Can I give you a little kiss? Now don’t be alarmed, I’m offering you a beijinho which means ‘little kiss’ in Portuguese and it’s a Brazilian coconut sweetie. They’re delicious, very fast and easy to make with fine desiccated coconut, condensed milk and a clove in each one. They clearly fit in with that diet plan where small treats count as a mere 10 calories – totally negligible. Mine are slightly healthier, made with skimmed ‘fat-free’ condensed milk (ho ho). There were also some edible bits and bobs around to use up so I made a Beijinho selection: traditional, orange, coffee and hazelnut. Can you guess which are my favourites?
I’ll tell you later! But how did I first meet these gorgeous little coconut kisses? On Diana’s Little bits of nice blog (which last time I checked seemed to have disappeared, but maybe it’s back online now…) where she says they’re typical birthday party treats in Brazil and sweet reminders of home and her mum. They look so lovely in her photos. You know I couldn’t resist them. I followed her traditional recipe with all the great suggestions and details, which you can possibly see on Diana’s Beijinhos de coco.
The coconut balls
- 1 tin (397g/14oz) condensed milk – option: skimmed, low fat
- 100g/1 cup plus 1 tablespoon fine desiccated coconut (shredded coconut flakes)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- a little grated orange zest, optional
Cook all the ingredients in a small/medium heavy-based saucepan on medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes – stir continously. It needs to be thick so you can see the bottom of the pan.
Rolling – 5 minutes
- about 50g/half a cup fine desiccated coconut
- a little butter for your hands
- a clove for each beijinho
Let the mixture cool a little until it’s warm but you can touch it with your hands. Roll balls in the palms of your hands. Roll in coconut and flavour as you like. Stick a clove in each beijinho if you’d like a traditional one.
Traditional – a clove in each one.Coffee/moka – a coffee-flavoured chocolate bean on top.Orange – good-quality candied orange peel (to taste) finely chopped and kneaded in – a clove in each one.Hazelnut – a hazelnut in the centre and on top.
Store your little coconut kisses in the fridge in an airtight container and chill a few hours or overnight before eating. They keep in the fridge a week or so and probably in the freezer. Both Diana and myself are attempting to keep a few aside in the freezer, as they never usually make it that far! Ahem… I’ve frozen ONE beijinho for this experiment!
I love the traditional version (with a little grated orange zest) but the orange ones are also wonderful with that citric tang. The hazelnut and chocolate coffee bean ones were lovely but I think I miss the subtle clove flavour and I’m not sure about the extra crunch. Any other flavour ideas? Cocoa? Oh, and I’ve loved mine but next time I’ll try cooking them a little less to see what they’re like when they’re gooeyer.
I’m not responsible for any addiction that may occur once you’ve made these. I’d bandy the words ‘self-restraint’ and ‘moderation’ around but I know you’re aware of these concepts. So good luck! 🙂 Just going to hand around a little plate of them …… so we can practise together saying ‘No thank you. Well, okay just the one!’ 5 minutes later… ‘Maybe just one more then!’ Etc. On second thoughts it’s probably best not to follow my example…
Hope you enjoy these little Brazilian treats. Thank you Diana! It’s lovely discovering sweet stuff from all over the world. I hope you’ll all let me know of any more I should be ‘researching’, as in making and eating!
I bid you a fond farewell sweet reader and have a lovely week travelling around the world at your table. Happy baking or no-baking and eating! 🙂 x