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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Healthy Halloween Fudge Bites

GLUTEN-FREE  |  DAIRY-FREE  | GRAIN-FREE


This fudge only has two ingredients -- 72% dark chocolate and coconut milk -- and two toppings -- dried peaches and raw walnuts. There's no added sugar, corn syrup, butter, cream, or sweetened condensed milk, so, eaten in moderation, it's a healthy treat. It's also easy to make and kids can help.

The directions below make a 6- by 8-inch dish full of fudge that you can cut it into squares of any size. Alternatively, you could drop spoonfuls of fudge into small paper-lined cups and scatter the peaches and walnuts on top. This makes them easier to handle and a bit less messy to eat.



Use the best quality coconut milk you can find. Avoid ones that are packaged as a beverage with added stabilizers, sweeteners, and preservatives. Look for whole coconut milk (not low fat) with just two ingredients: coconut extract (60%) and water. (I buy it frozen from Eastland or canned by AROY-D at the Bangkok Center Grocery on Mosco Street in New York City's Chinatown.)

This fudge needs to set up in the fridge, so plan to make it ahead. In a pinch, you could make it several hours in advance but it's better to let it set up in the fridge overnight. It keeps nicely at room temperature, for a week or more, as long as you keep it in a non-reactive air-tight container.

Ingredients:

1 pound 72% dark chocolate
1 cup coconut milk (full fat)
1/2 cup chopped unsweetened dried peaches (about 4 dried peach halves, chopped)
1/2 cup raw walnuts

Method:
  1. Line a 6- by 8-inch glass dish with parchment paper. Cut a piece approximately the size of the bottom plus 2 extra inches all around (10 inches by 12 inches). Cut a slit into each corner, then press it down and fit it into the corners so that it covers the bottom and sides, and trim anything that extends above the top of the dish.
  2. Prepare a saucepan filled with an inch of gently simmering water.
  3. Add the chocolate and coconut milk to a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Set it on top of the saucepan but do not allow the bottom of the bowl to come into contact with the simmering water. Adjust the heat to the lowest setting and allow it to melt slowly. Do not overheat the chocolate. Once it has just melted, turn off the heat and transfer the bowl to a heat-proof surface.
  4. Stir the chocolate and coconut milk until they become a smooth and homogenous mixture. Pour it into the dish lined with parchment paper. 
  5. Add the peaches and walnuts to a food processor and process until they are finely chopped but chunks are still identifiable. Scatter this mixture over the top of the fudge and gently press it down to help secure it in place. 
  6. Allow the fudge to cool completely to room temperature, then cover it tightly and transfer it to the fridge to set up for at least 2 hours.
  7. Once the fudge has set, take it out of the fridge and allow it to come back to room temperature. 
  8. To cut the fudge, hold the edges of the parchment paper and lift it out of the dish in one big block. Transfer it to a cutting board. Handle the fudge as little as possible as you cut it into small squares and serve it. 
  9. To store any uneaten fudge, use the parchment paper to lift it back into the glass dish. Cover it tightly and store it at room temperature in an air-tight container.

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