August 18, 2011

Everyone Needs A Little Fudge In Their Lives - Easy Spiced Chocolate & Nut Fudge (And The Winner Of The Giveaway Is……….)

N
o sweet tooth can resist fudge but we’ve got some Fudge here that will appeal to even the staunchest of sugar haters. The only thing is this Fudge isn’t food!
Fudge is our five month old cocker spaniel and his name suits him perfectly, as our daughter keeps reminding us. He’s a beautiful golden, almost caramel, colour and is soft and sweet just like the real deal.
I haven’t had much time to actually sit down and write any posts for this blog recently, and my draft folder is empty of posts. A couple of days back, I was wondering what to blog about and my daughter suggested some fudge to celebrate Fudge (the puppy) and it did seem rather apt.
I have also had two cans of sweetened condensed milk sitting on my kitchen shelf for about 6 months now and while it wasn’t close to expiry, it was about time I used it up. Fudge is somewhat like the Indian burfi but I have never made burfi with condensed milk.  Some research on the net led me to a lot of fudge recipes that involved adding sugar to sweetened condensed milk! I thought the whole idea of sweetened condensed milk was to avoid sugar but then, what do I know?


It also made me realise that fudge apparently is a comparatively recent invention, at least as it is known today. I always thought the milk and sugar being cooked till thick and set was something that had been around for ever. Fudge is supposedly an American invention with stories claiming that sometime in the 1880s, someone messed up a batch of caramels allowing the sugar to caramelise resulting in the first ever batch of fudge!
The first recorded mention of fudge seems to be in a letter written by a Vassar college student saying her cousin’s fudge was sold for money. Subsequently that cousin’s recipe was used to make fudge to raise money for that college and other colleges leading to the first set of “original” fudge recipes.
The perfect fudge is supposed to be smooth and creamy which means precisely following recipes regarding measurements and cooking sugar at the right temperatures. Adaptation of the original recipes with different ingredients has made it much easier to make fudge at home.


This recipe is really easy and makes a creamy textured fudge that is slightly soft at room temperature(in my warm tropical monsoon temperatures) which sets perfectly on refrigeration. All it involves is cooking together the condensed milk, chocolate and some butter till thick. You can add whatever else you want to, like nuts and spices, even dried fruit. I used cinnamon and a bit of chai masala to spice things up a bit, and added pistachios, chopped hazelnuts and almonds to mine.
I used a mixture of dark chocolate and milk chocolate for my fudge. Milk chocolate might be a good idea if you’re making this fudge for children. Dark chocolate would be a better option for a fudge more appealing to adult tastes or for those who like their fudge a little less sweet.
Easy Spiced Chocolate & Nut Fudge


Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups nuts (hazelnuts, pistachios, and almonds), toasted
2 (400gm) cans of sweetened condensed milk (Milkmaid)
2 cups dark chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate
1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate
50 gm salted butter
1 1/2 to 2 tsps powdered cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp chai masala


Method:

Line a rectangular 12” by 8” tin with aluminium foil or parchment paper.
Put the condensed milk, chocolate chips and butter in a large thick walled pan. Place the pan over another pan of boiling water such that the bottom of the first pan doesn’t touch the water. Stir the milk-chocolate-butter mixture well till the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
Take this pan off the pan of boiling water and place it on the stove, over low heat. Add the cinnamon and chai masala and stir frequently till it thickens a little and appears to be coming away from the side of the pan (about 5 minutes at the most).
Take the pan off the heat and fold in the toasted nuts. Pour the fudge into the lined tin and level the top. Place in a cool for about 4 to 6 hours or overnight to set well. To unmould, turn the pan upside down over a board and peel off the foil or parchment paper. Cut into about 1 1/2” squares.
Store in a container, stacked in layers separating each layer with a sheet of foil or parchment paper. Refrigerate till ready to serve.
This recipe makes about 24 fudge squares (1 1/2” squares).
This not exactly material for a food blog but just in case anyone would like to see the Fudge that inspired this post here's a picture of him.





And The Winner Of The Giveaway Is………
I’m happy to announce that the winner of my cookbook giveaway of a copy Anni Daulter’s book “Ice Pop Joy (Organic.Healthy.Fresh.Delicious)", courtesy Sellers Publishing, is Varshini Sudarshan. Congratulations! Please e-mail me your mailing address for your book.

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