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Rummage Erin's Fridge

Friday, September 3, 2010

There's Muffin' like Fudge Fridays :: Baking

My friends and family know that I have quite the sweet tooth. Infamous for my 10-s'more camping trips (They were 10 different varieties of s'mores. I was simply trying to find the best one), 4 ice cream cones post-dinner desserts, and The Nutella Incident (which is really too horrifying to admit to the general public), I think it's safe to say that I love dessert to the nth degree.
S'mores a la Erin :: Hazelnut butter, chocolate, almonds, blueberries, apple, and toasted marshmallow. Dip it in some hot chocolate with Baileys. Repeat 9 times.

That's not to say that I only stick with sugary, diabetes-inducing dishes. When summer rolls around, I gorge on fresh Ontario's only here for a limited time! Plums, peaches, nectarines, grapes, and berries... baby cucumbers, fresh brussel sprouts, asparagus, and bell peppers. I love this time of year.

However, I simply can't get enough of chocolate. Chocolate on fruit, chocolate on nuts, chocolate on bread, chocola....well, you get the idea. The darker, the better. I could probably dedicate a whole post about my love affair with chocolate.

Here are a couple of my favourite fudge recipes. The first is very simple with only a few ingredients - a great starter for those who don't normally cook/bake and want something quick & easy. It's okay if you mess around a bit with the proportions - you're not baking.

Squishy Peanut Butter Fudge

You will need...
~400mL sweetened condensed milk*
~325g bittersweet chocolate (chips or blocks)
1.5 cup marshmellows (I use minis, large is fine)
1 cup Peanut butter
Vanilla extract
Tray/pan, a bit of butter
*I used the wrong can for this picture - I used milk not cream, which you can see in the background 2 pictures down. Too lazy to re-take a photo...the cream was for the muffins. Whoops.

Turn your stove on medium heat. While it's warming, pour the sweetened condensed milk, bittersweet chocolate, and marshmellows into a pan. As everything slowly mingles into in a gooey, chocolately mess, slowly stir it together. Remember to taste it once in awhile, to you know...make sure it's...sweet...;)
Stir baby, stir
Once the marshmallows have warmed into a sticky sweet batter, remove the pan from heat. If you have some fruit lying around, go ahead and dip it in some of the batter for a quick snack. You need your energy for the rest of recipe :P
Note the sweetened condensed milk in the background
Add the peanut butter & splash of vanilla and stir it up. Add it to a buttered pan and pop it in the fridge for about an hour. The end result is a chocolate-peanut butter treat with a great fudge consistency! Ridiculously quick and easy!

Rummaging through my cupboards and fridge, I noticed several left over ingredients from previous baking experiments. I gathered less than a cup of evaporated milk, an open container of cocoa powder, and a crapload of mini marshmallows and decided that it was time for a Random Fudge Experiment.

Nutty Caramel Toffee Fudge

You will need...
3/4 cup evaporated milk*
1.75 cup white sugar
A dash of salt
Handful of nuts (I like walnuts the best)
1.5 cup marshmellows
1.5 bittersweet chocolate *or* cocoa powder & butter
Vanilla extract
Tray/pan, a bit of butter 

* whoops, wrong can again..

I've discovered that if you run out of chocolate, using cocoa powder and butter is just fine. A good ratio is 3 tbsp of cocoa for every tbsp of butter. Depending on what you're making, adding a bit of cream/milk and sugar may be necessary.

Pour the evaporated milk, sugar, and salt in a sauce pan and bring it to boil. After about 5 minutes, you'll smell and see the sugar caramelizing. Depending on how much of a caramel flavour you want, you can leave it for another few minutes if you'd like, and it will just get browner and thicker.
Once satisfied (usually at the 8 minute mark for me, at a full boil), remove from heat and let it cool for a bit as you gather the nuts, marshmallows, chocolate (or cocoa + butter), and vanilla. Add everything together (I just add a splash of vanilla...perhaps about a tsp), and stir - the residual heat should melt it down and as you keep stirring you'll feel it get stiffer and stiffer. Enjoy the forearm workout :P

The end result is a shiny, chocolate-caramel fudge. If you like the look of walnuts peeking out from your batter just fold them in there instead of mixing it in the previous step.

Once everything is mixed to your satisfaction pour it into a lightly buttered pan and pop it in the fridge. The end result is less fudgey than the peanut butter-chocolate version but still great nonetheless. Some prefer this treat, as it's less rich than the peanut-butter fudge and the caramelized sugar created little chewy bits of toffee-like candy here and there. Decadent and addictive, this always disappears quickly. Once, a friend snuck a baggie full to "share with his labmates". Uh huh, then why are you the only one with chocolate all over your face all week?

Squishy Peanut Butter & Nutty Caramel Toffee Fudge
Blueberry muffins, toffee-caramel-walnut fudge, & peanut butter fudge


Althea said...

Oh god, Erin, after seeing those s'mores, I'm a little sad I didn't get to go camping with you.

Anonymous said...

mmmmmm...oh Erin you are making me soooo hungry :)
- Kristen

Chris ( said...

Decadence... I LOVE IT.

So friggin' good.

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