Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year, A New Tradition, A New Fudge!

When I was a kid, I had a huge gaggle of relatives on both sides of the family. Holidays were insane - we'd show up at some relative's house and twenty-five people would be trying to kiss me! But eventually I'd struggle my way through all of the cheek-pinchers to a table decked out with glorious treats. The standout among these has always and forever been my Great Aunt Julie's rocky road.

Just imagine it - huge mounds of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, secreting chewy marshmallow and just the right amount of walnut. Are you dying of sugar overload yet? Well, Aunt Julie passed long ago, and with her went her holiday delights. Two decades later, though, not a winter passes when I don't think of that decadent treat.

This holiday season has been one where I've been trying to claim some traditions for my own household. After all, traditions have to start somewhere, don't they? And I realized that the time to bring back the joy of rocky road (vegan style!) was long past due. And so, here we have it: Melissa Bastian's Rocky Road Fudge!

Rocky Road Fudge

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of chocolate, coarsely chopped then measured
  • 2 cups (yes really, two cups) of powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/8 cup "milk" (I use Almond Breeze, but use whatever floats your boat - soy, rice, hemp, whatev)
  • 1/8 cup rum
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup marshmallows, quartered then measured
  • 1 and 1/2 cups walnuts, measured then roughly chopped
Steps:
  • Melt your chocolate. You can use a double boiler for this, but I've actually found that it isn't necessary. It's much more helpful to have a nonstick pot! Stir constantly, and remove from heat as soon as you only have a few little lumps yet. You want to heat your chocolate as little as possible, because you have to let it return to room temperature before using it. How does it stay liquid when it started out solid? Magic.
  • Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. I swear, this is why parchment exists, and I love it.
  • Chop your walnuts - how big or small depends on how you like it.
  • Quarter your marshmallows. I've used Dandies for this, but I feel that Sweet and Sara's would be wonderful as well - just a little pricey maybe. Marshmallows are very sticky when you cut them open! I find it helpful to use some powdered sugar on the chopping board and on my hands to coat the newly exposed sides, so that the marshmallows don't stick to the board, each other, me... (Of course, if you can get ahold of the mini Dandies, no chopping is necessary!)
  • In a large bowl, whisk together coconut milk, other milk, rum, extract, and powdered sugar. (If your powdered sugar has little sugar rocks in it, run it through a sieve or sifter first.) Mix in your marshmallows and walnuts. (This is about when I switch from a whisk to a spatula. Walnuts + whisk = baagghhh.)
  • Stir in your ROOM TEMPERATURE chocolate. Seriously people. It cannot be hot... unless of course you want to make fudge soup.
  • Pour/scoop the mixture into your prepared pan, and use a spatula to spread it not quite to the edges.
  • Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, until completely firm. Then break into chunks or cut up, display nicely on a plate, and watch your loved ones go wild.
Fudgy.

Some additional notes...

*I like to use three 1 oz. squares of semi-sweet and six of unsweetened - plenty of sugar is added later!
*If you have bought a normal size can of coconut milk, this recipe is only going to use about a third of it. You may want to think about creative ways to use the rest - coconut milk goes bad quickly once opened! Of course, you *could* always make a triple batch...
*The rum here is optional - you can up the milk to 1/4 cup and leave it out. But I like the tiny punch it gives, and I swear it doesn't leave the fudge tasting very rummy. Conversely, you can do a full quarter cup and leave the milk out entirely!
*Eternal thanks to Celine of Have Cake, Will Travel, whose whiskey peanut fudge recipe started me on all of my crazy fudgy journeys.

Happy New Year everyone! May only your dessert be a rocky road!

8 comments:

celine said...

sweet! now, to order a bag of dandies.

VeganCraftastic said...

Yum, want!

My Vegan World said...

I wish we could get Dandies in the UK!

Heather said...

Sounds delish! Too bad my Sweet & Saras are nearly gone.. boo!

melissa bastian. said...

It came out pretty freakin amazing. I need to stop eating it! I've eating like a quarter pound of fudge today! Aah, what a way to begin the new year. :D

tressa said...

I used to eat marshmellows until I found out that they are made with gelatin which is from animals. Gelatine is 'derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones' But the receipe sounds lovely and I will adapt it adding in more nuts and raisins!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin

Regards
Theresa New Zealand

melissa bastian. said...

Hi Tressa! Oh, we know all about gelatin - blegh! Which is why I link to (and am very, very excited about) Dandies and Sweet & Sara marshmallows, two vegan marshmallow brands that are now on the market here on the U.S.

As for the raisins, have at it! :)

Pinkbubble said...

Sounds great! I used up my dandies for hot chocolate though :-(

Also, please make sure your chocolate is fair trade certified!

some info for anyone needing it:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1637122/chocolate_slavery_and_buying_fair_trade.html