It’s Day 1 of Fudge Week! I’ve teamed up with the fabulous and incomparable Gayle from Pumpkin N’ Spice. We’re bringing you fudge today, Wednesday and Friday, just in time for you to make some fabulous food gifts this holiday season. Be sure to check out Gayle’s blog! She has this amazing peanut butter fudge going today!
I’m starting off the week with my all-time favorite fudge recipe. This one knocks my socks off every single time, and I make it only once a year. Otherwise, well, I’d never eat anything else.
The flavors in this fudge are incredibly complex and complementary. The process starts with caramelizing smoked almonds (I know!) in butter and brown sugar. By themselves, they’re dynamite. In fudge, I can only describe the effect as mind-blowing.
To really set off the smoky caramel of the almonds, I use Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips as the fudge base. This is not the kind of fudge a 2 year-old will go for, most of the time. I’ll do something lighter and more colorful later this week for that! But this fudge is the perfect dish to bring to a grown-up holiday party. Because the only thing better than eating this fudge is doing so with a glass of champagne in your other hand.
Other than caramelizing the almonds, which is a very easy process, the fudge base for this is made in the microwave. So not only is this an impressive recipe, but it also takes a lot less time than a dish of this caliber would ordinarily cost you. That means you have more time to eat fudge and watch sappy holiday movies. Who wants to stand over a stovetop with a candy thermometer? Not me. Never me!
It’s only the first day of Fudge Week, so there’s more holiday joy to come. Stay tuned for more fun from my bloggy friend Gayle and me, as well as a couple of ideas for how to wrap and present fudge as a gift. We’re here to serve!
Smoky Salted Almond Fudge
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
6 oz. can smoked almonds
12 oz. dark chocolate chips
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free)
sea salt, for garnish
- Line an 8 x 8 square pan with aluminum foil, letting the foil hang over the sides, and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium nonstick skillet, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and stir. When the mixture becomes bubbly, stir for one more minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the smoked almonds. Spread the hot almonds out on a big plate or piece of waxed paper to cool.
- Make the fudge. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips with the condensed milk for 2 minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth.
- Mix the caramelized almonds into the chocolate mixture and pour into the prepared pan, evening out the top. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Chill for 2 hours until firm. Remove from the refrigerator and let the fudge come to room temperature. Cut into small squares with a sharp knife and store in an airtight container.