Baked Sunday Mornings: Chocolate Velvet Walnut Fudge

I have never understood the point of fudge. I don't see the appeal of a dense and sickeningly sweet slab of stuff that seems like a poor compromise between a candy bar and a baked good. To me, fudge is merely the functional equivalent of salt water taffy -- it's what your co-workers bring back to the office after they return from a vacation at the beach.

I've never made fudge before, and I never would -- except for the fact that a recipe for "Chocolate Velvet Walnut Fudge" is on the Baked Sunday Mornings schedule this week. The headnote seems to be directed to people who share my fudge world view: "Fudge needs a reboot... If you have given up a fudge, we hope that you will try ours and give it another whirl."

The fudge recipe calls for homemade marshmallow cream: hot sugar syrup (sugar, water, corn syrup) whipped into beaten egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar, with a touch of vanilla added. The homemade cream is a gorgeous mixture of shiny, billowing marshmallow clouds.

To make the fudge, you heat evaporated milk, marshmallow cream, butter, sugar, dark brown sugar, and salt to 230 degrees. This process took a long time for me (definitely longer than the 6-10 minutes specified in the recipe), and it was tedious because you have to keep stirring the mixture the entire time. Then you just dump in milk chocolate and dark chocolate, followed by walnuts and vanilla. I spread the mixture into a parchment-lined pan, but I couldn't get the top surface smooth, and plus, the mixture was pretty oily and I ended up blotting some of the oil with a paper towel. (The recipe notes that the fudge might look a "tiny bit oily" when you spread it into the pan, but the amount of oil oozing out from my fudge was more than a "tiny bit.")
When the fudge had set for about ten minutes, I used the tip of a spoon to mark little Xs all over the top of the fudge. I cut it into squares after it was completely cool, and the bottom of the fudge was oily; I wiped it off with a paper towel. The fudge didn't look great; the corners of the pieces were prone to breaking off.

I tried a piece of fudge after drizzling it with olive oil and sprinkling on some fleur de sel (this is supposed to cut the sweetness); I disliked both the viscous texture and the taste of the oil. But I am one of those idiosyncratic people who really dislikes the fruity flavor of extra virgin olive oil. I always hate it when a restaurant offers olive oil instead of butter as an accompaniment to bread. Without the oil, I thought the fudge tasted fine -- it's pretty sweet, but the large amount of walnuts adds a nice crunch. And the texture of the fudge itself is perfectly smooth.

As far as fudge goes, I thought this version wasn't bad. But it wasn't enough to make me a believer; I still consider fudge a lost cause.

Recipe: "Chocolate Velvet Walnut Fudge" from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.


Anonymous said…
The fudge looks great, even though it wasn't your favorite thing!
Perfect looking squares of fudge! I am not a fan of fudge, so I was surprised I liked this fudge