Fudging it!

“I love it when you find a recipe that is simple and easy to adjust to your taste.  A recipe where you can let your creativity go wild and make beautiful creations to tempt the taste buds with the minimum of fuss and effort.  Making fudge fits into all these categories.  The basic recipe is a can of condensed milk and chocolate.  After that it’s up to you.  This Christmas I’ve been making fudge for presents and for sale at some local cafes so I’ve tried to get a varied selection that should satisfy everyone’s palette. A few pointers before we start: don’t walk away when you’re heating the condensed milk.  It can go from hot to burnt in a second!  To make it easier to stir the chocolate in you can cut it into smaller pieces or stir it in two batches.  And finally, try not to eat it before it makes it into the fridge!  It’s very addictive and impossible to stop at one piece.  Enjoy!”

Salted Dark Chocolate with Rum and Raisin

“A very adult fudge!  The longer you let the raisins soak in the rum the better the result.  It’s worth using really high quality chocolate and getting a good flaked sea salt to sprinkle on the top.”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 395g can of condensed milk
  • 750g dark chocolate (2 x 375g bags)
  • Flake salt

Method

  1. Place raisins and rum in a sealed container and let them soak for a couple of hours or overnight.
  2. Heat the condensed milk in a saucepan and stir with a spatula until it comes to just under the boil.
  3. Add half the chocolate and stir until both are combined and chocolate has completely melted into the mixture.
  4. Add the other half of the chocolate and continue stirring.  The mixture will be getting quite thick by this stage.
  5. Transfer to a stand mixer and add the raisin and rum mixture, beating on a slow speed until combined.
  6. Grease and line a slice tin and pour the fudge mixture into it, pushing down to flatten into the corners and smooth the top.
  7. Sprinkle a small amount of flake salt over the fudge.
  8. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until set. (Approximately 3 hours)
  9. Remove from the fridge and cut into 1.5cm squares.  Keep refrigerated.

White Christmas Fudge

“What’s Christmas without some white Christmas in the fridge?  Here’s a fudge version full of dried fruit and nuts.  It makes a great standby present when going to Christmas parties.”

Ingredients

  • 395g can of condensed milk
  • 750g white chocolate (2 x 375g bags)
  • 150g dried cranberries
  • 80g pistachios
  • 150g dried apricots, diced into small pieces
  • 1 cup rice bubbles
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Method

  1. Heat the condensed milk in a saucepan and stir with a spatula until it comes to just under the boil.
  2. Add half the chocolate and stir until both are combined and chocolate has completely melted into the mixture.
  3. Add the other half of the chocolate and continue stirring.  The mixture will be getting quite thick by this stage.
  4. Transfer to a stand mixer and add the cranberries, pistachios and apricots, beating on a slow speed until combined.
  5. Grease and line a slice tin and pour the fudge mixture into it, pushing down to flatten into the corners and smooth the top.
  6. Cover the top with coconut and press into the fudge.
  7. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until set. (Approximately 3 hours)
  8. Remove from the fridge and cut into diamond shapes.  Keep refrigerated.

Fudgy Rocky Road

“Rocky road is a favourite with several members of my family, so the fudge version should go down a treat!  I used mini-marshmallows in this recipe but you could use regular sized ones if you prefer.”

Ingredients

  • 395g can of condensed milk
  • 750g milk chocolate (2 x 375g bags)
  • 100g mini-marshmallows
  • 200g glace cherries
  • 200g roasted peanuts

Method

  1. Heat the condensed milk in a saucepan and stir with a spatula until it comes to just under the boil.
  2. Add half the chocolate and stir until both are combined and chocolate has completely melted into the mixture.
  3. Add the other half of the chocolate and continue stirring.  The mixture will be getting quite thick by this stage.
  4. Transfer to a stand mixer and add the cherries and peanuts, beating on a slow speed until combined.
  5. When the mixture has cooled slightly add the marshmallows. (If you add them while the mixture is hot they melt!)
  6. Grease and line a slice tin and pour the fudge mixture into it, pushing down to flatten into the corners.  Press your fingertips into the top of the fudge for an uneven finish.
  7. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until set. (Approximately 3 hours)
  8. Remove from the fridge and cut into bars.  Keep refrigerated.

Peanut Butter and Roast Almond Fudge

“This would have to be my all-time-favourite fudge!  The combination of sweet fudge, salty peanut butter and roast almonds is a winner.  I’ve had to limit myself to one piece a day.  Damn you self control!”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 395g can of condensed milk
  • 750g white chocolate (2 x 375g bags)
  • 2 tbsn vanilla extract
  • 300g crunchy peanut butter

Method

  1. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and bake at 180 degrees c for 10 minutes or until the nuts start to turn an amber colour.  Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat the condensed milk in a saucepan and stir with a spatula until it comes to just under the boil.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  4. Add half the chocolate and stir until both are combined and chocolate has completely melted into the mixture.
  5. Add the other half of the chocolate and continue stirring.  The mixture will be getting quite thick by this stage.
  6. Transfer to a stand mixer and add the peanut butter, beating on a slow speed until combined.
  7. Grease and line a slice tin and pour the fudge mixture into it, pushing down to flatten into the corners and smooth the top.
  8. Cover the top with the roasted almonds and press into the fudge.
  9. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until set. (Approximately 3 hours)
  10. Remove from the fridge and cut into 1.5cm squares.  Keep refrigerated.

Caramel and Macadamia Fudge

“This fudge recipe is slightly more complicated than the rest but worth the effort.  You need to heat the butter and sugar mixture to a high temperature to get the caramel flavour so a small amount of vigilance is in order.”

Ingredients

  • 100g butter
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 80g golden syrup
  • 395g can of condensed milk
  • 375g white chocolate (1 x 375g bag)
  • 200g macadamias cut into quarters

Method

  1. Place the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup and heat in a heavy based saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until the butter and sugar have melted.
  2. Stir in the condensed milk and bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce the heat slightly and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture has changed to a darker colour.  This should take about 10 minutes.
  4. Finely dice the chocolate and stir into mixture until both are combined and chocolate has completely melted.
  5. Fold in the macadamia nuts.
  6. Grease and line a slice tin and pour the fudge mixture into it, pushing down to flatten into the corners and smooth the top.
  7. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until set. (Approximately 3 hours)
  8. Remove from the fridge and cut into 1.5cm squares.  Keep refrigerated.

Honeycomb Fudge

“If you’re not feeling adventurous you can buy honeycomb at the shop for this recipe, but making it is so much fun!  I decided this fudge needed to be cut into smaller pieces than the others because it’s so rich and the honeycomb is very sticky.  Of course that means you’ll have to have 2 pieces.”

Ingredients

  • 160g honey
  • 50g water
  • 200g white sugar
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate
  • 395g can of condensed milk
  • 750g milk chocolate (2 x 375g bags)

Method

  1. Line a cake tin or roasting dish with baking paper.
  2. To make the honeycomb put the honey, water and sugar in a heavy based saucepan and bring to the boil stirring to combine.
  3. Once at the boil insert a sugar thermometer into the liquid.  Let the mixture increase in temperature until it gets to 150 degrees c.
  4. When the temperature is reached add the bicarbonate and whisk quickly into the mixture.  It will immediately bubble up.
  5. Pour into the prepared tin and let cool completely at room temperature.
  6. Once cool break 2/3 of the honeycomb into chunks and the remainder into small shards.
  7. Heat the condensed milk in a saucepan and stir with a spatula until it comes to just under the boil.
  8. Add half the chocolate and stir until both are combined and chocolate has completely melted into the mixture.
  9. Add the other half of the chocolate and continue stirring.  The mixture will be getting quite thick by this stage.
  10. Transfer to a stand mixer and add the chunks of honeycomb, beating on a slow speed until combined.
  11. Grease and line a slice tin and pour the fudge mixture into it, pushing down to flatten into the corners and smooth the top.
  12. Cover the top with the honeycomb shards and press into the fudge.
  13. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until set. (Approximately 3 hours)
  14. Remove from the fridge and cut into 1cm squares.  Keep refrigerated.


 

Decadent Chocolate Orange Cake


“Confession time.  I’m addicted to chocolate!  Okay, not such a world-changing declaration but it does mean I’m constantly looking for the perfect chocolate cake recipe.  This one is one of the most decadent and rich recipes I’ve made so far.  The addition of the sugared orange rind and juice add a great flavour and texture to the cake and the hit of chocolate ganache and butter-cream leaves me in chocoholic heaven.  One piece is never enough so make sure it’s a big one then hit the gym.  Enjoy!”

Chocolate Orange Cake

  • Rind from 3 oranges
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 225g Butter
  • 350g dark chocolate
  • 600ml orange juice
  • 400g dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbs vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 400g self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup dutch cocoa powder
  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees and butter and line a 23cm cake tin.
  2. Peel the rind off the oranges, cover with water and bring to the boil.
  3. Drain and repeat another two times.  On the fourth time add 100g of castor sugar to the rinds and boil until most of the water is gone leaving the rinds in a sugar syrup.  Place rinds in a food processor and blitz into small pieces.  Set aside.
  4. Put butter and chocolate in a saucepan and heat while stirring on medium until both have melted.
  5. Juice the oranges and add bottled juice to 600ml.  Mix into chocolate mixture with sugar, vanilla and orange rinds.
  6. Let the mixture cool then add eggs and whisk well.
  7. Add flour and cocoa and stir until combined.
  8. Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Orange Butter-cream

  • 200g icing sugar
  • Grated rind from 1 orange
  • 125g butter
  • 125g cream cheese
  1. Process icing sugar in a food processor until all the lumps are gone.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat for 2 minutes.

Chocoalte Ganache

  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau
  • 375g dark chocolate
  • 75g butter (at room temperature)
  1. Bring cream and Cointreau almost to the boil and remove from the heat.
  2. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and add to the hot cream.  Leave to sit for 1 minute.
  3. Stir the mixture until combined.  Chop the butter into small pieces and stir into chocolate until melted.
  4. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool on the bench (Don’t refrigerate or it will become too hard to work with).

Putting The Cake Together

  1. Cut the cake in half and spread the butter-cream on the bottom half.  Place the other half on top.
  2. Spread 3/4 of the ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
  3. Fill a piping bag with the remainder of the ganache and pipe swirls onto the cake.
  4. EAT!