Brigadeiro is the national candy of Brazil. With the size of a truffle and the taste of fudge, Brazilians are wild about them. One bite may be all it takes for you to quickly count them among your favorite indulgences as well. To make these molten cakes, I took the brigadeiro in its fudge state and developed the recipe to become an irresistible flow of melted fudge, since so many Brazilians (including me) can’t even wait until their brigadeiro is cool before indulging. My experimentation turned into a great recipe!
A word of advice about these molten cakes: Butter and flour the foil containers or ramekins really well. It’s so frustrating when a cake doesn’t come out of the container properly and part of it is left behind. So don’t rely on a thin coating of grease spray; use soft butter—not melted—and shake off the excess flour.
If you are making these in advance, either cover each filled foil cup/container with plastic wrap or place the filled foil cups/containers inside a large, airtight container and close the lid, then refrigerate. They can then be cooked from chilled, but you will need to add an extra 1–2 minutes to the total cooking time, or bring them to room temperature before baking.
I like to serve these with ice cream, but fresh fruit and whipped cream are also good accompaniments.
⅓ cup (60 grams or 2¼ ounces) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
For the cake:
½ cup (115 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
2 large whole eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks and ⅛ teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp. caster or granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Generous ¼ cup (40 grams or 1½ ounces) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Ice cream (pistachio, ginger, coconut or vanilla are all flavors that work well with this dessert), to serve
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour six individual ¾-cup (175 grams or 6 ounces) foil cups/containers or ramekins.
Make the brigadeiro: Place the condensed milk, cocoa powder and chocolate in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. When the mixture begins to bubble and the chocolate melts, reduce the heat to low and continue whisking for another 3-5 minutes, until the mixture has thickened like fudge and is bubbling like lava. You should be able to tilt the pan and the whole fudgy batter will slide, leaving a sticky residue on the bottom of the pan. Slide the fudgy batter into a large, heatproof bowl without scraping the pan. You don’t want to incorporate any of the thick residue on the bottom of the pan (just discard this). Set aside.
Prepare the cake mixture: Melt the butter in a separate small saucepan over low heat. Pour into the brigadeiro and whisk vigorously until smooth. At first the mixture will totally curdle and break. You will think this recipe cannot possibly work but keep whisking constantly until the mixture comes together again and is emulsified.
In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks, salt, sugar and vanilla. Add this into the brigadeiro mixture and whisk until combined. Sift in the flour and mix in with a spatula, just until blended.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared foil cups/containers, filling them almost to the top (leave about ¼-inch space at the top). You can prepare the recipe up to this point and refrigerate for up to five days.
Place the foil cups/containers on a baking sheet. Bake for 7–9 minutes, or until the edges are firm but the center is still soft. Remove from the oven, then invert each cake onto a dessert plate, carefully releasing it from the foil cup/container. Serve with ice cream.