Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yummilicious Fudgilicous! Back to Basics Chocolate Fudge

A full year has passed since my littlest eater transitioned to a gluten free diet. A year free of food related tummy aches, a year without tummy medicine, and a year of new recipes. Like many folks these days, we are knee deep in a "back to basics" type of lifestyle.

Since wheat products are no longer part of our daily repertoire, I had to reinvent old standby recipes as well as learn new ones, particularly when it came to treats. Chocolate chip cookies are no longer part of our diet; however, chocolate fudge has become a mainstay. A year ago, I had to hunt down recipes and learn about making fudge. Today, I can make fudge blindfolded ... in my sleep ... with one hand tied behind my back.

Fudge making is soooooo easy, and the results are sooooo good. Best of all, fudge is very basic, versatile, and forgiving. All you need is about 8 minutes, and you are good to go. Chocolate fudge is one of my kids favorite things on the planet, and the little squares of goodness are great for packing in lunches, savoring for dessert, or sharing at a potluck. Do you ever find that you have a couple of opened bags of chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, mini-marshmallows, or nuts hanging around? If you answered yes, consider making an easy-peasy batch of fudge.

Here’s a basic recipe. Prepare to be impressed with the extensive ingredient list:

3 cups chocolate chips (semi sweet, milk, butterscotch ... any combo will work)
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

That’s it folks. That’s all you need to whip up an 8 x 8 pan of fudgiliciousness. Of course, you can add all sorts of yummy things like a ¼ cup of walnuts, peanuts, or even pine nuts to the mix. Feel like making rocky road fudge? Add a ½ cup of mini marshmallows and some nuts to the finished product. You can make a separate batch using peanut butter chips and swirl it into a chocolate batch. Add a handful of dried cranberries and have folks try to guess the secret ingredient! For those who like to live on the wild side, you know who you are, you could even add a ½ teaspoon of cayenne and a little cinnamon to the basic recipe to create a rock your socks off spicy fudge!

Here’s how to make the basic recipe:

Line an 8 x 8 pan with wax paper. In a heavy saucepan, preferably non stick, heat the condensed milk and chips together over med-low heat, stirring almost constantly until melted. I like stirring with a wooden spoon. I love my wooden spoon. About a minute after all the chips have melted, the mixture will take on a shiny hue. When that happens, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Add any extras like nuts at this point.
Pour the entire mixture into the prepared pan. Use the spoon to press the mixture into the pan and even out the thickness (the mixture will be thick and slightly sticky).Excuse me for a moment while I lick the spoon. Aw come on, doesn’t everybody like to lick the spoon? Actually, I rotate letting my kids lick the spoon. Ahem. Back to the fudge ... Let cool slightly, and then cover with plastic wrap pressing the wrap down on top of the fudge. Put in the fridge until cold and firm. Remove from the fridge and pan, and cut into small squares. Prepare for the stampede of fudge craving maniacs to swipe every piece. Smile as your ears are greeted with yummy noises. Ah, I’ve done my part to make the world a little better place. Personally I think chocolate fudge would help bring about world peace. Yeah, it’s that good.My kids prefer it plain. Hubbyman will eat it in any shape or form. This batch was made with semi sweet chips, a handful of butterscotch chips, and some walnuts. So, what's your favorite type of yummilicious fudgilicous?


The Blonde Duck said...

What about PB fudge? (Drools in anticipation...)

Marjie said...

You know my fudge recipe! I'm so glad little Miss has done well this year. Here in my little corner of the world, fudge is required to have walnuts. And I'm so glad that your kids help you with spoon cleaning detail...saves you so much work, right?

I know your baby's birthday is coming up soon. Send her our best wishes, and a big doggie kiss from Thor!

Lisa said...

Yum! i prefer mine with lots of nuts.

Pam said...

I like mine with nuts. Yours look so creamy and delicious!

Lynda said...

I AM impressed, Paula! This is so easy and addictive looking! I love fudge and now I must clean the drool off my screen; I so want to lick that spoon!

Cathy said...

Wow, I love this easy recipe. Perfect when I have a fudge attack. I like nuts best, lots of them.

Deborah said...

This is dangerous - I need to lose the last of the baby weight, not gain more! I have a huge weakness for fudge!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Oh, that puts me in the wrong mood. LOL

I make about 80 lbs of fudge every Christmas as gifts from my grandmother's recipe. Isn't it just the best?

Oh! I found these things at Trader Joe's called "Baked Jalapeno Cheese Crunchies" (think Cheetos only not greasy and a little healthier and spicier) and they have NO GLUTEN. Just thought I'd share!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

one year of no-wheat products: wow.
i have to make this fudge at the weekend

Grace said...

ya know what? i'd take fudge over cookies any day. especially your dark, rich, lusciously smooth fudge. :)

Cheryl said...

Ohh man that looks good, I havent had fudge in a coons age :)

Lisa said...

I adore fudge. I have made Peanut Butter Fudge since I was a girl but I don't make chocolate fudge all that often. Maybe with your Wild Side version with some walnuts would change that story.

Pam said...

Fudge is literally my most favorite food ever. I cannot resist it.

Paula said...

Fudgy greetings all!

Duckie: PB fudge is a fav around here! That's what I made the time before this!

Marjie: She hits double digits next week! Yikes!

Lisa: Nuts are good!

Pam: It is creamy yet firm ... yum!

Lynda: Spoonlicking is a great treat around here!

Cathy: I love the phrase "fudge attack"!

Deborah: Um, doesn't fudge help new mom's recover from childbirth? :-)

Robynn: 80 lbs of fudge ... you are the master! Great tip about the Trader Joe crunchies! I'll have to check that out!

Med Kiwi: It always amazes me how fast time flies by!

Grace: Fudge reigns supreme over cookies here.

Cheryl: Hmmm ... maybe the fudge is why I have 'coons in my yard (and on my roof)! Those pesky fudge-nappers!

Lisa: Wild side fudge is a gooooood thing!

Pam: I hear ya ... resistance if futile when it involves this fudgy goodness!

Manggy said...

Confession! I've never had homemade fudge before. Maybe if I did there'd be some peace in my life, heh heh :) It looks soooo unbelievably good!
But please, don't cook blindfolded and asleep, that's dangerous! :P

Mickle in NZ said...

Now this is a fudge recipe that even I can't stuff up (I don't make much sweet stuff).

Mmmmm - I fancy making some laced with chilli powder or flakes (nuts are a no no here - too rough for Mickle's innards).

So pleased gluten free has worked for your dear wee girl - unwell innards are so unpleasant, painfull and exhausting to live with.

Care and huggles from Mickle and Zebbycat, xxx and purrrrumbling

Peter M said...

Oh boy...what have you done? I have no problem eating that plate all by myself.

noble pig said...

Okay wow, those look like fudge extreme! Yum.

Bridgett said...

A good homemade fudge is a thing worth craving. My grandfather used to make the labor intensive kind but I love this simple way just as much. You have me drooling! That bad part about me making this, is that there is always an excuse for me to have another piece!

Mrs. L said...

I see nothing wrong with chocolate fudge being a mainstay in any diet. And, ahem, no kids so it's always me licking the spoon (what the husband doesn't know won't hurt him).