Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dark Chocolate & Pecan Fudge with Elderberry Balsamic

Fudge is an ideal treat for the holiday season, and we are happy to say we have found a recipe which is ideal for home baking.  The inclusion of balsamic vinegar may sound odd at first, but the fruit becomes a back note to the dark chocolate.

We used our Elderberry White Balsamic for this recipe, but truth be told some of our ‘dark’ balsamic work just as well – some might even say better.  We liked the Elderberry here as it is more subtle, using our Raspberry, Blackberry or Dark Sweet Cherry would bring the fruit flavors more to the forefront.  So give it a try and let us know your result. 

This is an easy recipe which gives an outstanding result – rich, thick and not overly creamy.  The pecans give the texture needed, but other nuts, like walnuts, would also work.

  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 ¼  pound dark chocolate (five 4-ounce bars; we used 60% cacao)
  • 1/8 teaspoons salt
  • ½  teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 can or bottle (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup PastamorĂ© Elderberry White Balsamic Vinegar
Toast the pecan pieces in a dry skillet or toaster oven over very low heat.  Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Fill a medium sauce pan with an inch or two of water and bring to a slow boil.  Chop the bars of chocolate into small consistent bits – this helps the chocolate to melt evenly.  Place the chocolate bits in the top of a double boiler or in a medium stainless bowl that can be later placed on the pan of boiling water.

Sprinkle the salt and baking powder on the chocolate bits, and stir to distribute evenly.  Add the sweetened condensed milk and Elderberry Balsamic and stir thoroughly.

Reduce heat of boiling water so it is just simmering.  Place double boiler or bowl on top of pan.  Using a rubber spatula, stir the chocolate just until it’s almost fully melted, about 3-4 minutes.  Watch this very closely.  If the chocolate stays on the heat too long, it could separate, get greasy or grainy.

Remove the bowl from the heat before all of it is melted and continue to stir until chocolate is fully melted and smooth, about another 2 minutes.  Stir in toasted pecan pieces.

Transfer fudge to prepared baking dish spreading to the edges to make an even layer.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Use a sharp knife along edges and cut into squares.  Store the fudge in a cool place wrapped tightly in plastic or in a zipper-lock bag.

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