Friday, January 20, 2012

Honeyed Fudge - by Lisa

OMG - I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but here they are: I chopped chocolate and didn't hate it! All 16oz of it! And I think I even know why! Normally I use one of two chef's knives that are in our regular rotation. However, both were dirty (with chicken juice - in my mind the only way to get those clean is for them to go thru the dishwasher!), so I had to go digging in the knife drawer for another knife. I pulled out the gem below and the chocolate practically chopped itself! Ok, maybe that is a little exaggerated, but seriously, chopping the chocolate was SO much easier this time around that it was almost enjoyable. I think it must be the way the knife is designed - the whole thing as tiny serrated edges along with a few groupings of deep serrated edges on it while the other two knives I use do not. This knife will heretofore be designated The Official Chocolate Chopping Knife.
Since I get routinely confused over what bittersweet is vs semi-sweet vs dark and the like, I consulted the index of the cookbook for direction. Beth mentioned that one can generally swap out bittersweet and semi-sweet, so after reading Summer's entry, I opted to make my fudge with all semi-sweet (specifically half of my remaining gigantic bar of Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate and half with Baker's semi-sweet). I also opted to use up our leftover candy canes in place of the walnuts. A little too late I realized I should have tried substituting peppermint extract for the vanilla. Oh well, maybe next time!

This was really simple to throw together - especially since it took less time to chop that chocolate. ;)

It uses a mixture of condensed milk and honey which Beth describes as a "cheat" for making fudge. That gets boiled on the stove top, then transferred off the stove to add the chocolate. After that I stirred in the crushed candy canes, poured it in the pan and let it set up.

I took it out the next morning and cut myself a sample. It honestly took me a few days and several bites here and there to really render an opinion. Generally, I liked how it came out. The texture was real nice and smooth and it had the right "fudgy-ness" about it. I definitely liked having the candy canes in it too. I think I made the right move by using all semi-sweet chocolate, but it just seemed to be missing something. No matter how many times I tried it, I just couldn't place what that something was.  I can say that I definitely enjoyed it, but I think if I were to make it again (with the candy canes), I would try it with peppermint extract and see how that changes the flavors.

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