Wednesday, April 22, 2015

the simple five: chocolate hazelnut fudge

Fudge is one of those sweet pleasures that taste rich and satisfies a sweet tooth with just a small piece.
The sweetness of fudge often evokes that feeling of homemade treats.  I love visiting countryside bakeries that serve homemade treats. One can often find handmade fudge wrapped in saran wrap with a handwritten price sticker, offered on the counter.

When I make fudge, I like to switch the ingredients, using a variety of flavours (like maple or butterscotch).  However, this chocolate hazelnut recipe is a favourite in our house.


Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge
(makes approximately 12-16 servings).

  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate (you can use baker's chocolate or chocolate chips).
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter (optional, if you prefer a buttery fudge).
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (150ml)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (organic, homemade or Nutella)
  • Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper leaving about an inch hangover on each side.
  • Chop chocolate (or use chips) in a microwave safe bowl with the butter (if using) and the condensed milk.
  • Microwave on high, stirring every minute, for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove and stir in vanilla and chocolate hazelnut spread
  • Spread in the lined baking pan.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. 
  • Using the parchment paper overhang, lift the fudge out of the pan, and cut into squares.

Friday, April 10, 2015

the simple five : chocolate toffee crunch

Every year, I seem to miscalculate how much chocolate I should purchase for Easter.  My eyes are larger than my stomach (and wallet), and with other chocolates collected from the Easter Bunny, family and friends, our house can rival Willy Wonka.  I'm not complaining though.  It just gives me a reason to consume use up whatever is in the house.

Here's a quick way to use up some of that overabundance of chocolate.  This recipe is a variation of the "crunch" bars found on the back of those "Baker's chocolate" packages, using ingredients I already have in my cupboards...including all the sweetness left behind by the Easter Bunny.


Chocolate Toffee Crunch
(makes approximately 12 small servings)

  • 35  whole wheat saltine crackers
  • ½ cup  butter
  • ½  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup of chocolate, chopped in small pieces.  (I used 3/4 cup milk chocolate left over from Easter and ¼ cup white can use chocolate chips).
  • 1 cup of a variety of the "crunchy topping".  (You can use crushed candy, nuts or even dried fruit. I used ¼  cup finely chopped toffee bits like Hershey's Skor Chipits, found in the baking section and 3/4  cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped).
  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  • Place the crackers in single layer on a parchment covered baking sheet.
  • Heat butter and sugar in saucepan on medium-high heat until butter is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring occasionally. 
  • Bring to boil; cook 2 min. (Do not stir.) 
  • Spread onto crackers.
  • Bake for approximately 7 min. or until topping is golden brown. 
  • Immediately sprinkle with the chocolate chips; let stand 5 min. or until melted.  
  • Using a spatula, spread the melted chocolate chips evenly over the crackers.  
  • Top with the white chocolate chips, and swirl onto into the chocolate to make a marble design.
  • While the chocolate is still soft, top with the crunchy stuff...toffee pieces and or peanuts.
  • Cool, then break into pieces.