Wednesday, 26 December 2012

DIY: Last Minute Food Gift

Chocolate Nutty Fudge

I absolutely love Christmas and try to be as prepared as possible before the big day. Despite my big attempts at organisation I always seem to get caught out whether it be a gift from someone I wasn't expecting a gift from or a last minute invite over to a friends on New Years day.
I'm not sure how big a deal it is elsewhere but in Scotland no-one would ever show up at a house on New Years Day without a gift of some kind. So I decided this year to avoid the stress and made a big batch of Chocolate Nutty Fudge.

This recipe is so easy and quick to make that it's done and dusted within 30mins and doesn't take long to set in the fridge. The packaging afterwards is your choice- I opted for jam jars and used remnant fabric to decorate along with leftover ribbon from Christmas wrapping.

Chocolate Nutty Fudge Recipe

What you'll need...

370g Caster Sugar
170ml Evaporated Milk
20g Unsalted Butter
100g Mini White Marshmallows
250g Good Quality Dark Chocolate
100g Brazil Nuts (roughly chopped)

Square Baking Tray (20cm x 20cm) lined with greaseproof paper (extend paper over sides of baking tray for easy removal.
Medium-Large Saucepan to mix ingredients

1.  Put the sugar, evaporated milk and butter into the saucepan and heat on low until the sugar has dissolved. While this is going on break up the dark chocolate into small pieces.

2. Give the mixture a stir to make sure the sugar is dissolved completely. Now put the chocolate into the pan. Keep the heat low to ensure the chocolate is not over-cooked. A little tip I learned is that chocolate should be melted at low temperatures to ensure it remains shiny and full of flavour. Stir every couple of minutes until all of the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

3. While the chocolate is melting roughly chop up the brazil nuts. If you're unsure of how small they should be think about the size of your finished fudge pieces. I cut mine up quite small to fit into the jars so I had to cut the Brazil nuts to ensure there would be a sufficient ratio of chocolate to nut in every bite.

4. Stir in the marshmallows until they have melted into the mixture.

5. Take the saucepan off of the heat and stir in the brazil nuts. At this point the mixture will begin to be thicker and may be a little harder to stir. Transfer the mixture immediately to the baking tray and use a palette knife to smooth the top and spread the mixture evenly. If you don't have a palette knife, use the back of a spoon.

6. Leave to cool for ten minutes before transferring to the fridge for a couple of hours.

7. Once the mixture has hardened lift out of the baking tray and cut into pieces ready to box up.

Additional info...

1. The marshmallows offer a sweetness to the mixture because they are melted all the way through. They shouldn't be chewy in the same way as a Rocky Road cake. This means that the fudge is suitable for most tastes. However, if you would prefer a more sophisticated option then you can leave the marshmallows out so that the bitterness of the dark chocolate is more apparent.

2. Feel free to add cranberries or chopped up biscuit to the mix. There are so many possibilities- I'm sure you'll be bursting with ideas while you're making the first batch!

3. If you would like to decorate in a similar way to mine I bought the jars for around £5 from Lakeland, the tags are around £2 for 20 from WH Smith, the ribbon was £6 for 50 metres from Simply and the fabric is a remnant. Oh and you will need elastic bands to secure your fabric around the jar before disguising with the ribbon.