Holiday Fudge Trio

img_3502 To commemorate Ghirardelli's "Baking Day" this past weekend, I prepared three types of fudge (which happens to be a no-bake treat!)  I prepared a maple pecan fudge, which combines white chocolate, maple syrup and toasted pecans.  I paired dark chocolate with pistachios for the second fudge, and semisweet chocolate with chocolate-caramel candy squares for the third fudge. The results were all delicious, and these recipes are surprisingly simple.

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I have made fudge once before with recipes that use marshmallow creme. I'm not sure what's in marshmallow creme, but I'm sure it includes tons of stabilizers that help give fudge that oh-so-creamy texture.  The fudge I made this weekend was slightly less creamy, but certainly decadent and free of all of those stabilizers. I actually liked the less creamy texture. It forced me to savor each and every bite. A little bit of this fudge goes a long way, so I suggest cutting them in small, bite-sized squares.

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Dark Chocolate-Pistachio Fudge

Ingredients 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios 1 1/2 cups 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips (I used Ghirardelli brand) 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (half of a 14-ounce can) 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

Method

Line a loaf pan (about 9 x 5”) with parchment paper. Allow some to hang over the edges, which will facilitate removing the fudge once it's set.  Place pistachios on the bottom of the pan. (You can reserve a few pistachios to sprinkle on top of the fudge, if desired.) Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in the top of a double boiler. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate.

As a “makeshift” double boiler, I place a medium pot on top of a small pot. The small pot has just one inch of water and the heat is on low. Add the chocolate to the medium pot and stir constantly, until almost melted. Remove the pot and continue stirring until all of the chocolate melts.

Once the chocolate has melted, stir in the softened butter and the condensed milk. The mixture will become very thick. Do not overstir, or the mixture will become oily. Once combined, pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  Allow to set, undisturbed, for four hours.  Once the fudge has set, remove it from the pan. Using a sharp knife, cut it into squares.  Store in a covered container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Maple-Pecan Fudge

Ingredients ¾ cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped and lightly toasted 3 tablespoons maple syrup 3 tablespoons condensed milk (sweetened) 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli brand) 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Line a loaf pan (about 9 x 5”) with parchment paper. Allow some to hang over the edges, which will facilitate removing the fudge once it's set.  Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in the top of a double boiler. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate.

As a “makeshift” double boiler, I place a medium pot on top of a small pot. The small pot has just one inch of water and the heat is on low. Add the chocolate to the medium pot and stir constantly, until almost melted. Stir in the maple syrup, condensed milk, vanilla extract and brown sugar. Do not overmix, or mixture will become oily.

Once combined, pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the pecans on top and lightly press them into the fudge.  Allow to set, undisturbed, for four hours.  Once the fudge has set, remove it from the pan. Using a sharp knife, cut it into squares.  Store in a covered container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Chocolate-Caramel Fudge

Ingredients 1 1/2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk 1 tablespoon butter 6 chocolate-caramel squares (Ghirardelli makes a perfect chocolate-caramel square for this)

Method Line a loaf pan (about 9 x 5”) with parchment paper. Allow some to hang over the edges, which will facilitate removing the fudge once it's set. Place 3 chocolate caramel squares at the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in the top of a double boiler. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate.

As a “makeshift” double boiler, I place a medium pot on top of a small pot. The small pot has just one inch of water and the heat is on low. Add the chocolate to the medium pot and stir constantly, until almost melted. Remove the pot and continue stirring until all of the chocolate melts.

Once the chocolate has melted, stir in the softened butter and the condensed milk. The mixture will become very thick. Do not overstir, or the mixture will become oily. Once combined, pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan. Place the remaining three chocolate-caramel squares on the fudge, then pour the remaining fudge on top. Allow to set, undisturbed, for four hours.  Once the fudge has set, remove it from the pan. Using a sharp knife, cut it into squares.  Store in a covered container at room temperature for up to two weeks.