A Simple Recipe for Chocolate Fudge

We often avoid keeping too many sweets in the house, but every so often something makes its way into the shopping cart. A pack of Jersey Milks we picked up for a quick getaway this summer was on my husband’s mind this previous weekend. If not that then at least some other kind of chocolatey goodness- even the "freezer fudge" would do. Alas, I was in the kitchen but didn’t need to look to know the cupboards and freezer were bare of such sweets. In the midst of puttering around with dishes and tidying up I broke the news. At the mention of the freezer treats I did, however, want to try making fudge again.

Fudge fail

The first time I made fudge it was edible, but it was like a stickier Mackintosh toffee inside and out. My husband actually enjoyed it and anyone who knows him would confirm he’s not the type to give compliments or consume something for the sake of politeness (minus one expired beer given to him by a great aunt). I really can’t recall what flavour of the fudge was supposed to be. He thinks it was peanut butter, but I’m not exactly sure. Either way it was a very involved process and I’m glad it was enjoyable in some regard. We even gave it the nickname “freezer fudge” because the only way to eat without making a giant mess was to enjoy it frozen.

The secret to making fudge

I think the secret to the fudge turning out this time isn’t much of a secret. I simply didn’t overcomplicate it. An extra can of condensed milk was sitting in the cupboard and I recently bought a bulk bag of chocolate chips so I thought I would give this simple, four ingredient recipe for chocolate fudge a try. There was no need for a candy thermometer or boiling ingredients and it turned out like a store-bought fudge.

If you want to try this recipe too, the flavour and texture are fantastic, plus you can dress it up however you’d like. I’ve included how I made mine into somewhat of a Turtles fudge.

Simple chocolate fudge recipe

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Servings: 2 pounds of fudge, about 32 pieces

Ingredients

For the fudge

  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (300ml) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the toppings

  • 10 caramel squares
  • Handful of pecans, chopped
  • Handful of semi-sweet baker’s chocolate

Directions

  1. Line a 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. In a medium, heavy saucepan, mix the chocolate chips and condensed milk. Stir until the chocolate melts and it's smooth. From previous experience, chocolate burns easily so keep your eye on it.
  3. Remove the saucepan and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepare baking pan and spread it evenly. You’ll notice it starts to cool quickly so make sure to get it in right away.
  5. Let it cool for a few minutes.
  6. Spread half the pecans over the fudge and gently press so they just indent the top.
  7. Melt the caramel in a microwave safe measuring cup or dish and drizzle it over the pecans and fudge. Be sure to do this in spurts of 30 seconds or less, stirring in between, as the caramel could burn. Keep in mind it will be hot.
  8. Next melt the chocolate in another microwave safe dish and drizzle it over top of the other ingredients.
  9. Top with the remaining pecans.
  10. Place the fudge in the fridge for two hours.
  11. Use the edges of the parchment paper to pull it from the pan, place it onto a cutting board, and cut it into squares.

The original recipe for just the fudge can be found here on the Eagle Brand website. Sometimes the best recipes come from the most obvious places, like the Tenderflake box’s recipe for pie crust.

How to store homemade fudge

Once it’s cut you’ll want to store your fudge in an airtight container. Some folks store theirs on the counter where it can last up to two weeks, but it lasts longer in the fridge. Personally, we froze a good portion of our fudge off the hop since it made such a large batch for two people. Fudge lasts up to a year in the freezer.

Enjoy

Thanks for stopping in!


Meals for Your Planner: Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats

I'm a little late to the game, but recently I discovered overnight oats. I love how convenient and versatile they are. Easy too. I thought it would be a good topic to share for those who are looking for a quick or inexpensive breakfast.

If you haven't made these before, don't hesitate when reading ingredients as I find, so far, I have been able to substitute or leave out certain ones. Really, as long as you have the oats and some kind of milk you're good.

Substituting Overnight Oats Ingredients

When I first started making them, I saw ingredients like chia seeds, Greek yogurt, muesli, and flaxseed - which aren't things I had on hand or buy regularly. However, the more I searched, I did end up finding some simpler recipes and established somewhat of a base I'm going to use for my oats going forward. I also noticed it's easy to substitute ingredients.

For example, the blueberry overnight oats recipe I was following one of the first times I made them called for Greek yogurt. I'd forgotten to add that to my shopping list when planning so I substituted some raspberry Activia and it did the trick! It doesn't have to be exact as long as you have a good feeling the flavours will go well together. I know there's a considerable price difference with Greek yogurt as well, but since it makes so many portions - I decided to get it.

Really, it all comes down to preference. With all that said, the other night I went searching for a simple apple cinnamon version. I couldn't find one that I loved, so I made up my own.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats (rolled, old fashioned, large flake)
  • 1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 apple, chopped
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)*
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt

*Note: submerge the apples in a cup or so of cold water and add lemon juice to prevent browning.

Directions

  • Add oats and milk to a jar or container
  • Add greek yogurt
  • Add chopped apple
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and salt
  • Drizzle with syrup
  • Close the jar or container and place it in the fridge overnight
  • Give it a stir before eating

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Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy this recipe!

If you've had overnight oats before, what are some of your favourites?

Also, don't feel bad if your overnight oats aren't as pretty as the ones on Pinterest, mine aren't (see photo below). They'll still be tasty.

Overnight oats, apple cinnamon


Meals for Your Planner: Fried Beans with Cashews

Who says dinner needs to be difficult?

No one, that's who.

Fried beans and cashews is a crowd-pleaser, it's simple to make, and doesn't take much time.

For me, it's one of those recipes that has simply become measurable in handfuls and pinches. We all need some of those recipes in our repertoire! For this post, I added some approximate amounts for you to go by if you wish.

If you want a recipe that's more formal, Google fried beans with cashews and some recipes will come up. However, if you don't need things to be perfect you can use the lists below as a reference. Keep in mind that if you follow this one, it's more of a large side dish for two.

If you want to have it as the main course (I've done it) I would double the portions of cooking for two.

Ingredients

  • Two big handfuls of beans. If you have large hands - a little less. Be reasonable.
  • Enough olive oil to lightly coat the beans
  • A little bit of butter, maybe a teaspoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt - I just crank my salt grinder 5 times
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper - 15 cranks
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder*
  • 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder**
  • Your palm-full of cashews per handful of beans***

Notes:

  • In place of garlic powder, you can use fresh cloves - try two*
  • In place of onion powder, I used to include a bit of red onion, but not everyone accepts them**
  • If you are out of cashews, try pepitas instead. I've done this. It's good.***

Directions

  • In the size of frying pan you need, warm the oil and melt the butter of medium heat
  • Put the beans in and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder* (thaw first if frozen)
  • Stir occasionally until they are starting to look cooked and add the cashews
  • Fry until they start to brown
  • Serve warm

Notes:

  • If using fresh garlic, cook for a minute in the oil before adding the beans
  • If using fresh onions add them with the cashews so they stay a bit crunchy

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This side pairs well with oven-roasted or baked potatoes as well as steak, pork chops, chicken, or sausage.