Like so many South American treats, these little fudge truffle balls have a story in Brazil.
They were named after famous 1940s Brazilian Brig. Gen. Eduardo Gomes, who ran for president in 1945 and apparently also loved this particular chocolate treat.
They have a caramel and chocolate flavor that's unusual and a different twist on American chocolate treats. Kids will enjoy helping to make these, and it's traditional to serve them in the very small paper cups like those in boxes of chocolates. Store these chocolates in the refrigerator.
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pour the condensed milk into your heaviest pot. Stir in the cocoa powder and the salt.
- Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat. Keep the mixture barely at a boil to prevent burning and sticking.
- Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes very thick and shiny and starts to pull away from the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes. With buttered hands, roll the mixture into 1-inch balls.
- Roll each ball in the chocolate sprinkles and place in a paper cup.
- Chill until ready to serve.
All About Chocolate
The ancient Aztecs and Mayans of Mexico and Central America were the first known people to eat chocolate, starting about 2,000 years ago. The cocoa plant is native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America and grows in evergreen tropical rain forest.
Theobroma cacao is the scientific name for cocoa, and it is commonly translated as "food of the gods." All of which is just to say the Aztecs and Mayans knew a good thing when they found it, and that moniker still applies.
Spanish explorers in the region in the 1520s found out about the delights of chocolate, and they took cocoa beans home to Spain. By the 17th century, all of Europe was enamored with hot chocolate, although only the rich could afford to indulge. Nobody did anything but drink chocolate until the Victorian era, when a way to make chocolates was discovered. And now there's Teuscher, Godiva, Cadbury, Hershey, Lindt, and Ghirardelli, among many more, to everyone's great pleasure.
It's been known since the 1990s that eating chocolate causes the release of endorphins in the brain -- the feel-good chemicals. So there's a bona fide physiological reason why everybody craves chocolate. It tastes out of this world, and it makes you feel that way, too. But a little bit should do the trick: Dark chocolate packs 167 calories per ounce.