On the fifth day of Christmas….I was inspired by my friend, the Velvet Moon Baker.
Tash is an amazing blogger who hails from Donegal (one of my favourite places in the world – if you’ve seen my Twitter picture lately, that’s me in a Donegal jersey with the Green M&M); I love reading her blog and seeing how she come up with such creative baked goods, even limited by what she can get in her small fishing village (and I will admit – she makes me feel incredible guilty when I moan about how hard it is to get things in London)
But when I was browsing, I found her recipe for gingerbread fudge. I liked the idea, and it inspired me to tweak a recipe from Love and Olive Oil for cookie dough fudge to come up with my own gingerbread fudge.
I decided to demonstrate both types of fudge (because I am a generous blogger!) and let you decide which would make a better holiday gift for your friends and family…
Velvet Moon Bakers Gingerbread Fudge (adapted from Velvet Moon Baker)
450g milk chocolate (or any chocolate, really, but milk is the favourite in my house)
1 tin of condensed milk (either the Carnation or Sainsburys own brand is fine)
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Easiest directions in the world: steam condensed milk and gradually add the milk chocolate bit by bit so that it melts. When about half of the chocolate is melted, add in the various spices (if you leave it any later, the chocolate becomes a bit difficult to stir)
Once the chocolate has completely melted (no lumps!), place a liner over a pan and pour the fudge mixture in to cool (just as a tip: I like to use my loaf pan, as I find it creates a shape perfect for squares of fudge). Let it sit for several hours before placing in the refrigerator overnight – never put warm fudge into the refrigerator.
When you finish, you can cut it up into small squares. The result? It’s a very chocolate-y gingerbread fudge. So when you try it, the main flavour you’ll taste will be chocolate, but there’s a nice spicy aftertaste that is very reminiscent of gingerbread. It’s probably quite similar to eat a piece of gingerbread which has been dipped in chocolate.
Yet this fudge from Love and Olive Oil is a bit more full-bodied – a bit more like munching on a piece of gingerbread itself.
Gingerbread Cookie Dough Fudge (adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook)
Cookie Dough Ingredients
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 molasses (or in the UK, black treacle)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon allspice (note that allspice can be hard to find – but it is not the same thing as mixed spice, as I used to believe)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup half and half (half milk, half cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 to 5 cups powdered sugar
Cream together butter, sugar and molasses in a mixing bowl. Mix in the various spices until it’s thoroughly mixed into a dry powder. It’s important to note that this will be very dry (more dry than most cookie dough), but that’s fine, as it’s going to be mixed into the fudge.
Combine the sugar, butter and half and half in a saucepan over low heat. Mix regularly while the butter melts, until the sugar is well combined.
Take it off the heat and allow cool for a minute. Then mix in the cookie dough. Start mixing in the icing sugar, one half a cup at a time. Keep mixing it in until the dough is very stiff and solid (so that it’s not liquid, although it will still be slightly oiled from the butter – basically, as Beardy Boyfriend said, until it’s just passed the point where your hand mixer would break down).
Again, at this point tip it into the lined pan. Let it cool for several hours and refrigerate overnight. Once cool, cut into small pieces.
So tell me, how do you like your fudge? Chocolate with a spicy aftertaste or do you want it more like a fresh piece of gingerbread? Let me know!