Chocolate reins supreme. And one of the best ways to eat it is in the form of fudge. Wait until you see the recipe Ann has for us today. And she's a mystery author. Her series looks amazing, too. But first, a wicked delicious chocolate extravaganza!
Chocolate’s irresistibility definitely puts it in the “wicked” camp for me! And fudge—the creamy, rich, over-the-top homemade variety that melts in your mouth—is top of my list.
If you feel the same way, then this recipe for fast fudge (made in the microwave, no less) is for you.
What makes it doubly amazing is its simple ingredients, the non-fussy instructions (no candy thermometers, double boilers, etc.), and the speed with which one can make a batch.
Alas, I cannot claim credit for the basics of this recipe… I found it loooong ago in a now-tattered and splattered copy of the Sunset Microwave Cookbook, and tinkered from there.
1 box (1 lb.) powered sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
½ cup (1/4 lb.) cold butter
¼ cup half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla (ßor almond or orange or peppermint extract, depending on what calls to you!)
¾ cup coarsely chopped nuts (ßoptional!)
Some butter or coconut oil for coating the pan
Tools of the Trade
8-inch square baking dish
2-quart glass mixing bowl and microwave-safe lid
Wooden mixing spoon
Line the square baking dish with aluminum foil (I’ve heard other folks use plastic wrap. But plastic wrap and hot, melted chocolate?? Nuuuuuhhhh, don’t go there...). Coat the foil with butter or coconut oil. Set the square dish aside, and turn your attention to the glass bowl...
Dump the entire box of sugar into the bowl. (You can sift it in, if the possibility of having little unmixed sugar bits in the final result offends your sensibilities).
Add the cocoa.
Mix chocolate-sugar with your spoon.
Cut the butter into smallish cubes, scatter over the chocolate-sugar mixture. Pour in the half and half and your choice of extract.
Grab that spoon again and mix it up. (Don’t worry if it’s not “well mixed.” It’s all going to be blasted in the microwave anyway.)
Cover the bowl with a lid or a microwave-safe plate, if you don’t have a proper lid at hand.
Rev your (microwave) engine and get ready to roll…
Put that covered glass bowl of chocolate goodness into your microwave oven and nuke on “high” for two-and-a-half minutes.
Pull out the bowl, grab your whisk, and whisk the contents vigorously until the butter melts. Continue to whisk until the gloss begins to fade.
If you choose to add nuts, mix them in now. (Or you can wait and press them into the top when you’re done.)
Then—quick! quick!—take your fudge and “pour” (I use that word advisedly… I usually have to scrape it out with a spatula) it into the square baking dish. Using the spatula (or the back of a spoon) spread the fudge to fill the pan.
Very important step, not to be skipped à With the spatula or spoon, scrape the leavings out of the mixing bowl and devour. Call it taste-testing, if you need to justify it to the drooling hordes in your household. But the truth is, you did the work, you reap the rewards!
Refrigerate, uncovered, for an hour or two, if you can wait that long. (I dare you!)
Cut into pieces. Take a few choice pieces for yourself and refrigerate the rest.
Return to your reading/writing with truly wicked fudge in hand.
Ann Parker (website www.annparker.net) writes the award-winning Silver Rush historical mystery series and a serious chocolate junkie. The newest book in her series is A Dying Note.