The Pantry: Hazelnut Mocha Fudge

Everyone has an Achilles’ heel.  My weakness is fudge.  I love it.  Love.  When I was a teenager, and we’d come visit Charleston, one of the stops was always the fudge shop on the market.  They had these giant bowls filled with molten chocolate and these marble slabs where they’d form the fudge.  And between the customers and those giant bowls were long glass cases with platters and platters of dozens of types of fudge: chocolate, chocolate walnut, mocha, peanut butter…you get the impression.  It was wall-to-wall good.

Today, scanning the pantry for something good to cook up, I spied a can of condensed milk and I thought, “Fudge!”  Then I saw the coffee granules and flavored creamer shoved in the back, and I thought, “Mocha fudge, baby!” Thus this tasty treat was born.

The fudge doesn’t get the hazelnut from actual nuts, just the coffee creamer.  I don’t usually keep hazelnuts on hand, so I added walnuts for the crunch.  The hazelnut and coffee tastes are fairly mild, so if you like a stronger flavor, I’d substitute espresso powder for the coffee granules and trade the walnuts for hazelnuts.

Hazelnut Mocha Fudge

Ingredients

2 tablespoons instant coffee granules

2 tablespoon hot fudge topping

1 tablespoon no-sugar hazelnut non-dairy creamer

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

11 ½ oz semi sweet chocolate chunks

1 can sweetened condensed milk

¼ cup walnuts, toasted (optional)

Directions

  1. Line the insides of an 8×8 baking dish with greased aluminum foil or plain old waxed paper.
  2. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the hot fudge topping, coffee granules, creamer, and extract.  Set aside.
  3. Pour chocolate chunks and condensed milk into a heavy sauce pan.  Melt chocolate over low heat, stirring to combine. When chocolate is completely melted and smooth, remove it from heat.  Stir in coffee mixture until fully combined.  Fold walnuts into mixture.
  4. Scrape fudge into baking dish.  Swirl a knife through the fudge to create ridges.  Cover and place in refrigerator for at least four hours. This fudge is also a very pliable one–almost gooey if you handle it too long.  It isn’t rock hard at all, so don’t be surprised by the long cooling time.  I even stuck it in the freezer to see if I could get it a bit harder, and it didn’t make a difference–I think it’s the hot fudge sauce that caused that.
  5. Remove from pan, and cut into 1 inch cubes with a sharp knife.  Store the fudge in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Yield: 56-64 pieces

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