008: Chocolate and fudge

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So, I made things! Lots of things! People ask me a lot of it’s hard, but it’s really not. The chocolates are a bit fiddly (you need to fill the forms, tip it out, freeze it 5 minutes, then fill them, freeze them until the filling is solid, roughly 5-15 minutes depending, and then spoon some chocolate on top, and freeze it again — for a video on how to do it, check this post at How To Cook That), but the fudge is super easy! I’ve found recipes all over the place, and simplified and played with the ratios and things, so recipes of that will follow after the pictures.

(Note that these are all quickish! I always take a shortcut if I can, like using mint extract instead of fresh mint, ginger spice instead of fresh ginger, instant coffee, etc. That’s good enough for me.)

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My dad always wants nothing but some of my chocolate for Christmas so for his sake I go fancy and make a box from scratch. It’s just card stock thick paper (the above box is made from two  pieces of A4/letter sized papers, cut and folded into a box shape and covered in Christmas present paper. The text above just says the flavours:

Orange ~ Ginger ~ Raspberry ~ Caramel ~ Coffee
Mint ~ Gingerbread ~ Chai ~ Lemon/meringue
Peanut butter ~ Saffron

My basic chocolate filling recipe is based on several videos from How To Cook That, and also advice from my chocolate making friend Claudie:

Base filling recipe
4 tablespoons cream
50 grams of chocolate (if you want ganache you might want to double the chocolate, I like it slightly runny)
about 1/2 teaspoon of flavour (I used instant coffee and ginger spice this time)

Heat the cream in the microwave and take it out just before it boils over. Pour in flavouring. Let sit for a little bit. Add in chopped chocolate and stir. If it doesn’t melt properly, put it in the microwave again for a few seconds.

The orange and raspberry fillings were made slightly differently:

Orange filling (from How To Cook That)
1-2 oranges
50 grams chocolate

Squeeze the orange and add some orange peel into it as well. Cook on the stove for about 5 minutes, so it reduces a bit. Mix about 4 tablespoons of this with chocolate, stir until it melts.

Raspberry filling (my own)
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons of this raspberry sauce (I made half of that recipe and the amount was perfect)
50 grams white chocolate
50 grams dark chocolate

Heat the cream in the microwave, stir in the raspberry sauce and then the chocolate. I first used just white chocolate, but found it super sweet so I added some dark chocolate as well. (Just 25 grams, actually, but it came out super runny, so double that!)

Notes on this:

  1. You need to use tempered chocolate for the outside of the chocolates (this means it doesn’t melt in room temperature!), but regular chocolate is fine for the filling. Untempered is usually cheaper for better quality so if you want to temper it yourself (like this) you can! I’m lazy so I always buy tempered for the outside, but use nicer untempered chocolate for the fillings.
  2. You can use any flavour you can think of! The ones I’ve used previously and know work well are ginger spice, gingerbread spice, coffee, mint extract, lime (made like the orange above), lemon curd (no idea of recipe as I just used the leftovers from my mum’s special lemon meringue pie, but here’s an example), caramel sauce, and chopped hazelnuts, but you can do basically anything you want. How To Cook That has a ton of suggestions.

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Also, for chewy caramel? Followed the recipe on the bottom of this page exactly, and then dipped them in chocolate, and it turned out really well. Tasted basically like knäck, which is something I’ve made a million times because it’s a traditional Swedish Christmas candy.

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Now, for the fudge! I used the same base recipe here too and varied it with flavours, just like above. For a smallish, pretty thin batch (so if you want them normal size, maybe double it) this is what I use:

Base fudge recipe
50 ml condensed milk
100 grams chocolate (white for gingerbread spice, chai spice, lemon/meringue and half the saffron otherwise dark)
About 1 teaspoon of flavouring (gingerbread spice, chai, lemon extract, mint extract and so forth, for saffron I used one package which means half a gram in Sweden, idk how it is abroad)

Heat the milk, stir in the flavouring, add the chocolate, and you probably have to put it back on the stove/in the microwave briefly for the chocolate to melt properly.

Notes on this:

  1. Add topping while it’s hot so it sticks. For gingerbread I just dropped melted chocolate, for the mint I crushed a candy cane for half and put Christmas tree shaped sprinkles on the other. Lemon/meringue has no topping, but I crushed 3-4 meringues into the fudge instead. Chai has no topping because it looks almost exactly like the gingerbread spice.
  2. I made the chai and gingerbread spice myself though you can probably buy them (I was lazy and didn’t want to go to the store), recipes here and here. Those make a lot more than you need, btw.
  3. The saffron fudge is way too sweet with just white chocolate (in my opinion anyway!) so I just made another batch of dark chocolate fudge (no flavour) and spread on top. It looks great, and cuts the sweetness, but don’t put saffron in it because saffron + dark chocolate just tastes weird.
  4. Also, don’t cut it up while hot, you’ll make a mess! Put it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight first.
  5. Because of my small batches I only used two cans of condensed milk, each one 397 ml or 13.4 fl oz.
  6. YES, you can freeze this! I started making this in early November, or I would’ve gone freaking insane. December is too busy to make ten kinds of candy. Do not freeze the caramel, though. It’ll end up a sugary, gross mess.

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For the peanut butter fudge, I followed this recipe exactly (though I made half a batch because condensed milk is weirdly expensive here in Sweden), and it turned out great. Note that this fudge needs to be slightly looser so you can swirl in the peanut butter, but the recipe accounts for that.

This may be the longest post I’ve made so far. I’m not sorry about that.

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