Monday, May 10, 2010

Incursion into the Dangerous Land of Fudge

I've been to the Land of Fudge before. 

I've made classic fudge, and even Cookies n Cream fudge that turned out more like dulce de leche mixed with Oreos--not bad. Land of Fudge is a dangerous place, however. It actually gets increasingly dangerous as you cut your fudge into smaller squares. That's when you start thinking, "One or two squares can't hurt." And then you might be writing a thesis paper, or annoyed or particularly happy, or just watching television. Any activity becomes a sudden excuse for another square.

"They're so little, and I need one--it's not everyday I have to do the dishes." (Well, in fact, yes it is, but reach for that square anyway.)

You can try hiding the fudge in a closet, in a dark empty oven, or even under your bed: it just keeps calling your name. I'm not talking Ulysses and the sirens here. This is a much greater deal. I don't think Ulysses would ever be able to defeat Fudge. I'm certain he would go ahead, eat it all up, changing the fate of the world and culture as we know it.

I love fudge so much that I really could eat the whole pan, and feel a little sick afterwards. Chances are, though, I would feel just fine and want another bite. That's why my fudge-making is restricted to when I plan a party. Also, I know there are some serious fudge admirers out there, always game for heading into that Dangerous Land with me. 

I had memories of really good fudge bars from when I was younger, and asked Maman for the recipe. Turns out, the secret ingredient was one I hadn't yet encountered in my Fudge Incursions: almond extract. Trust me on this one: this is a fudge bar worth making. However, the recipe is for a 9x13 inch pan, and you really should stick to that. I didn't, and used a smaller pan. The shortbread was too thick and ended up being a tad crumbly and generally not as great as it would have been in its thinner version. With that said, I had no trouble gobbling these up--I'm no Ulysses, and this fudge certainly has powers no siren ever had.

You look lonely and your crust is too thick, but I'll still have you

In honor of Mother's Day--which was yesterday in the US I know, but I was on a very long and delayed flight, and it's not till May 30th in France--I thought I would post two versions of this recipe. The first, as e-mailed by the Mother in question, and another in 100% English. Enjoy, and Happy Mother's Month to everyone!

chocolate fudge bars:
Crust; 1/2 CUP GROUND ALMONDS, 1 CUP FLOUR, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teasp salt, 1 stick butter ( c est 8 TB = 110G ) 1 oeuf. Melange tout ça. cuire dans un moule 350 F 20 minutes. Fudge: 1 can sweetened condensed milk+2TB sugar+1/4 teas almond extract. Faire chauffer puis ajouter 12 oz semisweet chocolate et verser sur la pâte cuite et voilà! Bisou, maman

Chocolate Fudge Bars
makes a 9x13 inch pan

1/2 c. ground almonds
1 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 TS salt
1 stick butter
1 egg

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 TB sugar
1/4 TS almond extract
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F / 185 C.

Make crust: mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Press into a parchment paper-lined 9x13 inch pan, using the bottom of a measuring cup or your fingers to make crust compact.

Bake 20 minutes, until crust is golden.

Make fudge: over a double boiler, heat condensed milk, sugar and almond extract. Add chopped chocolate and mix until combined. 

Pour over crust and let cool at room temperature. Refrigerate and cut into squares before serving.

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Barbara said...

You are so funny, Lucie! The dangerous land of fudge indeed. I so agree with you. One tiny piece at a time doesn't seem like much, so I'll have another. And another....

Really like the idea of almond extract (which I love, by the way) mixed in with the chocolate. I've never made fudge in bar form before. Looks lovely, even with the too thick crust.

BTW: Your little won ton wrappers with goat cheese are adorable. Why have I never thought to use those in that way? I can think of so many things to put in those little cups!

ArchaeologyAnna said...

I love all of your posts! I am so obsessed with almonds and almond flavorings that I use them in almost every dessert! Great sounding recipe. Dangerous land of fudge is right, last time I tried to make fudge it went horribly wrong and had large crystals that formed in it!!

Paris Pastry said...

It is a dangerous land indeed! One that involves a lot of tooth ache!

Btw, I did end up buying almond flour in France. It was a bit cheaper there so I stocked up!

claudia said...

Fudge is good, but you are right, it IS dangerous!!

Cinnamon-Girl said...

I made fudge for the first time for Christmas this year and I just found a box of it in my closet - I hid from myself and forgot about it! This fudge looks so yummy and unique with the crust!

grace said...

a crusted fudge, eh? irresistible. i know we're all prone to exaggeration and whatnot, but i'm not lying when i say that i've eaten half a batch of fudge at one time. and yes, i did feel ill. and yes, i did eat a couple more pieces even after acknowledging that i felt ill. :)

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

Good gracious!! These are dangerous....good thing I like dangerous;)

Kerstin said...

These look amazing and I love the ground almonds in them - yum!

Mary said...

The fudge looks wonderful and I love the idea of using almond extract. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Lucie said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one who understands how dangerous fudge is... :) Also, glad to see so many of us are risk-takers in that field!

Ingrid said...

:) Honestly, I'd really would like one of the cupcakes in the background. I'm just not into chocolate. Yes, weird, I know. :)