Monday, 5 December 2011

Let's Make Christmas! Easy Chocolate Speculoos Fudge

Christmas is a bit of a foodie's dream.  There are so many foods and flavours specific to the season that can be enjoyed, it's practically licence to stuff oneself silly with mince pies and mulled wine because let's face it, it's pretty much frowned upon in every month other than December (with the possible exception of an early start in November - "I'm just getting into the holiday spirit!" and a festive food hangover in January - "Someone has to finish off all these reduced Christmas puddings we bought on Boxing Day." Every other month is frowned upon). 

I absolutely love making homemade Christmas gifts for people and Vanessa Kimbell of Prepped! fame has put together an amazing list of edible gifts from other food bloggers.  There's a huge variety there from pickles to sweets to boozy gifts, showing the full range of festive indulgences.  I was thrilled to read it as I've now got plenty of inspiration for foodie gifts for my pals.  I'm not the most eloquent person and so being able to take the time and effort to make something is important to me.  Hopefully it shows that I've tried to make a meaningful gift that they'll love and enjoy!

This is a really simple to make recipe for Chocolate Speculoos Fudge.  What is speculoos you may ask?  It is a deliciously spiced caramelised cinnamon biscuit that is popular on the continent but only seem to be available at Christmas in Britain and I always pick some up at the German markets on Princes Street in Edinburgh.  The market's one of my favourite things about Christmas - wandering around eating potato pancakes and bratwurst, buying sticks of marzipan, warming up with gluvine and watching the ice skaters.  With it's rich cinnamon spices I can't help but associate speculoos with the festive season and mixed with dark chocolate it's a winning combination.  I based this upon Nigella Lawson's fudge recipe and spices from The Boy Who Bakes speculoos blondie recipe.  If you happen to have speculoos biscuits too they are delicious broken up and mixed into the fudge, otherwise increase the amount of walnuts to 150g.

Chocolate Speculoos Fudge

350g dark chocolate, at least 70 per cent cocoa solids, chopped
1 x 397g condensed milk
30g butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cardamom pods
1/8 tsp ground coriander seeds
100g walnuts, chopped

150g speculoos biscuits, broken into pieces

1. Line a brownie pan or square tray with foil and grease lightly.
2. Place the chopped chocolate, condensed milk, butter, salt and spices into a heavy-based pan over a low heat and stir until melted and well combined.
3. Add the nuts and to the melted chocolate mixture and stir well.
4. Pour the mixture into the tray, smoothing the top with a wet palette knife.
5. Let the fudge cool, then refrigerate until set.
6. Cut into small pieces approximately 3cm x 2cm/1¼in x ¾in. 
7. Once cut, the fudge can be kept in the freezer - there's no need to thaw, just eat straight away.


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