As much as I enjoy making sweet treats, I've never been a fan of confections in the kitchen. Baking is all about precision but candy-making is obsessively more so because of the high importance placed on temperature. Whether you're turning sugar to caramel or tempering chocolate to a shiny sheen, a few degrees off the target can be the difference between success and a gooey mess.
I always welcome the addition of simple recipes to my collection and my recent purchase of The Best Of America's Test Kitchen: Best Recipes And Reviews 2008 contains one perfect example. This fudge recipes does not require any confectionary-specific skills...the ability to scale out the ingredients is already half way to success! To cut down on preparation time, I keep boxes of finely chopped chocolate in my pantry. When I need them for any recipes, it's only a simple matter of scoop and scale.
- 454g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 60g unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 115g walnut, coasely chopped
- Bring half a pot of water to simmer using a medium size pot. It will be used to set up a bain marie. Line a 8x8 square cake pan with parchment.
- In a medium mixing bowl (completely dry), mix together chocolates, baking soda, and salt. Pour in condensed milk and vanilla. Set the bowl over the pot of simmering water to melt the ingredients by the steam, stirring occasionally for even melting.
- Remove bowl from heat when the content is melted. Stir in chopped walnuts. Pour into prepared pan and smooth with an offset spatula.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Unmold the fudge to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces. Store in a cool place between sheets of parchment paper.