How has 2016 been treating you so far? Good I hope! It feels as though things have gotten off to a flying start here at Cupcakes and Couscous HQ with lots of little projects on the go. Just the way I like it.
I feel as though I must start by apologising for today's recipe. I am not big on New Year's resolutions (particularly dietary ones!) for a few reasons which I will not bore you with today, however after the silly season I have been trying to cut back on the sugary treats, and I appreciate that many of you are probably in the same boat. Having said that though I do believe in balance and that a delicious morsel here and there will not hurt too much. Also, I feel slightly less guilty now that January is (only just) behind us.
This recipe is a variation on the chocolate cherry fudge recipe I published in 2013. Let me start by saying that this is not just a fudge recipe. It is made with a dual purpose sugar syrup that not only tastes delicious but makes an excellent and effective adhesive, if say for example you wanted to glue your recipe notes to the kitchen counter. (Not that I would have any first hand experience of such an occurrence. Not me, no way.)
I have included mini marshmallows in this version as I love the texture they give to the fudge, making it creamy and moussy compared with a more traditional crystalline texture. Any dark chocolate will work with this recipe, but bear in mind that the better the quality the more rich and delicious the final product will be.
FRUIT & NUT CHOCOLATE FUDGE
Makes 20 squares
200ml evaporated milk
100ml full cream milk
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
150g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
50g macadamias, roughly chopped
50g almonds, roughly chopped
100g dried cranberries
Step 1.) Grease a 20cm square cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Step 2.) Put the evaporated milk, full cream milk, sugar and marshmallows in a deep saucepan over a low heat. Stir continuously until the sugar has dissolved and the marshmallows have melted.
Step 3.) Bring the mixture to the boil. Allow to boil for 12 minutes, stirring continuously until the mixture has reached soft ball stage. To test this, simply drop a small amount of syrup into a bowl of ice water. If you are able to roll the syrup into a soft ball then you are good to go!
Step 4.) Take the pot off the heat. Add the dark chocolate, butter and vanilla extract and mix well until the butter and chocolate have melted. Mix in the chopped macadamias, almonds and cranberries.
Step 5.) Working quickly, tip the mixture into the prepared tin. Use a spatula to gently flatten the top, (it does not have to be completely smooth).
Step 6.) Pop the tin into the fridge for 3-4 hours until firm. Cut the fudge into blocks and store in an airtight container in the fridge. The fudge will firm up even further overnight.