Monday, December 14, 2015

Stuffedveggies Easy Fudge Series: Maple Walnut

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!

Here's the basic mix, method, and the fifth 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 fifth 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 Maple Walnut Fudge
Maple Walnut Fudge
Chop 3/4 Cup Walnuts and set aside
Combine well
1 Batch Stuffedveggies Fudge & Frosting Mix (above)
1 1/2 teaspoons Maple Extract
7 Tablespoons Non-Dairy Milk *

This mixture will seem fairly dry, but do not yield to the temptation to add more liquid. It will soften when cooked. 

When you first start mixing in the liquids, it will seem like it's not enough.

At the end of mixing, the fudge mixture will be VERY thick - it will soften & become satiny when cooked.
(the picture here is Vanilla - Maple will be a little darker in color)

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, Stir in reserved, prepared Walnuts, above, and 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 : )

*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

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  1. Looking yummy! do you have any alternative sugar (hone/ brown sugar etc) recipes that you can share?

    1. So glad to have you visit, Uma! : )

      For whole food desserts, I really like Helyn's Plant-Based Kitchen - she did a great Christmas cookie series last year!

      Of my recipes, this one is probably closest to what you're looking for

      Sorry I haven't figured out a fudge recipe, yet - getting it vegan & lower fat was all I have been able to pull off so far & still have something that tastes like regular fudge.

      Happy Cooking! : )


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