Monday, December 23, 2013

Last-minute chocolate fudge

If you are an organised person, you are probably sitting around shelling peas, roasting chesnuts on an open fire or performing some other seasonally appropriate cliched Christmas task. If you are not an organised person, you might be still at work, still asleep or still stuck in a line of traffic or angry shoppers.

If you fall somewhere in the middle, this post is for you. I thought I was an organised person, but then last week I was struck down by an evil virus (I'll spare you the details) that made juggling parenting, work and the onset of Christmas near impossible. If it wasn't for the miracle of online shopping and the fact that we are not hosting a Christmas feast (though I am cooking most of it), I think I would have cancelled the whole thing.

Now mostly recovered - and most importantly, with a mostly recovered child and a husband who is being force-fed vitamin tablets so he doesn't succumb to whatever we had - I am actually looking forward to The Big Day. Sure, I have to cook a turkey and a chocolate roulade and a panettone and introduce some salads to a family who looks suspiciously at any vegetable that isn't a deep-fried potato, but that's all doable. Even more doable is this incredibly easy fudge, which doesn't require any boiling or beating and can be made in an instant. If you are leaving all your Christmas shopping until the lastest of last minutes, don't put yourself through it. Just make a double batch of this stuff and you'll be regarded as a bona fide Christmas miracle.


Chocolate Almond Fudge
This recipe came to me from Tiny Happy, a blog so beautiful and serene that setting aside five minutes to read it is like giving yourself a little Christmas present every day. You can see Melissa's most recent post about the fudge here. Here's how I made it - with my time-honoured trick of using the oven as a chocolate melting device, because everyone's oven is on at this time of year, isn't it?

400g good quality dark chocolate (eg 200g Whittaker's 50 per cent and 200g Whittaker's 72 per cent chocolate, broken into pieces
1 400g tin of condensed milk
150g roasted salted almonds (or other nuts of your choice, or tangy dried fruit)

Melt the chocolate and condensed milk together - my favourite way to do this is to put it in a large heatproof bowl in a low oven (about 150C) for about 10 minutes. You could also do this in a double-boiler, or in a microwave, but the oven method is low stress and energy-efficient (if the oven has been on for something else, obviously). While this is happening, line a brownie pan or similar (about 30 x 20cm) with baking paper. Scatter half the nuts on the bottom of the tin.
As soon as the chocolate has melted, or nearly melted, take it out of the oven/double boiler and stir well until it's well mixed. Pour this mixture into the prepared tin and press the remaining nuts on top.
Put it in the fridge to set - this will happen very quickly - then slice into small squares or bars. If you're giving it away, make sure to tell the recipients to store it in the fridge. If you're keeping it for yourself, retire to the sofa with the tin and a copy of Love, Actually or another Christmas weepie. You deserve it.

Merry Christmas! x

13 comments:

  1. is anyone that organised? Chaos reigns in my house and I love it that way... love your fudge, looks adorable... Merry Christmas to you and yours xxx

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  2. I love this quick and easy fudge and with the nuts it must be good for you x

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    1. Yes, the almonds make it practically a health food...

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  3. I like this awesome and quick fudge ! lovely,,,,

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  4. we have similar fudge about but with some peppermint and some caramel - I love the sound of adding salted almonds - I am feeling terribly disorganised - realised as I put sylvia to bed that I haven't wrapped a present yet - but I figure the important stuff gets done somehow

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  5. That's a wonderful fudge - perfect for a weepie such as the highlights of the English cricket test team tour of Australia. My Christmas preparations have been largely restricted to thinking 'that bit of duck will do'. I could either start planning now or have another glass of this very pleasant red wine and browse YouTube for a while. Guess which I'll choose. Have an excellent and healthy Christmas.

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    1. Somehow 'duck' and 'English cricket test' just go together, don't they? Happy New Year to you, Phil.

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  6. I've never put almonds in fudge, and after seeing this, I can't imagine why not! Sounds delightful!

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  7. hello and thank you for a super blog which I thoroughly enjoy reading. I just wanted to tell you that your Christmas salad was just fabulous. I loved the colours and anything with pomegranets makes me filled with joy so it was a perfect addition to our christmas table. Hope youre having a lovely holiday season Tamsin

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    1. Thank you! So glad you liked the salad - in the end I was so addled by Christmas that I forgot to make it for Christmas dinner! We did have a version a few days later though with some precious new broad beans in it, which was lovely. Happy New Year to you!

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  8. Hope all subsequent bugs were seen off and you had a serene Christmas in the end - or at least an enjoyable one. The fudge sounds delicious and I suspect the almonds would alleviate some of the tooth achingly sweetness.

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    1. Thank you - yes re the nuts, and the saltiness helps too. Though using dark choc means it's not too sweet, just right!

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Hello - thanks for stopping by. If this was real life I'd make you a cup of tea and open the biscuit tin, but in lieu of those things, let's have a chat anyway...

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