I used to work with Navy fighter pilots who taught me the concept of scanning. How do they see a “bad guy” up in the sky? They visually scan the sky but in a very meticulous, systematic manner. You “see” detail with the middle of your eye but any motion is best detected peripherally. So a proper scan will let you find things on the move or details that show something has changed.
Like the contents of a refrigerator.
Suzen opened our refrigerator door to get some milk. I held my breath. As her hand reached up and her head moved, would she notice anything? She grabbed the milk and pulled back. I was safe.
“What’s in that container with the dark stuff?” she asked me. I was not safe, but I was prepared.
“Oh, that? It’s chocolate ganache,” I admitted. “Here,” my hand swept from behind my back, “try this.” The “this” was a small square of fudge.
She looked at me, put the milk down, and said, “Let’s talk about it.” She walked towards the porch.
“Okay,” I said, happy to have cleared this hurdle
“Brian,” she added, “bring the fudge. Bring all the fudge.”
As promised, here is the Fabulous Fudge recipe from Choclatique: 150 Simply Elegant Desserts.
The concept in Choclatique is to make every recipe using some variety of pre-made chocolate ganache and the previous post here gave you the recipe for the Dark Chocolate Ganache used in this recipe.
Author Ed Engoron lives and works in Los Angeles but got his inspiration for this fudge at the Texas State Fair. He learned a secret from some fudge mavens: use a hand held electric mixer to beat the fudge into a super smooth state, beginning when it is hot off the stove and ending after smoothness has been achieved. During that beating, the temperature will drop rapidly. The achievement here will be a texture that is smooth without any of the graininess that comes from sugar crystals.
You may have used a mixer before in making fudge, or tried to arduously beat fudge with a wooden spoon. The innovation here is the hand held mixer, rather than a stand mixer, which really does a better job and lets you maneuver to attack all the volume.
Is this fudge fabulous? Yes, if Suzen wants to enjoy the whole batch, then, trust me, it’s really good. Now, my first batch was soft, and it definitely needed the time in the refrigerator that is called for. I think I did not beat it enough, but the only way to know is to make more. Thankfully, I now have Suzen’s permission. I hate sneaking around late at night when she is asleep and having to vent all those luscious chocolate smells out the house.
I have yet to try some variations, like adding in some marshmallow fluff. Suzen and I will let you know, or please tell us your opinion.
Yield: about 24 fudge squares
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup Dark Chocolate Ganache
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened
- condensed milk
- Dash of salt
- Optionally, ½ to 1 cup roasted chopped nuts [walnuts, pecans, almonds]
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Line the bottom and sides of an 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
In a heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate chips, Dark Chocolate Ganache, condensed milk, and salt over low heat. Stir with wooden spoon until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts, if using, and the vanilla.
Using a handheld electric mixer, beat the mixture for 5 minutes or until as smooth as possible. Spread the fudge in the prepared pan and refrigerate for at least two hours or until firm. You can eat this straight from the fridge but you will get more flavor if you let it warm just to room temperature.
Source: Choclatique by Ed Engoron
For some, Florida seems a weird place. For the rest of us, Florida is a weird place. Now the fourth largest state, Florida is a jumble of theme parks, trailer parks, strip malls, and highways.
But the “old” Florida, the Florida of 40 or 50 years ago was something else, mostly rural and quiet. Get off the interstate, and you can still find the old Florida. There are scenic byways that wind through modest hills and groves of all kinds of trees. The best place to stop? Any of those authentic old farm stands, clinging to the side of the road with a dirt parking lot and wooden walls that slope in all directions. There, you’ll be hit by the smell of citrus as soon as you leave your air-conditioned car. The smell, and the taste of any of the juice there, can be overpowering.
No matter how much you love your skis, your snowboard, your snow shoes, you can’t help standing in that parking lot and wondering, “What if?”
Next to the cash register in the farm stands, there is usually a shelf piled high with oblong cardboard boxes colored white or yellow. The boxes hold a tender goodie: coconut patties. You can buy them at the farm stand, at the airport on the way home [for $ more], or on Amazon [9 patties for $20 + shipping & handling].
I love the patties, I have not been to Florida in a while, and — I am not cheap — but I am being economical in these times. It’s funny, but these patties are exactly the sort of thing you always buy, but never make. It never crossed my mind to do-it-myself. A couple of nights ago, at 3AM I had a bad hour. I had monkey brains and I could almost taste a coconut patty in my mouth. Almost taste. Like some vision in a scene from Shakespeare, there I lay: wide awake, rehearsing a speech to tell off some jerk in my life, and watching that chocolate-covered patty dance before me.
What did I do? I got up. My doctor says don’t just lie there. I tried a glass of really good tequila [my doctor does not mention tequila but I do know how to improvise]. And, while sipping, I surfed the web. Since God likes coconut too, I found this recipe. Actually, I found several, all quite similar. One of them actually credits this recipe to Wolfgang Puck, so I don’t want to leave him out of my chain of thanks. The recipe below calls for a semi-sweet chocolate covering. If you wish, substitute milk chocolate [but then add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or shortening and blend into the melted chocolate before dipping the patties].
These are easy to make. Really easy. They are easy to eat. Really easy. They are good for you. Kinda good.
Florida Style Coconut Cream Patties
Servings: 15+ patties depending on size
- 1.25 cups powdered sugar
- ½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter, cubed
- 1 egg white
- 1.25 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate
Fill a medium saucepan with an inch of water and set it over medium heat to simmer.
In the bowl of a double boiler (or a bowl that fits snugly on top of your saucepan), combine the powdered sugar, butter, and egg white, and whisk together. Place the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water, and continue to heat and stir until the mixture is well-combined and very runny, about 5-10 minutes. [Note: you don’t want to cook that egg white, so do stop if the mixture is quite warm but still viscous].
Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the coconut and vanilla extract. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it is firm enough to scoop, about 2 hours — overnight is fine.
Once the candy has firmed up, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring after every minute.
Using a teaspoon, scoop small balls of the coconut mixture and flatten them into discs between your palms.
Using two forks or dipping tools, dip the discs in the chocolate and drag the bottom against the lip of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place the dipped patty on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining coconut candy and chocolate.
Place the dipped patties in the refrigerator to set the chocolate, about 20 minutes. Store coconut patties in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks [Note: I seriously doubt the lifetime of these things is beyond 1-2 days, not weeks, so just eat them!]
Source: About.com and Wolfgang Puck