This post about Brigadeiros and Fernando de Noronja was ready to publish in January. Then I got thinking about the letter “F” and all the good things that start with it including February so here you go.
We got our First COVID vaccination in February.
February 14th is Valentine’s Day and this recipe makes a perfect gift for your Valentine.
Our Fortieth Anniversary is this month.
My 3 resolutions for 2021 all begin with “F”. Forgive, fertilize, and find ways to reduce plastic. So far, I’m doing well with the plastic. I make my own powder laundry detergent, I will not drink from a plastic water bottle for the next 365 days, I switched to a bamboo toothbrush and use deodorant that comes in a cardboard tube. February is a good month to fertilize in Florida. The Milorganite has already been applied. I still need to get to our 3 Christmas cactus that didn’t bloom this year. The forgive part has been the tough one. I am handling that by trying not to react to the myriad of comments and actions of others that don’t concur with mine.
Now it’s time to get to the good stuff. Imagine yourself on a tropical isle or getting to cooking up these Brigadeiros for your Valentine!
I first heard of Fernando de Noronja in 2002 from some French tourists. We were sheltering from the rain on our day out from our Amazon treetop resort. They said it was a must-see. I put it on my list.
My Brazilian friends may question my juxtaposing these Brigadeiro Brazilian birthday treats with the islands of Fernando de Noronha. It so happened that my Fulbright group in Brazil celebrated 2 birthdays during our two night stay in Fernando de Noronja on my second trip to Brazil 5 years later. Also, many years ago, when I was teaching at a boarding school in Atlanta, one of my students was a young man from Rio de Janeiro. His name was Roberto Sherrill. Just to highlight how small the world can sometimes be, our Fulbright group was invited to the July 4th celebration at the American Embassy in Rio de Janeiro. While hobnobbing with the who’s who of Rio society, I happened to glance across the crowded reception and saw a face that I recognized. It was Roberto’s father, an attorney in Rio. I have stayed in touch with Roberto over the years and Brigadeiros are his favorite.
The island of Fernando de Noronja is now a dependency of Pernambuco, Brazil. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, just 6 years before our visit. Since 1504 it has been attacked by naval powers during the 17th and 18th centuries, used as a penal colony in the 18th century, and used as a tracking station for US-guided missiles from 1957-1962. In 1988 the island became a National Park and that is the reason most visit there today.
Since our group was studying Sustainable Development in Brazil, it was a logical inclusion in our overview of current trends in Brazil. The whole island is a protected national marine park and ecological sanctuary with a jagged coastline and diverse ecosystems. It is mostly known for its undeveloped beaches, scuba diving, and snorkeling. We were able to enter part of the sanctuary and snorkel where only 20 people a day are allowed.
Please enjoy the gallery of my photos to appreciate the unique landforms of the island. Some were taken on our small plane flight from Recife. Sunset was an evening event. Tropical fish and reefs brighten the waters of the marine sanctuary.
The original recipe in Portuguese comes from Roberto. I include it for anyone who may want to practice their language skills. Muito obrigada, Roberto.
- 2 latas de leite condensado (395g cada)
- 2 colheres (sopa) de manteiga
- 6 colheres (sopa) de chocolate em pó
- granulado de chocolate (opcional)
Modo de Preparo:
- Coloque o leite condensado em uma panela, adicione a manteiga e o chocolate em pó;
- Misture tudo muito bem e leve ao fogo baixo;
- Mexa sem parar até começar a desgrudar do fundo da panela;
Now for my translation and a few detailed steps:
Brigadeiros Chocolates–F is for Fernando de Noronha
Put the sweetened condensed milk, butter, and cocoa powder in a saucepan.
Stir over low heat until butter is melted and all ingredients are well mixed.
Continue beating well until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. This will take about 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a flat buttered dish and place in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Use a teaspoon or tablespoon to gather enough of the mixture to make into a 1-inch ball. Continue until all is used up. These are really rich, you may want to try one before you make them all in order to decide which size you prefer.
Pour the chocolate sprinkles into a shallow bowl. Butter your hands and roll the spoonful into a ball.
Roll the balls in the sprinkles until covered. Place each ball in a small paper liner to serve on a plate or to place in a box for a gift. Keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week until ready to eat. They may be frozen. You may want to freeze the leftover mixture and then thaw at room temperature for an hour before rolling a fresh batch.