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There is a famous Brazilian sweet called brigadeiro (I've seen a few questions related to it around here) that is basically made of condensed milk, cocoa or powdered chocolate, and butter.

I've been making it my whole life using Brazilian ingredients (especially condensed milk) and it has always come out with a shiny caramelized texture, as follows:

enter image description here

I have just moved to Portugal and the results from using the local condensed milk are sightly different in texture: it's a lot more grainy (as if it had flour added) and less shiny.

As from the products labels, it seems that the local condensed milk has more proteins per serving. It makes sense, since I thought that those grains could be small curdles of protein. Also, by having a smaller ratio of sugars, it could be that less caramelization (which is important for the texture) occurs.

So, before I start experimenting and wasting food, I would like to know if anyone knows a way to make this work.

My first guess is to increase the ph a bit by mixing some baking soda before heating as it may inhibit the formation of curdles. On the other hand, maybe just adding more sugar could help, but these things already are damn sweet, it seems wrong to put even more sugar into it!

Any insights on this?

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    That looks delicious @arvere! Now I need chocolate – GdD Dec 7 '17 at 15:02
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I never use condensed milk that I haven’t made myself. Just take heavy cream, slowly whisk in 1:1 (by weight) confectioners sugar and simmer for three hours - stirring every 10 minutes. I would also be concerned by the butter you are using. I would melt it in a separate saucepan and filter it through a coffee filter to remove casein solids, whisk in your cocoa and then stir the milk/sugar and butter/cocoa components together.

Depending on your desired consistency (and shine) you could also add honey or sugar syrup...

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After much thinking and experimenting, it seems that mixing the ingredients thoroughly very well before cooking does the job. I used a very powerful hand blender I recently bought to speed things up (by a lot).

My theory is that something there was coagulating very quickly with the heat and mixing prevents it from lumping together, forming smaller particles and thus a smoother texture!

obs: By the way, I'm still curious about the science behind it. If anyone knows, please share!

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