Friday, December 16, 2005
Christmas Candy: Chocolate Fudge with Cherries
Everyone who has read Diane Mott Davidson's series of culinary mysteries (I've written about them before) might have noticed one specific food item that's often mentioned but never given the recipe for. I'm talking about Julian Teller's chocolate fudge with dried cherries. I nearly drool at the very thought of it, so it finally occurred to me that I could just try any old chocolate fudge recipe and add dried cheerries to it. More specifically, some tart dried cherries from Hadley's, that I've been "saving" for over a year now.
Well, this is one of the un-successful things I've tried lately. It didn't turn out like fudge at all - but oddly, that was a rather happy surprise. Funny thing is, I don't much like fudge. Too crumbly and sweet for me. I prefer chewy, or silky candy. Hm. But something about the combination just sounds so very alluring... So, good thing this particular experiment turned out more like toffee, dense and chewy. The process was simple - melt sugar and milk, add honey, chocolate and butter, let boil until soft ball stage, then place in a water bath until it has cooled down a little, add the cherries, and beat until it's pale and fluffy. Problem? Didn't sound like it. But in the real world, my fudge got rock hard after just a minute of cooling. And it was still hot, too. Beat that? You'd need a jackhammer. So I ended up re-melting it and simply poured it into a small pan to harden. It ain't pretty, but it's surprisingly edible.
Next time I get that chocolate-cherry urge, I think I'll go for a truffle instead. Stay tuned for more christmas candy posts - with recipes, this time!