Oh, fudge

Christmastime is here which means I stop being a psycho freak about what I eat but still try to maintain a somewhat healthy lifestyle.

Usually in the mornings you can catch me measuring out the amount of milk I add to my cereal or carefully pouring agave syrup into a measuring spoon to top on my whole grain waffle. I know this seems freakish, it probably is.  I love it.

I actually find tracking what I’m eating and measuring fun.  I eat real food and don’t cut anything out I’m just weird about the AMOUNT I’m stuffing into my mouth. And it’s simply because if you put an entire plate of something in front of me, I WILL eat it.

I am also very careful about doing this in public. This measuring business is generally a creepy habit I do in the privacy of my own  home. If I’m your dinner guest, not to worry, I won’t be asking for a measuring spoon alongside my plate.

Bethenny Frankel has this theory that she lives by: “Taste everything, eat nothing”. Basically, don’t deprive yourself and have small amounts of whatever it is you’re craving.

Sound theory, right?

Well for me, it’s a load of crap. (Sorry, Bethenny. I still love your face.)

If I’m tasting it, and it contains chocolate, I’m eating the WHOLE thing. I have no will power and I fully embrace my weakness.

There is no having five M&Ms and saving the rest for later or only eating half a cookie. It just does not happen for me. I also think there must be something wrong with someone who can actually stop themselves when they’re halfway through a warm, gooey, chocolate chip cookie…. that is not normal!

And if you can do this, please share your secret! I’ve tried, really I have. I have wrapped that half of my dessert inside a napkin and stowed it away in my refrigerator only to go back to that napkin-wrapped treat eight times for “just one more bite” until the damn thing is gone.

As a general rule of thumb,  I leave these treats for special occasions.

But with Christmastime and all the treats waving their sugary goodness in my face, I pretty much consider sugar an honorary food group this month.   I know this is not healthful, but it just happens. I deal with it.

So the other day, I ate fudge for breakfast.

I was testing out fudge recipes for a dessert platter I want to make for Christmas Eve and thought I better get started early on trying out different recipes. Well, no need for me to test any further. I found this recipe from Giada  and made a couple tweaks to it.

The fudge is incredibly rich and smooth. I left out the cinnamon, added chopped walnut and sprinkled sea salt on top. Holy decadence!

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound (about 2 cups) bittersweet (60 percent cacao) chocolate chips (recommended: Ghiradelli) see Cook’s Note
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature
  • Kosher or flake salt, optional

Directions

Butter the bottom and sides of an 8 by 8-inch baking pan. Line the pan with a sheet of parchment paper, about 14-inches long and 7-inches wide, allowing the excess to overhang the sides. Set aside

In a medium glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the condensed milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate chips and butter. Put the bowl on a saucepan of barely simmering water and mix until the chocolate chips have melted and the mixture is smooth, about 6 to 8 minutes (mixture will be thick). Using a spatula, scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with salt, if desired. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until firm.

Run a warm knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the fudge. Remove the fudge to a cutting board. Peel off the parchment paper and cut the fudge into 1-inch pieces. Store refrigerated in an airtight container or freeze.

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