Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cook N for the Holidays: Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Pretty darn good. Pretty darn quick. Pretty darn easy.

Made some fudge today: Cook's Illustrated's Chocolate Walnut Fudge.

This recipe makes about 2 1/2 pounds of yummy, rich, chocolatey goodness.

The people at Cook's Illustrated recommend Ghirardelli semisweet and unsweetened chocolate. I could not find unsweetened in this brand, so used some green and blacks unsweetened powder instead (6 Tablespoons mixed with 2 Tablespoons of Canola oil- and it worked just fine). The walnuts are "crucial" to the texture of this fudge, so if you don't like nuts (or have an allergy) this may not be the recipe for you.

A few notes from CI:

  • Make sure to remove the fudge from the double boiler before the chocolate is fully melted. If the chocolate stays in the double boiler too long, there is the possibility of the chocolate separating and producing a greasy fudge.

  • This fudge will change texture and become drier the longer it is stored. Store the fudge, tightly wrapped in plastic, in a cool place for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for 3 months. If frozen, allow ample time to let it reach room temperature before cutting.

Cook's Illustrated Chocolate Walnut Fudge

16 ounces semisweet chocolate , chopped fine
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate , chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1. Cut 12-inch length extra-wide heavy-duty aluminum foil; fold edges back to form 7 1/2-inch width. With folded sides facing down, fit foil securely into bottom and up sides of 8-inch-square baking pan, allowing excess to overhang pan sides. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Toss chocolates, baking soda, and salt in medium heatproof bowl until baking soda is evenly distributed. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Set bowl over 4-quart saucepan containing 2 cups simmering water. Stir with rubber spatula until chocolate is almost fully melted and few small pieces remain, 2 to 4 minutes.

3. Remove bowl from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is fully melted and mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in walnuts. Transfer fudge to prepared pan and spread in even layer with spatula. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Remove fudge from pan using foil and cut into squares.

Line 13 by 9-inch pan with two sheets of foil placed perpendicular to each other and double amounts of all ingredients. In step 2, use large heatproof bowl and Dutch oven containing 4 cups simmering water.

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