December 24, 2009

Heavenly Fudge

The smell of peppermint, molasses and chocolate in the winter takes me back.
Every year at Christmas my mother bakes Holiday cookies and candies.  Once I'm in her kitchen, no matter my age, suddenly I become 10 years old again.  This particular recipe was my mom's "fool proof" go-to recipe passed down to her by my grandmother Gi Gi.  Besides being sinfully decadent, it works wonders as a de-ager ~ better than botox, better than pilates and night cream, fudge has the power to make a woman transcend time landing directly in that place during youth where all was right with world.  Dark creamy chocolate fixes all sorts of ailments and makes my heart pound faster every time I smell the rich bittersweet smell wafting through my house the night before Christmas.  And the clincher is it only takes about 20 minutes.  Divine.

I've changed the recipe a bit, I've skipped the Tolhouse classic yellow bag of semisweet  morsels and replaced them with chunks of lovely 65% cocoa chocolate bars. (the Belgian dark chocolate candy bars at Trader Joe's are to die for, not too expensive and do the trick nicely)   To update it just a little bit more, I've added a sprinkle of flaked sea salt from The Meadow. Ahhhh, 'The Meadow'.  A lovely little shop on Mississippi Street in NE that features entire walls covered floor to ceiling with all the best salts, chocolate and wines you can imagine. (I'm sure to feature that gem in a future post)  

So here's my grandmothers recipe, luxurious, comforting and tempting all at once.  The richness of the chocolate and the solid creamy texture will take you back to childhood too.

2 cups roughly chopped dark chocolate
1 can sweetened condensed milk
pinch of sea salt
1 and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla

In the top of a double boiler or a smaller pan balanced carefully over a larger pan of boiling water, melt the chocolate stirring it occasionally until gently melted.  Remove from stove top and stir in warmed sweetened condensed milk, salt and vanilla.  Stir only until smooth.  Turn onto parchment paper that lines an 8" square pan and spread evenly.  Dab with flaked Sea Salt if desired.  Refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.  Turn candy out and peel off paper then cut and store in airtight container.

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