[Who wants a plate–I mean, a piece?]
So why a new recipe now (when it’s not even the holidays any longer)?
Well, for one thing, you can never have too much fudge. Just ask Maple Leaf Fudge in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, where it’s all fudge, all the time (and where I once consumed about 3 pounds of fudge in eight different flavors on a single trip to the town. (OK, maybe a slight exaggeration. Two pounds and 15 ounces).
It’s true, I think of myself as a fudge aficionado. And also a chocoholic. Two essential characteristics if you want to create the ultimate chocolate fudge.
But what happens if your diet also happens to be free of sugar, gluten, eggs and dairy? What then, smartypants?
Well, if that’s the case (and you’re me), you toil for hours in the kitchen creating batch after batch of sugar-free, dairy-free fudge, stirring until your arm is sore, taste-testing until your taste buds tingle with the sweetness of it all, cutting blocks of fudge experiments into bite-sized pieces so you can share with the HH, and basically eating fudge and nothing else for about a week.
(To be honest, I didn’t eat that much of it, even though I did produce about 14 batches in 5 days. I knew it would be waaaay too much cacao for me to consume in that amount of time, so I paced myself and ate only bite-sized pieces. Still enough to teeter on the edge of a fudge-induced sweets coma, though).
As someone who’s been eating fudge since I was a wee one, I knew exactly the correct aroma, taste, texture and appearance needed to reproduce a true fudge experience.
[Want your fudge more intensely chocolate? Just add the extra bit of cocoa, as above.]
Real fudge has a distinct creaminess, a specific density, and an intense sweet flavor that often cannot be matched with copycat “healthy” recipes (and definitely cannot be matched by those other two- and three-ingredient “fudge” recipes I’ve seen out there).
For an authentic fudge experience, you need something that reproduces the effects of the original sugar and cream in true fudge, baby!
In a classic fudge, you basically make a soft ball consisting of sugar, butter, cream and milk. Once cooked, you test the temperature until it’s just right, then beat like a crazy person with a wooden spoon.
Real fudge is a lot of work, and A LOT of not-so-good-for-you ingredients.
I’ve recreated the perfect texture and taste here, yet kept the process super simple. While it does involve partial cooking in a pot, it doesn’t require a candy thermometer or unhealthy ingredients (and there are only 5 main ingredients in the recipe).
So print out the recipe, grab your ingredients, and get going! What the fudge are you waiting for? (Groan. But the final product is worth it, I promise!).
[Perfect for gift-giving–or just eating straight up.]
Want to learn how to create MORE amazing sugar-free recipes–and how to convert your own recipes so that they are sugar-free? Sign up for the upcoming ALL THINGS SUGAR-FREE workshop!
You’ll learn about every kind of natural sugar alternative, which are healthier and which are the best to use, plus exactly HOW to use them in any kind of baked good or sweet treat you can think of. Click here to get on the list and be the first to find out when registration opens.
Ultimate Keto Fudge (dairy-free, sugar-free, grain-free, optionally nut-free)
If you enjoy fudge, you will be wild for this keto-friendly, candida-friendly version. You can adjust the cocoa as you wish for more or less chocolate intensity.
1/2 cup (120 ml) xylitol or other granular sweetener (see note)
1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened almond, cashew or other non dairy milk
Pinch fine sea salt
3/4 cup (180 ml) sugar free mini-sized chocolate chips (I used Lilys stevia-sweetened–if you use a regular sized chip, add about 2 Tbsp/ 30 ml more chips)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) unsweetened cocoa powder (the darker the better), up to 3 Tbsp (45 ml) for a more intensely chocolate flavor
1/3 cup (80 ml) lightly toasted walnut pieces or pecan pieces (or add more if desired), optional
Line an 8×8-inch (20 cm) square pan with parchment or use 2 layers of plastic wrap (this ensures it can be lifted out of the pan without sticking).
In a small, heavy pot, stir together the cashew butter, xylitol, milk and salt until well combined (if it looks a bit curdled at this point, that’s fine). I use a silicone spatula, which makes scraping the sides easier.
Stir constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture begins to bubble (it should be smooth and the xylitol dissolved by this point). Lower heat slightly and continue to stir for one minute. It should become very smooth, glossy, and a little bit thicker. Turn off heat.
Add the chocolate chips and stir until they are completely melted and combined well. The mixture will be dark and glossy. Stir in the cocoa until smooth, then add the nuts (if using).
Turn the fudge into the pan and smooth the top. Allow to cool uncovered in the refrigerator until very firm (at least 6 hours). Using the parchment or plastic wrap, pull the fudge out of the pan, peel off the paper, and place on a cutting board. Cut into 25 pieces. Store in the fridge.
May be frozen. Defrost in a covered container in the fridge overnight.
*Note: For sugar-free fudge, I’ve found xylitol to work best in this recipe. You can use a monk fruit-erythritol mix (such as Lakanto) or erythritol (Swerve), but they tend to create a fudge that crystallizes and become a bit “crunchy” the next day. Xylitol doesn’t do this.
If you eat sugar, you can use regular sugar or coconut sugar instead of the xylitol (note that coconut sugar isn’t as sweet as the other two, so you’ll need to adjust quantities).
Orange-Chocolate Fudge: add 1-2 tsp fresh orange zest and 1/4 tsp (1 ml) orange extract or a couple drops of orange essential oil before adding the cocoa.
Peppermint Fudge: add 1/2 tsp (1 ml) pure peppermint extract before adding the cocoa.
Coconut Fudge: stir in 1/3 cup (80 ml) lightly toasted shredded coconut instead of the nuts
Mocha Fudge: Add 1-2 tsp (5-10 ml) Dandy Blend or instant coffee to the nut butter, xylitol, milk and salt in the pot; proceed as above.
Suitable for: ACD All stages; refined sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, optionally nut free, yeast-free, vegan, keto-friendly.
Disclosure: Links in this post may be affiliate links. If you choose to purchase using those links, at no cost to you, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.
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