Thank Pete it’s Fudge Season(TM)* again! Fudge and heat don’t mix. Well, they do, but as long as the kitchen itself is cool. I dove right into a bottle of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey to kick off Fudge Season(TM)!
Take a moment to ponder the beauty of Jameson’s whiskey with chocolate. Because it’s straight-up beautiful. Every time I make this, I cannot resist having just one more piece, and wind up having about 12 pieces, and then the afternoon passes in a happy haze. No wonder I look forward to Fudge Season(TM)!
It’s funny that I love this recipe so much, because I hate whiskey. I never drink it. I thought whiskey and chocolate would be a waste of chocolate, but I was stunned by how delicious this flavour combination is. I think this recipe provides the perfect balance of whiskey and chocolate, which complement each other brilliantly – the chocolate tastes richer and more complex because of the whiskey, and the whiskey tastes much milder than it would otherwise because of the chocolate – and the silky smooth texture of the fudge allows the interplay of these flavours to take center stage. I am in awe of the velvety texture of this fudge every time I make it. And it’s so easy to make! No cooking of any kind, save for heating up chocolate and butter together. Now, some of the best fudge in the world is achieved via tortuous cooking, but this is that rarest of rarities – an exquisite fudge that requires no cooking! There’s a lot of stirring with a wooden spoon, but who doesn’t love wielding a giant piece of wood? And at the end of it all, the alcohol isn’t cooked out, so this fudge is a lot of fun.
That’s right: You can get hammered on this fudge. Keep that in mind when indulging in it. And use the good stuff! This isn’t like vanilla extract, where cheap booze will do. The character of the whiskey is highly evident in this recipe.
This fudge tends to set up quickly – within 10 to 15 minutes of pouring it into the dish to set – so I advise working quickly to pour and cut it, because after it sets, it gets a bit hard to cut. Having said that, I have had this fudge take a couple of hours to finish setting. I strongly suspect that the level of humidity in my kitchen affected the setting time. The fudge turned out perfectly either way, so no biggie if it takes a while to set. You can pop it into the refrigerator to speed this process along.
Smooth, rich, velvety, and tasting of luxurious naughtiness: If you’re looking for a boozy fudge for the holidays – and even if you’re not – this is the stuff.
*I felt like using capital letters to announce the start of such a wondrous season. And such a thing as Fudge Season must be trademarked. Don’tcha think? 😉
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Chocolate Whiskey Fudge
Yield: About 50 1″ pieces
32 oz. (2 lbs.) powdered sugar (no need to sift)
1 cup whiskey (I used Jameson’s Irish Whiskey)
12 oz. chocolate
1 TBS unsalted butter
1 cup chopped nuts or chopped chocolate, optional
Line a 9×13″ pan with parchment or wax paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl (4 quarts’ capacity or larger – I used an 8 quart bowl, though a 5 quart bowl would have sufficed nicely), stir together the powdered sugar and whisky with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat chocolate and butter on medium-low heat until melted and incorporated, stirring frequently to avoid the chocolate sticking to the bottom or burning. As soon as the mixture has melted completely, pour it into the whisky mixture and stir vigorously until completely incorporated. It will be a bit hard to stir, but persevere and it will all combine. Stir in nuts, if using.
Working quickly, pour fudge into prepared pan and smooth to the edges; the fudge will thicken enough to cut within 10 – 15 minutes. If the fudge refuses to be coaxed to the corners of the pan, cover the surface with plastic wrap and press and manipulate the fudge with your hands (separated from touching the fudge directly by the plastic wrap). If the fudge behaved and spread to the corners obediently, cover it with plastic wrap anyway and let it sit at room temperature until hard enough to cut, about 15 minutes. If the fudge takes a while to set, put in the refrigerator and check the fudge’s consistency every 15 minutes or so. It will set!
Once the fudge has set, immediately cut into 1″ squares (the fudge can be a bit hard to cut if left to sit too long).
Store in an airtight container at room temperature, separating layers of fudge with waxed paper so that they don’t stick together.
Source: Adapted from Food.com