Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Easy Dark Chocolate Fudge

This fudge is unbelievably easy to make. Sometimes people are intimidated by making fudge (myself included), but I promise this is easy. No candy thermometer or special tricks needed.  This is as simple as mixing sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, espresso powder, chocolate, and butter together. The espresso powder is only added to bring out the rich chocolate flavor, but you won't taste it at all. The end result is a perfectly smooth, decadent, dark chocolate fudge that is sure to impress. This is a perfect after dinner treat, especially after a heavy meal when you just need a little sweet finish. 

Easy Dark Chocolate Fudge
Servings: makes enough for an 8 x 8 dish

1 - 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
1 lb. (~ 2 1/2 cups) bittersweet chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet cocoa
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1/2 inch cubes 
Unsalted butter, for greasing the dish

Butter the bottom and sides of an 8 x 8 baking dish. Trim a piece of parchment paper so that it will line the bottom and two sides of the baking dish with some overhang. Place the parchment paper in the dish and smooth out any wrinkles. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring about 1 inch of water to a low boil. In a medium heat-proof bowl, mix the condensed milk, vanilla, and espresso powder together. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan, creating a double boiler, and add the chocolate and butter. 

Stir continuously (do not let the chocolate sit or it will burn) until a smooth mixture forms and all of the chocolate has melted. The fudge will be very thick. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and immediately smooth the top with a spatula. 

Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours or until set. To remove the fudge, slide a warm knife around the edges of the dish and lift up using the parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to cut 1 inch squares. Store the fudge, covered, in the refrigerator. Let the fudge sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving.

Source: adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

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