Such naughtiness on the blog today! I was in two minds about sharing this recipe which was inspired by a treat by Tessa Kiros from her book (and one of my favourites on the cookbook shelf) Apples for Jam. You see, when I tried the recipe it did not come out quite the way I had expected. For one thing the picture in her book shows a toffee square that is much darker and (from what I can see) firmer than what I ended up with. I have made this recipe a few times and I tend to end up with more of a fudgy, crystalline mixture. Still, no complaints about that and the family gave these chocolate fudge nut pieces a thumbs up for blog-worthiness, so who am I to argue.
I decided to use a combination of pecan and almond nuts for the base, and topped the squares off with more chopped almonds for decoration and extra crunch. You will notice in the recipe below that there is a tip about what to do if the fudge mixture splits - this is Tessa's advice and it works very well.
The hardest part about this recipe is waiting for it to set! Not to mentioning limiting yourself to one or two pieces at a time. Pure indulgence this is!
CHOCOLATE FUDGE NUT PIECES
Makes approximately 25 pieces
100g raw almonds, roughly chopped
70g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
250g castor sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
Step 1.) Grease a 20cm square brownie pan. Line with baking paper, allowing the paper to hang over the sides to make lifting out easier.
Step 2.) Set aside 25g of the chopped raw almonds for sprinkling at the end. Mix the remaining almonds with the chopped pecan nuts. Pour them into the prepared tin and pat into an even, single layer.
Step 3.) Place the butter, castor sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a saucepan. Stir over a low heat to melt the butter. Allow to boil gently while whisking continuously for 10-15 minutes until thick and lightly golden.
TIP: if the mixture gets too thick or splits take it off the heat immediately. Add 1 tablespoon of hot water and whisk vigorously until the mixture comes together. Return to the heat and continue.
Step 4.) Pour the hot fudge mixture straight onto the nuts and gently spread to cover them completely. Melt the dark chocolate and pour over the hot fudge. Sprinkle the chopped almonds that you set aside earlier over the melted chocolate.
Step 5.) This is the hardest step! Allow the fudge and melted chocolate to cool completely. (If it is a very hot day you can always pop the tray in the fridge to speed up the process.) Once cool and the chocolate and fudge have set, cut or break the slab into pieces.