The tagline of this blog says it’s about geeky stuff and cookies. We seem to be lacking in the cookie department. To fix that, here’s the very first instalment of ‘The Improvisational Cook’, in which we attempt to make yummy things, while not actually knowing what the hell we’re doing. Keep that in mind if you’re taking any tips from this article: results may vary.

 So, it’s February 14th. My boyfriend is several thousand miles and six time zones away, while every radio and TV channel, and about 80 % of websites (et tu, internet?) tell me I should be ‘coupley’. Obviously, this calls for chocolate. Chocolate fudge, to be exact.

The recipe I started with is this one, if you want the proper thing. But, of course, I didn’t have half the ingredients, so my improvisational recipe is below. Please note that the recipe calls for ‘marshmallow crème’, which is a completely ridiculous foodstuff (it’s like sugar flavoured glue) and therefore only available in the US. I smuggled some out the last time I visited, but unless you have access to silly food stores (places in the UK might also have it), you’ll need to go for the traditional evaporated milk recipes. But they’re harder, and this is Lazy Fudge, so let’s get going.

 

What you need

  • 180g of powdered sugar

  • 80ml cream

  • 85g butter

  • 255g dark chocolate chips

  • 75g marshmallow crème

  • 1squirt of vanilla extract

  • two heaped tea spoons of cocoa powder

 

Firstly, weigh and set up all your ingredients, since the last part has to go fairly fast.

I changed the original recipe’s skimmed milk into cream, cause really, who makes candy with skimmed milk? Also, I was completely out of chocolate chips, so I used some leftover chocolate figurines from Sinterklaas , that miraculously survived being chocolate and in my vicinity for three months.

 

Victim of my Fudge of Doom.

 

About one dark chocolate saint-on-a-horse figurine, and the head of one white chocolate Black Pete makes up for about 255g. To reduce them to chips, I used the rather satisfying method of putting them in a towel and hitting them with a hammer.

 Once everything is set, put a large saucepan on medium heat, and dump in the butter, cream and powdered sugar. If you forgot to sieve the sugar (like I did) you’ll need to whisk and whisk until your arm hurts, then whisk some more to get all the clots out.

Now if you’re somewhat professional, you need to stir constantly over the fire, until your candy thermometer reads that the mixture has reached 112° C. I don’t have a candy or sugar thermometer, so I kinda winged it (there’s also some kind of method for testing your mixture, by dumping it in cold water, but I hadn’t bothered reading that until now). Yes, there is a reason my fudge usually fails and turns into chocolate paste instead.

When it looks like it’s ready, add the cocoa powder and vanilla, whisking away. Then melt in the chocolate and marshmallow crème. If all goes well, that should firm up your mixture.

I couldn’t be bothered to find and grease up a proper tray, so I used a silicon mini cake sheet to dunk my fudge in. I also added some walnuts to make it a little fancier, without actually going through the trouble of chopping them up. Something tells me it might actually look very nice with chopped hazelnuts or walnuts on top. But that’ll be for ‘Energetic fudge’.

Shiny!

 

Put your tray in a fridge overnight and clean up. Make sure to lick any spoons and pans clean before actually washing them, right up to the point where you get nauseous from the excess sugar. You’ll need to wait several hours (or make it overnight) before actually digging in.

 

No flash = less shiny.

 

Et voilà.

Mine are still slightly too soft, in the sense that they will get all over your fingers, once you take it out of the fridge. But hey, since when are chocolate covered fingers a bad thing?

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