Hello Koala fans!
I meant to have this update ready last week but things have not been going well for me. A leaking flat, coursework and some fairly major depression hammered any motivation I had to do kitchen stuff. I’m starting to get back on track though and as always, thank you for keeping me going.
This week’s recipe is probably the easiest I’ve ever done – it took me about 40 minutes from start to finish. So I’m going to use a little of my time here today to discuss one of my favourite topics – chocolate.
About a year ago, I had the good fortune to win a competition from Montezumas and the prize was a chocolate hamper with several different flavours of chocolate. I didn’t really think there was going to be much difference; after all, one type of dark chocolate is much the same as another. It’s like when people talk about wines having hints of oak or cherry blossom (how do you even know what oak tastes like, unless you’re a woodworm or something?).
But as I shared the hamper with the folks in the department next to me, I soon began to learn the difference. Taking the time to smell the chocolate, biting off small pieces and letting it melt on my tongue – properly tasting it. Ecuadorian chocolate has a slight perfume to it, like a tea or a smoky flavour. Swiss chocolate is much more bitter but creamy as well. There are actual flavours to chocolate, beyond being simply dark, milk and white.
Anyways, we’re here to put this chocolate to use and we’re making Black Forest Fudge this week. I’m using this recipe as the template:
I’ve swapped the pistachios out for morello cherries and white chocolate drops. It’s not that I’m not a fan of nuts but I had some cherries leftover in my cupboard that needing using up. The first step is breaking up the chocolate into chunks, as this makes it easier to melt.
The process is not a million miles away from the one I use to make truffles with. As with them, it’s *critical* that when you’re melting the chocolate over a pan of water, you don’t let the bowl touch the water itself. If you do, the chocolate gets burnt and becomes difficult to stir. Once the chocolate has melted, add the condensed milk.
Then simply tip it into the bowl:
Once the chocolate has a smooth texture to it, add the condensed milk and slowly stir it in. You’ll also need a small amount of butter as well.
Once the butter is in, make sure it’s fully melted amongst the chocolate and milk – with fudge, it’s really important to make sure everything has a smooth texture. Only then you can start to add the extra bits and pieces.
By this point, take the molten fudge off the heat and give it about 10 minutes or so to cool. If you add the white chocolate drops too early, they’ll melt. Then tip the mixture into a baking tray.
Even the simplest recipe can have problems though. While I was clearing away the kitchen surface, I cut my finger on the empty tin lid. It hurt. -.-
The fudge then went in the freezer for about 30 minutes or so. When I took it out, it was still soft enough to chop up into squares but firm enough to keep its shape.
The fudge turned out to be very rich – a couple of squares at a time was enough to cure any chocolate cravings I had. The choice of morello cherries over glace cherries made a big difference as well; the flavour goes really well with the high cocoa content chocolate bars I used. Overall I’m pretty pleased with how the fudge turned out and there’s certainly a lot left over. Because it freezes well, it’ll keep for quite a long time too. =)