Like you need anymore sugar in your system right now, but maybe just a little more wont hurt. Just compensate with fresh veg and lots of water. And, if you’re in need of something a little different, perhaps a little fruit fused fudge is just the recipe you need. I’m not going to lie, fudge is complicated. Its finicky and always seems to find a reason to not work. But here’s the good news: if your fudge fails, no one needs to know. Just pour it into a glass jar and label it “the best damn chocolate sauce” and share with friends and family. Julia and Grandmas round the world would be proud.
But if you are earnest and sincere, you might be able to have a fudge-win this De-licious-cember 22nd. I’ve taken another of my Grandma’s recipes – her original came from the back of a very old cocoa powder tin – made a few changes and added a little twist with a sprinkle of dried raspberries. Not necessarily the most traditional of holiday desserts, but its a nice change from all the saccharin pabulum (yes, I know this recipe calls for 3 cups of sugar, I was trying to make a point).
One of the side perks of cooking fudge is a nice lingering chocolate scent that hangs in the kitchen air (and on the kitchen stove if you let the fudge boil over). Another perk is its flexibility with other flavors. I chose raspberry, but you could add anything from marshmallows to chili flakes.
Chocolate Raspberry Fudge
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick butter (unsalted), cut into large pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup dried or dehydrated raspberries, roughly chopped or crushed (you could also use other dried or dehydrated fruits like banana chips, blueberries, cherries, even pineapple. I find that dehydrated works better than dried as it packs more flavor and less sugar).
1. In a large stock pot, combine sugar and cocoa powder. Add milk, stir to combine, turn on heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Do not leave it alone as it WILL bubble over (you can come help me scrub my stove top if you don’t believe me). Stir with a whisk to keep the bubbles from spilling over. Keep at a rolling boil for 3-4 minutes and then turn down heat to med-low.
2. Continue to cook until thicker and the proper consistency is achieved. You can test this by dropping a few drops of the chocolate into a glass of room-temperature water. If a the drops stay formed, without bleeding or mixing with the water, and you can pick up the little ball of chocolate without it dissolving, this is perfect. The total process should take between 15 and 20 minutes. Test this as you go or you will over cook the fudge.
3. Once the fudge has reached the right stage, remove from heat and stir in a piece of butter, adding more as each one melts. Add in vanilla.
4. Place stock pot in a large bowl of super cold or iced water and continue to stir until it thickens. When you lift your whisk, a thick ribbon should fall back into the pot and slowly melt back into the mixture. Be careful not to get any water in the fudge as it will mess with the texture.
5. Working quickly before the fudge sets, pour into a parchment lined 9 x 9 glass or metal pan and smooth with spatula. Tap lightly on a table to remove excess bubbles. Sprinkle the top with a tiny pinch of salt (helps balance the sugar) and then sprinkle with crushed raspberries. You can lightly press larger raspberry pieces into the fudge if needed. Refrigerate till set and until the parchment paper easily pulls away from the fudge. Cut into pieces and store in airtight container. Makes a great gift along with some Brown Sugar Christmas Cookies and Mint Meringues.
Happy De-licious-cember 22nd! Only 3 more days to go!