I announced earlier that in honor of March Madness, I decided to create a dessert bracket with 16 styles of desserts. I’ve invited 16 great chefs to each take a category and make a recipe to enter into battle. I ranked the 16 based on my view of which was the favorite and like any bracket, the favorites are matched against the lower seeds. I won’t give you my seeding because I do not want to artificially impact your choices.
I will post a pairing each week on Wednesday and Thursday and open the polls for voting. The polls will be open from Thursday until the following Wednesday (before the next pair posts). The winner of each matchup with the most votes will move on to the next round and the chef will produce another recipe for their new matchup. The overall winner will receive any prizes I can acquire. To date the winner will receive:
- Dodo Book for Cooks
- A beautiful Bamboo Cutting Board with a Butterfly Motif, graciously donated by competitor Lindy (The Kozy Nook)
This week’s pairing is:
Cookies (Chocolate Varieties) vs. Fudge
Today we have CJ who blogs over at Loving São Paulo, brings us some yummy fudge….
The Fudge Experience
I guess I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into as I clicked the send button asking to participate in the DICED! Dessert Bracket competition. And so it was too late.
I was actually very happy when I saw the email saying I had successfully entered the competition, however as I read the email and realized my category was fudge, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh at myself or just… cry. I guess I know what fudge is, they are these little super sweet squares that I think us swedes make for Christmas. It’s like, erm, British candy right?
The rules say you can ask to change your category, but obviously I was not going to do this. That would feel like failure. But I did kindly offer to change if someone ELSE was very sad about their category. That didn’t happen. I guess every other contestant is a dessert pro. Damn!
I knew I had about three weeks to do this, so I stayed calm and started the Googling process. “What is fudge”, “amazing fudge”, “easy fudge recipes” and so on. Google is great, like, my best friend. I have never read so many different recipes about the same thing before.
Easy peasy, I will be the fudge queen! I started testing it out at home, thinking if all my tries work out well I have several entries for the competition, in case I actually move on to the next round. I believe I am up against cookies to start with, the chocolaty kind. I mean who likes cookies anyway right? …bugger…
So after eating fudge-like desserts more or less daily for a week and washing out burned pots, I think I have finally found a recipe that works. It hardens just enough and it tastes lovely.
Because somehow, the “fudge” I made a few days ago just didn’t want to be cut into little cute squares for the final picture… I had to eat it with a spoon.
At first I was going to be adventurous but then I thought I better fight fire with fire, so chocolaty cookies will be fought with chocolaty fudge.
The Nutty Chocolate Fudge
This recipe is very similar to http://www.ica.se/recept/lingonfudge-652220/ (in Swedish) except that is for a white-chocolate-berry-fudge, and I have less sugar. I have also made half the amount as I am gaining too much weight from all this fudge eating. And quite frankly, being 8,5 months pregnant, I am gaining enough without fudge in my life right now!
1 dl caster sugar (.42 cups)
0,5 dl milk (.21 cups)
1 dl cream (.42 cups)
1 tbsp syrup
50 g milk chocolate (¼ cup)
1 tbsp butter
0,5 dl cashew nuts (or whatever nut you want I guess) (.21 cups)
The How To:
1. Kick anyone with a sweet tooth (other than yourself) out of the kitchen, put on an apron and turn up the music.
2. Combine sugar, milk, cream and syrup in a heavy saucepan and let boil until creamy, roughly about 15 minutes. Stir a little every now and then to avoid burning especially at the end as it gets very hot very quickly then. I would say it is ready when the color starts getting a wee bit darker.
3. Take the saucepan off the heat and add chocolate and butter, stir until melted and totally combined. Do not stir too much… says the original recipe although I am not so sure why – but please don’t think just do what I say.
4. Once everything is nicely mixed together and looks like a divine chocolaty cream, try not to eat it, and if you do, be careful cos it really is very hot still. Trust me…. It is ready for your choice of add-in, in my case cashew crumble. They are delicious and combine perfectly with chocolate. Add more if you like, these babies could easily be called “chocolaty nut fudge”.
5. Pour the sticky chocolate cream into a baking tin and set to cool, then put it in the fridge and leave over night.
6. Once you’ve had your breakfast go ahead and take out your masterpiece, cut little squares and enjoy!
7. Fudge Saves The Day!
TIP: Share with friends and they will love you a little more!
CJ is author of the blog Loving São Paulo (lovingsaopaulo.wordpress.com) where she writes about her experiences and life in general as a Swede in São Paulo. She loves to eat and to cook for friends, and has a very sweet tooth hence finding her way to this competition.