Monday, November 30, 2015

Stuffedveggies Easy Fudge Series: Chocolate

Stuffedveggies Easy Fudge Variety
(When I read others' blogs, I find I really don't like being required to do a lot of clicking to read one recipe or post. In light of that observation, I'm putting the basic mix recipe & introduction in EACH post of this series. If you've been following this series, just scroll down to the picture of today's fudge, and start reading from there.)

Many years ago, I stopped by one of those very upscale, touristy fudge shoppes that sell a huge
variety of uber-expensive fudge that is touted as "made by hand" and "old fashioned." As a person who made fudge the old-fashioned way myself, I mentioned to the clerk at the shoppe that it sure must be a lot of work to cook all that fudge. She said in a casual, off-handed way, "Oh, we don't cook it. It's a powdered mix that comes to us in a bag. We just mix it up!" I was more than stunned.

Then, I started thinking. How many times had I given someone fudge that I had carefully cooked and prepared the old-fashioned way (which "only" takes a hideous amount of time to do!), only to have them say, "Oh, you made this from powdered sugar didn't you? I can always tell. It's so much creamier than home-cooked fudge." When cooked fudge turns out right - it tastes A LOT like the stuff that's made from a mix. If you goof on cooked fudge -  which I have done once or twice - it will turn out with crunchy crystals and a little grainy tasting. I lot of people think they "can tell" if fudge is cooked because they're used to the crunchy kind.


So, I decided to design my own mix. If those fancy stores can do it, I can too!  It took a few attempts (the first tries were too soft), but when it was done, it was even better than I had hoped. And Vegan. And way more frugal than those sorts that call for things like condensed milk, ready-made chocolate, and marshmallow fluff. And, you can customize it to fit your family's own allergies & dietary preferences.

I designed my own mix, and then started creating variations. I ended up with 5 varieties to feature this year, although you could easily make enough variations from these basic 5 to create a whole lot more!

For a Children's Version of this recipe, check out this post! 

Here's the basic mix, method, and the third recipe of the series:

Stuffedveggies Fudge & Frosting Mix
Place in a very large bowl, and combine with electric mixer
2 pounds Powdered Sugar (also known as Confectioner's Sugar or XXXX Sugar)
1/2 Cup Earth Balance or other Vegan Buttery Spread of your choice*
Dash Salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
(You will need a very large bowl to keep the mix from ending up all over the kitchen when you blend it.  If you prefer, you can use a mixing bowl cover/splatter guard, if you have such a thing.)

To make fudge mix, place Powdered Sugar, Buttery Spread & Salt in a large bowl.

Mix with an electric mixer until it looks like plain Confectioner's Sugar


That's your basic mix! It's that easy. I usually use it right away, but it can be stored in the refrigerator (if, for instance, you want to make several batches of mix one day, and several varieties of fudge the next). It's best to use it at room temperature, so if you do store it in the fridge, let it warm up on the counter a bit before you start mixing.

Now you can use it to make a huge variety of fudge. Here's the third in the series:

Oil or grease the inside of an 8" square pan & set aside. (if you prefer, you can line the pan with foil & grease the foil - that can make it easier to remove & cut)

Stuffedveggies Easy Chocolate Fudge



Chocolate Fudge
Combine well
1 Batch Stuffedveggies Fudge & Frosting Mix (above)
1 Cup Cocoa, Sifted
Add and mix well
1 teaspoons Vanilla
1/2 Cup PLUS 2 Tablespoons Non-Dairy Milk
This mixture will seem quite dry dry, but do not yield to the temptation to add more liquid. It will soften when cooked. 


The Fudge will soften and develop a satiny sheen when cooked.



Microwave for 30 seconds, Stir, repeat twice till fudge develops a satiny sheen and is easier to stir. Cooking times may vary depending on your microwave, but in mine this recipe takes 1 1/2 minutes total, stirring at 30-second intervals. After microwaving & stirring, quickly press into prepared pan. Allow to cool & set a couple of hours to set. Store airtight in refrigerator.


(This will have a noticeable powdered sugar taste & texture when still warm, when cooled & set it will taste like "regular" fudge : )

Chocolate Fudge is a great springboard for many favorite varieties. Add 3/4 cup Chopped Walnuts for Chocolate Walnut Fudge, or add Vegan Miniature Marshmallows (Dandies are my personal favorite) and Walnuts or Peanuts for Rocky Road. I'm sure you'll be able to think of many other great variations! 

*Note: I have not tried it, but I am quite certain that any fat that is solid at room temperature (such as Coconut Oil or Dairy Butter) can be substituted for the Earth Balance if so desired. I do not recommend substituting whipped or reduced-fat spreads (although I would be quite delighted to hear that it works if someone tries it : ) Similarly, I am sure Dairy Milk can substitute for the Non-Dairy if that is your preference, fits your budget, or is what you have on hand.

This year I substituted Soy Free Earth Balance for Regular Earth Balance, and Rice Milk for Soy Milk - I found that with these substitutions, I needed to reduce the Milk by 1 Tablespoon so that the Fudge would be firm enough 

Look for all the posts in this Stuffedveggies Easy Fudge series:
Easy Vanilla Fudge
Easy Chocolate Fudge
Easy Peanut Butter Fudge
Easy Chocolate Mint Fudge
Easy Maple Walnut Fudge
Easy Microwave Fudge for One

This is being shared on
The Art of Homemaking Mondays
What'd You Do This Weekend?
Merry Mondays
Mix It Up Mondays
Simple Supper Tuesdays
Tell it to Me Tuesdays 
Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays
Turn it Up Tuesdays
Thoughtful Spot
Try a New Recipe Tuesday 
Good Tips Tuesday 
Teaching What is Good
Wake Up Wednesday
Coffee & Conversation
Midweek Munchies (Vegan)
The Great Blog Train 
Think Tank Thursday
This is How We Roll
Hearts for Home
Frugal Friday
Home Matters
Learning from Each Other

8 comments:

  1. I love chocolate so I was drawn to your post. My mouth is watering!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have never made fudge but I can understand .from the recipe it must be great. I wonder if it will work with regular butter since I don't know where to find the vegan buttery spread?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting, Ivy! I loved your post this week on a variety of Orzo Salads : )

      Yes, you can use butter, or any fat that is solid at room temperature (like regular margarine).

      I'd love to hear how it works for you : )

      Delete
  3. This is such a neat series on fudge! Thank you for continuing to share it on the Art of Home-Making Mondays :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. That looks yummy. Thanks for including the children's version!

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  5. We stopped at one of those fudge shops last week. I was not happy with their fudge -it was too too sweet. I love this idea of a mix to always have ready. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting! Just to clarify - this fudge mix can be made a short time in advance, but doesn't have a long storage life like, say, muffin mix. But, it is nice to be able to make the mix one day, for several batches, and make the fudge the next : )

      Delete

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