August 9, 2012

Oh Fudge

Low-Sodium Chocolate Fudge

I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Maybe several. And it seems that when I started cutting down the salt, I grew a few more.

I love chocolate. I love sour candies. I even love those Necco Wafers which, no offense, taste like cardboard. But since they’re in the candy aisle, I’ll happily eat them if that’s all that is available. So that’s pretty much all I have to say about my affection for confections.

In terms of fudge, though, I have a few more things I’d like to talk about.

First, I’ve never made it before. Second, I don’t own a candy thermometer. And third, I totally nailed this on my first try. Which means, I get to now pass this low-sodium fudge recipe on to you.

Before we dive into a boiling pot of chocolate, though, let’s quickly discuss why fudge lands on the high-sodium suspect list. Milk, evaporated milk, and corn syrup all typically appear in fudge recipes. And they all also happen to be high in sodium.

But for my version above, I simply searched for a non corn syrup recipe (which I found on food52.com) and replaced the dairy with canned coconut milk. I also mixed in some marshmallows. And then, I was unusually patient as I let the mixture come to heat, because patience is key in baking and confection making. And since I couldn’t just settle with a pan of rich velvety chocolate, I decided to top it all off with some low-s0dium rice crispy treats and candy covered sunflower seeds. Which was a great decision.

Everything gets smushed down onto a parchment lined baking sheet and thrown into the fridge to harden. And once the fudge is firm, you simply start cutting it up into bite-sized pieces.

Then clean up the extra bits and pieces. With your fingers and mouth.

And then you give it to someone you love.

Fudge on.

LOW-SODIUM SIMPLE FUDGE

inspired by Test Kitchen Fudge from food52.com

makes 36 small pieces

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces best quality unsweetened chocolate
  • 3/4 cups canned coconut milk
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions:

Cover an 8X4 inch pan with parchment paper. I love parchment paper.

Then, in a heavy saucepan, combine the chocolate and coconut milk. Place it over very low heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is smooth and well blended.

Add the sugar and continue stirring over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to boil. Then, stop stirring (it’s scary, but trust) and continue to boil over medium heat until the chocolate thickens and begins to hold shape. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes. And you’ll know you’re done when you can drop a small amount of the chocolate into a bowl of cold water and you can roll it into a soft ball. Or, if you have a candy thermometer, the chocolate’s ready when it reaches 234F.

Finally, remove the chocolate mixture from heat and add the butter and vanilla. Do not stir (again, weird, but trust). Cool until it is lukewarm (110F). And then stir and beat until the mixture begins to lose its gloss and starts to hold its shape. This is also where you can add marshmallows, orange zest, or nuts if you want to give the fudge some extra flavor and texture.

Then, pour it immediately onto that parchment-lined pan and use the back of your wooden spoon to flatten it out. Place it in the refrigerator to chill. If you do decide to make the rice crispy treats, pour them on top of the cooled fudge and smush down with a wooden spoon. Place everything back into the refrigerator to chill and cut when it’s firm.

+ Sodium Count: Practically sodium-free

Stacie August 9, 2012 at 11:33 am

Oooooooooo come to momma, I think my eyes fell out of my head, lol.

Ellen Lehn August 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm

sorry—you are very talented and I usually love your recipes, but this …. Way too sweet and unhealthy.

jessg23 August 10, 2012 at 9:46 am

Thanks for the kind words, Ellen. And you know what, you’re totally right! It’s a super sweet recipe and definitely less healthy than kale. And that’s why it’s all about balance and not making these fudge bars for breakfast lunch and dinner. Or eating the whole batch yourself. And, of course, if this recipe is out of your food safety zone, then please skip it and have some watermelon or some of Nature’s other candies instead!

Susan August 9, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Sounds good! Looks good too! Do you use the unsweetened canned coconut milk that is often used in Thai recipes? Or is it the canned sweetened coconut milk used in drinks?

jessg23 August 10, 2012 at 9:43 am

Great question, Susan. I used the unsweetened canned coconut milk that you use for Thai recipes!

Dennis Blair August 10, 2012 at 4:48 am

It is amazing I was searching for this recipe and have finally found it and will now try it at home. Thanks for sharing my kids would love it.

Sophie August 13, 2012 at 1:25 am

My mouth was watering just reading this recipe and the pics are good enough to eat. I’ll be trying this one out as soon as I get the ingredients, looks like I’ll be recreating my childhood with this 🙂

Bev G. August 13, 2012 at 1:29 am

Just an FYI, ALAGA light corn syrup has zero sodium. If it’s not available at your grocery, it’s available by the case online at alagasyrup.com . Also, are you using unsalted sweet cream butter in your recipe? Thanks!

CC August 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Always enjoy reading your blog entries, Jess! You have a way with words AND with food! I can’t wait to try this recipe!!

Trudy Holtz August 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm

This looks fabulous! I have been looking to a good fudge made without milk. So hard to do! I can’t wait to try it.

Sharon September 1, 2012 at 3:09 pm

My info is that chocolate is a no-no. Why is that and why is your chocolate okay?

jessg23 September 12, 2012 at 9:21 am

For those on a kidney-friendly diet (and specifically, watching potassium intake) chocolate may be a no-no! But for those on a low-sodium diet (with no potassium restrictions) chocolate may be a yes-yes. So make sure to check with your doctor and/or dietitian to know what ingredients are healthy for your needs and your body!

Richelle November 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Wondering about using this recipe for Christmas, any ideas on how to make it a little more holiday looking. I thought maybe some peppermint pieces. I think my father in law would love it.

jessg23 December 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I think that is a FABULOUS idea. Or you could even sprinkle cinnamon into the chocolate! Go for it and let us know how it goes!

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