Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Irish Chocolate Fudge

This creamy fudge is kissed with Irish cream flavoured creamer for an alcohol free treat that is SO easy to make!

Irish Chocolate Fudge

As a redhead, a lot of people assume that I'm of mainly Irish stock. True, I love me some Celtic music (especially from home-grown Irish Canadian groups), potatoes, cabbage, Bailey's and Guinness, but based on what we can find out about my ethnic background, there may be a speck or two of Irish blood in my past but not much more. Granted, my entire maternal grandmother's past is a mystery (she was adopted as an infant) and she does have the impish charm and humour of a leprechaun (to say nothing of her height), so there might be something there. My cousin (same side) and I are the only two gingers in the family as well, so maybe we're the Irish luck shining through.

Pureblood Irish or not, I do have a taste for both Bailey's and Guinness, having discovered both at a relatively young age. As a child and teenager, Bailey's was definitely my addition of choice to lackluster hot chocolate mix or instant coffee, and I still love Irish cream flavoured brews today. The combination of the warming, creamy liqueur and chocolate was a match made in Heaven, and while I can't drink alcohol any more, I have no problems cooking it into treats with others.

Not really being "into" the whole St. Patrick's Day thing (it is kind of boring when you can't drink and want to sleep at 10PM) I put off making this fudge for the second time around until later this week. Originally, I whipped up a pan of this candy for the holidays, and it was met with such acclaim I had to make it again. Oddly enough, while there is definitely an Irish cream nuance to the bittersweet chocolate base, there's no actual alcohol in the recipe. My secret lies in Bailey’s Coffee Creamer, which tastes almost as good as it's alcoholic cousin and definitely remains more stable in baking and candy-making, since there's no volatile alcohol to burn off. The subtle sweetness and "pseudo-kick" of the creamer, along with the rich and slight tannic nature of the chocolate offset the super-sweet marshmallow base - it was the first time that I had ever worked with a melted marshmallow base for fudge, and I can say I would only do it again provided I was working with a high-cocoa chocolate - the mixture would be far too saccharine otherwise.

Since I abhor trying to fit parchment properly into a loaf pan, I relied on my tried-and-true silicone model (which I only ever use for candy making). It didn't let me down - the fudge popped out cleanly once set, and with a hot knife clean slices were easy (unlike the photos, which show my previous attempts with room-temperature blades). Wrapped in parchment, then foil, slices last a good long while in the fridge, but I can also vouch for them chopped up into small cubes and frozen for a weeknight ice cream topper.

Irish Chocolate Fudge

Did you celebrate St. Patty's Day? What did you do? 

P.S. I know my posting schedule has been a bit lackluster - to say the least. I'm sorry, schoolwork and "work work" are getting the best of me this semester! Here's to one more month left of this term!

Irish Chocolate Fudge
Makes one 9x5" pan, 32 pieces
3 tbsp butter
3 cups mini marshmallows (24 reg) - Note: I have not tried with vegan / kosher marshmallows. If you do and they work, let me know!
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup Bailey’s Coffee Creamer
12 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (I used a 60% cocoa)
  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on each of the long sides. Alternatiely, use a silicone loaf pan.
  2. In a large pot combine the butter, marshmallows, sugar,cocoa, salt and coffee creamer, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the marshmallows are melted, 8-10 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until they are completely melted.
  4. Pour the fudge into the pan and smooth the top.
  5. Let cool to room temperature, then keep in the fridge.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 103.9
Total Fat: 6.3 g
Cholesterol: 4.8 mg
Sodium: 22.8 mg
Total Carbs: 14.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g
Protein: 1.0 g