Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Nut-Free Rocky-Road Style Fudge

Another candy for the nut-allergic.

I really like my basic recipe for fudge, but it does make use of some corn syrup. I've never been successful at avoiding the granular problem without it. I believe it can be done, but not by my hand.

This recipe is adaptable as far as whether you use milk, cream, or a combination. I have not tried it with non-dairy milks, but I'd be interested in your experience if you try it. You can use squares of baking chocolate for this, but I really prefer the results with a high cocoa content powder. Again, that's just my preference.

You could toss almost anything into fudge (I say, "almost" because well, you know...carmelised onions probably wouldn't work very well) but I chose raisins, and cut-up marshmallows because I had them. It was a good choice for this style of fudge-you get some chew rather than a hit that makes your brain think, "Oh god, that is so sweet I'm going to get instant diabetes." Sure, I'm aware that raisins and marshmallows add a considerable amount of sugar to an already unbelievably sweet candy, but in some strange way, it breaks up the way it hits your taste buds, and the overall effect is less intense. Now, if you prefer your candy intensely sweet, smooth, and uninterrupted by the nuisance of chewing-go ahead and omit the add-ins.

If you really want a nut-like crunch, chopped up pretzels will work, as will coarse sourdough breadcrumbs (I know it sounds insane, but it really works). Toasted coconut is good as a nut-substitute, as is the finely ground variety of porridge oats. Those do better if you give them a quick toasting as well. Granola would be yet another option. I skipped all that crushing, chopping, and toasting in favour of some coarse salt at the end sprinkled on top. That seemed to get the right balance.

You Will Need:

4 tablespoons powdered cocoa or 3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate) The darker, the better.
3 cups granulated sugar (look, I never claimed this was health food)
1 cup milk or cream or a combination of both. I used heavy cream because as an American, I need more fat in my diet.
3 Tablespoons corn syrup-because as a resident of Nebraska, this is required by law. You have the option of omitting the corn syrup from the recipe, but state law says you have to just drink it anyway.
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup cut-up mini marshmallows

Butter a pan really well. Use whatever size goes with your mental image of how thick fudge should be-unless you're from Cape Cod in which case your mental image is fudge poured into a small loaf pan, and sold with a plastic knife for prying it out. Does anyone know if that fudge stand is still by the Christmas Tree Shop in the windmill when you cross over the bridge? (I realise that sentence must sound insane to anyone that hasn't been to Cape Cod) That place was awesome. Even Mr. ETB who doesn't even like fudge couldn't resist stopping...because you got a loaf of fudge! And a plastic knife. Welcome to Cape Cod. Everyone else should probably just butter a baking dish.

In a large pot (it will bubble-up so use a big enough pot) combine the cocoa, sugar, cream, corn syrup, and salt. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, cook until it reaches soft ball stage-236 degrees F. Remove from heat, and pay attention here, this part is crucial leave the fudge to cool, undisturbed until it reaches 110 degrees F. No, you cannot cheat, and start beating at 115. You must wait, or your fudge will not set properly and instead of fudge, you will have fudge sauce-and then you'll have to go make ice cream. Just keep yer pants on, and wait until it cools sufficiently.

When the mixture has cooled to 110 degrees F. grab a heavy wooden spoon, and beat in the vanilla and butter. Keep beating until it begins to stiffen (think of all the calories you're burning in advance of a big candy eating binge), and looses some of the glossiness. Quickly stir in your add-ins. Pour into the pan with a spatula by pushing the fudge (oh, stop it, and grow-up) rather than scraping it from the sides. If you nudge it out of the pan, you will have a smoother, nicer candy. As it begins to cool, mark it off into squares with a sharp knife. When cool, cut through and wrap tightly in cling film. I'm storing mine in the fridge due to heat, but it is also delicious frozen.

No comments: