Fudge: Rocky Road White Chocolate With Lime

Almost everyone I know loves fudge and here is a newer version (perhaps) at least for me it is. It is going to take using a very good quality white chocolate to attain the best quality fudge.

 

  • 1 lb. white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts, toasted and chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 3/4  cup macadamia nuts, toasted, divided
  • 1 tbsp. finely grated lime zest

Oil a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and line with tightly fitted parchment paper, allowing it to overhang. Press paper into the corners to firmly seal the oil pan. Set aside.

Combine the chocolate and condensed milk in a heavy saucepan. Heat over low, stirring until the chocolate is almost all melted. Remove from the heat and continue stirring until all is melted and it is creamy.

Combine the toasted pistachios, cranberries and 1/2 cup of the toasted macadamia nuts and lime zest. Stir until well blended. Pour the chocolate over the nut mixture and fold together until thoroughly mixed.

Transfer to the prepared pan, spread the top with a off-set spatula. Sprinkle the remaining macadamia nuts over the top. Cover and refrigerate until set.

To serve: Cut with a sharp knife that has been sitting in very hot water. Dry the blade before cutting.

There won’t be any leftovers, I promise.

Hot And Spicy Snacks That Are Good For You

 

in case you didn’t notice, I spent Family Day with my handsome and ‘bread maker” yesterday. May I say the smells in this house were off the chart. It was also a day to connect with two of our five children (they’ll love that). All in all, a great day.

Now to get on to today’s work. I am sure we all have a bad/good habit at night while watching the television and that is to snack on all the wrong things. Try these…

 

Chili Lime Nuts

  • (yup, they are spicy)
  • 1 cup each of blanched raw peanuts, raw cashews and pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
  • finely grated zest of two limes
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. crushed red chilies
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • generous pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine all the nuts in a bowl. In a small saucepan combine the remaining ingredients and stir over medium heat until the sugar has melted. Drizzle this over the nuts and spread them out in a single layer. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Remove.

Leave on the pan..stop! don’t sample just yet.  Let them cool completely before putting into jars with a lid. Refrigerate and then at night (or lunch/breakfast)…okay- any time, put some in a small bowl and munch away!.

 

See how good I am to you?

Heather Cream Liqueur Fudge

Sure, I know….holiday times bring on different and sometimes exciting things to serve your guests. This is a dandy.

 

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter,
  • 1/2 cup evaported milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Heather Cream Liqueur**
  • `1  1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 2  1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup vanilla wafers, crushed
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate melting disks

 

Grease an 8 inch square pan with butter and line with cross-cross pieces of parchment paper, making sure to leave a 2 inch overhang on all sides. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine the butter, evaporated milk, sugars and salt over medium heat. Stir this constantly until it reaches the boil. Now attach a candy thermometer until it reads 234F or  112C. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the vanilla, liqueur and espresso powder. Tip this into your mixer with a paddle attachment and while on low, spoon in the icing sugar and vanilla wafers in three portions, mixing really well after each one.

Pour into prepared  pan and let cool to room temperature before covering with plastic wrap and placing in a refrigerator over night.

To serve, cut into one inch pieces and serve to your guests. There won’t be anything left….not even any crumbs.

 

** Heather Cream liqueur is a scotch whiskey and cream liqueur, sweetened with Heather honey.

Rum And Eggnog Fudge

I made my list up today for my Christmas Tray Give-aways, and I thought you might like to add this one as well.

 

  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cups evaporated milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 7 oz. marshmallow creme
  • 12 oz. white chocolate discs (they are so much smoother)
  • 1 tbsp. rye whiskey
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. rum (spiced is a good one here)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • freshly grated nutmeg and ground cinnamon for garnish

 

Grease a 9 inch baking dish with butter and line with two criss-cross pieces of parchment paper, making sure you have at least a 2 inch overhang on all sides. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, evaported milk and salt over medium heat, stirring constantly until it reaches the boil. Attach a candy thermometer and cook until it reaches 236F or 113C.

Remove from heat and quickly add the marshmallow creme and white chocolate, stirring vigorously until well combined and melted. Add the rum, whiskey, vanilla, pistachios and cherries, stirring well.

Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with nutmeg and cinnamon before chilling, uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.

Cut in bite-size pieces and serve on your prettiest tray. These are really enjoyed with a VSOP Brandy or a nice glass of wine.

Gin Fudge Topped With Shredded Lime

I am sure for some of you it is too early to think of Chrsitmas, BUT as we do our Christmas baking November 11, this is appropriate. Also, it will give you all the opportunity to pick and choose what you want to serve at your Open House, Christmas Celebrations, New Years….whatever.

This is an adult version of fudge so act accordingly.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus a little extra
  • 1  1/2 cup plus 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1  1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. Gin
  • 4 oz. chopped white chocolate
  • 3 tsp. finely grated lime zest

Grease an 8 inch baking dish with butter and line with criss cross pieces of parchment paper, overhanging by 1 inch on all sides.

In a large suacepan, melt the butter, add the sugar and whipping cream, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and it has come to the boil. Reduce the heat and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and reduce the heat to low.

Stir this until it reaches the temperature of 236F (113C). Remove from the heat and vigorously stir in the gin and white chocolate until the chocolate has melted and  is really smooth.

Pour into the prepared cake pan and now, sprinkle the lime zest over the entire surface. Cool down to room temperataure, uncovered.

Wrap with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight and when ready to serve, cut in small pieces and set out on your prettiest plate.

You are the best Hostess….ever!

 

Fudge That Is Smooth As Silk

What a fun way to fix that ‘sweet-tooth’ you all have but know that it is homemade with love, tastes fantastic and is easy to make. Give it a try. The flavours can be changed just by using the different coffee creamer flavourings out there. You know, the kind that you pour in, looks like cream but tastes like a fancy gourmet coffee.

 

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream (36% if you can)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp. butter pecan coffee creamer
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

In a large pot, combine the butter, sugars, syrup. Stir to mix and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat until the candy thermometer reaches 241 degrees.

Immediately remove from the heat and add the creamer, but DO NOT stir. Leave for 20 minutes to room temperature.

Butter a 9 inch square pan. Here is where the fun begins.

Fill the sink with 2 inches cold water and put the pan inside and beat with a wooden spoon until it begins to thicken. Add the pecans and continue beating until it thickens and begins to lose its shine.

When no longer shiny, transfer to the prepared pan and smooth the top down. You will have to work equickly or the sugar will begin to crystalize.

Do not cut the squares until it has rested for 2 hours at room temperature.

Enjoy.

Caramel Corn With A Difference

Okay, lots of television watching with the Olympics and then, of course, are the weekends. Well, a new treat is begging to be made. Here it is….

 

  • 12 cups of popped popcorn
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cups chopped pecans or pistachios
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp. orange juice
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a very large bowl mix together the popcorn, cranberries and nuts and set aside.

In a saucepan stir together the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup and cook until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Add the orange juice and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add the vanilla and baking soda (will fizz up) Now the fun begins.

Pour the liquid over the popcorn and stir to coat all the popcorn. Spread out onto a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Cool down and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

Pralines

Lesson #1 – these are pronounced ‘praw-leens’ and got their humble beginnings in Louisiana  ( Marshal Luplesis-Praslin,1598-1695) from his butler, who had a recipe for almonds coated in sugar, used as a digestive aid. Later, when Louisiana was settled by the French colonists, they changed to pecans.

There are many recipes for this confection and the Creoles  take great pains to find perfection. The recipes are well kept secrets and are handed down generation to generation.

 

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted pecans (pronounced pee-cons)*
  • 1 tsp. good quality vanilla

Combine all the ingredients and bring to the softball stage ( 238-240 degrees) stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.

Continue stirring until the mixture thickens (again – constantly stirring), becomes creamy and cloudy and the pecans stay suspended in the mixture. Spoon out on buttered waxed paper or parchment paper. When using waxed paper, be sure to have a newspaper underneath as the hot wax will transfer to whatever is underneath.

If you wish to make a praline sauce, simply add 1/2 cup of corn syrup to the mixture. You can change the flavour to chocolate, brandy, coffee, etc.)

This recipe will make 1-50 pralines, depending on size.

 

Just ask me…..they are quite the treat!

* our instructor said that pee-cans were something you needed in the middle of the night, so pronounce it correctly….please!  too funny.

 

Tasty Snacking Pecans

You just heard that unexpected company is coming over and all  your holiday baking is in the freezer. Fear not, oh kitchen diva,  grab a bag of pecans, some honey and away you go.

 

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup  sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground chipotle chiles
  • 2 cup pecan halves
  • coarse kosher salt
  • aniseed

Bring the honey, sugar and ground chiles to a boil in a large skillet, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Add the pecan halves and cook until the mixture thickens and darkens in colour (about 6 minutes). This will almost begin to smoke.

Turn out onto tin foil and with some salad forks, start to separate the nuts as quickly as you can. Lightly sprinkle with the salt and aniseed.

Cool completely. You will find that the coating becomes crisp and don’t start to sample. Remember, company is on their way.

YUMMY!

Fruit/Nut Chocolate Bark

I seem to be on a dark chocolate kick (who isn’t?)  and this is a yummy one as well. So, pour a coffee, start this and then…..and then….when done, indulge yourself as it was soooooo difficult to make. NOT!

 

  • 12 oz. darkest chocolate (not bitter), chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ground anise
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup salted pistachios, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger (my favourite stuff)
  • pinch fleur de sel

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Set aside.

In a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate until smooth. I always add a touch of warmed whipping cream with it so it will melt smoothly.

Remove from heat and add the one half of the cranberries, pistachios and ginger. Spread onto the cookie sheet and add the remaining fruit and nuts and ginger. press slightly to adhere. Sprinkle with the sel.

Chill completely for about 45-60 minutes. Break into pieces and if there is any left by the end of the day, it can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container between waxed paper for up to 4 months. You can start laughing now ‘cuz that won ‘t happen. Guaranteed.

Terrific Tantalizing Fudge

Sooooo simple, but sooooooo good. You can change the type of condensed milk and chocolate to change things up or give a variety. Makes a super good gift as well. This is what I did this time…..

 

  • 8 oz. Belgian milk chocolate (best quality)
  • 8 oz. Belgian dark chocolate (best quality)
  • 1 can of Dulce de Leche condensed milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

 

In a saucepan melt all the chocolate with the condensed milk,  using a rubber spatula to blend. When completely melted, stir in the chopped nuts.

Line a large loaf pan with plastic wrap and fill the pan with the mixture. Smooth the top with your rubber spatula and place in the refrigerator to cool down completely. When chilled, remove from the pan and cut in to squares (4 across for sure ). This way, it makes lots.

It is soooooo smooth and absolutely scrumptious. This absolutely melts in your mouth and makes you feel so “happy and glad to be alive”.

Change it up with white chocolate, regular condensed milk and pistachios or milk chocolate, chocolate condensed milk and orange or raspberry flavouring. The choice is yours. Make this and enjoy.

Kid Treats You Make

Forgive me, but in past years, I would see a recipe in a magazine while waiting in the Dr.’s office but, unlike many of you (you know who you are), I would ask the receptionist if I paid for the paper would she be able to copy it for me. Then into a box it would go for “later”.

This was eons before I even thought of doing this and  today I was looking through the box and here it is.

This saves  you tons of money and whining when shopping. This is better than candy and 100% more natural for them.

  • 4 cups of their favourite berry, pureed, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.

OR

  • 4 cups of chopped peaches, cherries, apricots (whatever they like)
  • 1/2 cup berry sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

 

Cook in a saucepan over medium heat for about one half hour, until nice and thick.

Strain through a fine sieve onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, tilting so there are no puddles and  thicker in some spots.

In an oven of 170 degrees bake until completely hydrated (2 1/2-3 hrs).

Cool for 10 minutes and then cut into 4  x 5 inch rectangles. Roll them up in parchment paper and store at room temperature for up to a month. If they last more than 5 minutes actually, I will be surprised.

They are soooooo good and what could be better. Homemade, no preservatives, and not processed in a plant somewhere.

Now, who said this was only for children……gotta run!