)
- Tapioca Pearl Pudding
And I am sure you will also love those Brazilian recipes:
- Brazilian passion fruit trifle
- Brazilian Chocolate Cake with brigadeiro chocolate icing
- Brazilian Carrot Cake
- Yuca (Cassava/Manioc) and Coconut Gluten-Free Cake
- Quindim (Brazilian dessert)
- Pumpkin compote (Doce de Abóbora)
- Creamy baked coconut dessert (Brazilian cocada)
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The flan batter
- 1 can Sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can Whipping cream - use the can of the condensed milk to measure
- 3 Egg
- ½ cup Cocoa powder - or chocolate milk powder or mix ¼ cup cocoa powder + ¼ cup chocolate milk powder
For the bain-marie
- Water - Hot
- Chocolate sprinkles - or chocolate shavings
- Whipping cream
Instacart is available in the US only at the moment.
Prepare the pan
- Important: please do NOT use a springform pan. It needs to be a solid pan with a solid bottom. If you use a springform pan, the flan may leak out, and it will be a total mess!
- Grease a 20-23 cm/8-9-inch tube cake pan with butter to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. Sprinkle sugar all over and shake the pan around to ensure it’s all coated in sugar.
- Set aside.
Make the flan batter
- Blend all the flan ingredients in a blender for 1-2 minutes until smooth, and everything is well incorporated. If necessary, interrupt the process to scrape the sides of the container and blend again to finish.
- Note: If you prefer a dark chocolate flan, use Cocoa powder. If you prefer a light brown flan, use chocolate milk powder. I like to mix ¼ cup cocoa powder with ¼ cup chocolate milk powder for a good balance.
- Pour mixture into the prepared pan and cover the flan with aluminum foil. The foil prevents water from splashing inside the pan and for uniform cooking.
- Place the tube cake pan in a bain-Marie (hot water bath), making sure the water comes about halfway up the sides of the tube cake pan.
- Note: It’s better to heat the water first before adding it to the water bath.
Baking in oven
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Choose a large roasting pan, fill it with water about 3-5cm/1-2 inches high, and place the bundt pan on top of the hot water.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a bain-marie for about 60-90 minutes.
- The flan will be ready once the top is slightly jiggly but firm. Give the pan a little shake, and if the top jiggles gently, but you can tell that the flan is firm, it means it’s ready.
Baking in the pressure cooker
- Note: To make this Chocolate Flan in a pressure cooker, you will need a small pan that fits in your pressure cooker. Verify before starting to make it.
- Note: you should put the hot water before; all you have to do is make sure the water comes about halfway up the sides of the tube cake pan and never overflow it. Depending on the size of your pressure cooker, 1-2 cups of hot water should be good.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a bain-marie for 10 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally so that no water gets into the pan.
Baking in the microwave
- Use a microwave-safe silicone tube cake pan greased with butter and sugar.
- Do NOT use a bain-Marie.
- Place in microwave on high for 10 minutes.
Let it cool and refrigerate
- Note: Regardless of the method chosen to cook the flan, cool it down, and make sure to let the flan chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight before taking it out of the pan.
- Remove from the water bath, and cool for about 30 minutes.
- Then, cover and refrigerate for about at least 2-4 hours, or until it’s thoroughly chilled and set.
Serve and garnish
- To serve, warm the bottom of the pan on the stove or by dipping it in a container of hot water, then wipe it dry. The heat will help loosen up the flan from the sides of the pan.
- Run a knife around the edge but be careful not to cut into the flan.
- Carefully invert onto a serving dish. Tap the bottom of the pan gently to release the flan.
- Cover the top of the flan with chocolate sprinkles for decoration.
- Serve chilled.
- If desired, drizzle chocolate fudge or whipped cream.
What is Bain-marie (or Mary’s Bath)?Bain-marie (or Mary’s Bath) is the term for a ‘hot water bath’ or double boiler, and it’s used for cooking custards, creating gentle, uniform heat around the food. It’s a simple method! Pour boiling water into a larger baking dish and place the tube cake pan inside. Make sure water comes about halfway up the sides of the tube cake pan, being careful not to splash any into the custard.
How to store brigadeirão?Store the flan covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze it?This is a large flan, and most flans don’t freeze well. But if you’d like to give it a try (at your own risk): Cut cool brigadeirão into quarters. Then, seal in freezer plastic bags for storing for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge and serve.
Recipe variationsAdd mint essence or mint leaves and turn it into a chocolate flan with mint. Add 1 tablespoon of instant coffee and turn it into a cappuccino flan.
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