10/24/08

spicy chocolate fudge w/ pecans

Something about chocolate and a bit of heat that when combined together just right sounds so good. There is a homemade candy shop in Chatham, MA that I went to a couple summers back that had spicy milk chocolate bark with pecans in it and some peanut butter. Good Charlotte it was so good! It wasn't that spicy, just enough heat & salt to really meld perfectly with the deep milk chocolate taste. Ever since that last bite of the spicy bark I've wanted to re-create it at home. As of lately I've been wanting to try my hand at fudge, and I am NOT a huge fudge eater. So why not add some heat to a good nutty batch of fudge? Seriously there are some really bad fudges out there that taste like a sugar block, ick. I'll definitely eat fudge if it has a nice butter to cream to salt to chocolate ratio, you know like a really good danish that has the perfect balance/ratio of cheese to fruit to crust. Another important point is a good fudge should have nuts in it, without a doubt. I mean what's the point of eating fudge without nuts in it to balance off the milk chocolate flavor? And I do like a good peanut butter fudge, but I have to really taste the peanut butter through the thick dense fudge in order to love it. My latest creation is nothing more than a kicked up creamy version of fudge; a smoother more creamier version of chocolate fudge with some added spicy pecans. Remember a few posts ago I told you of my love for those Sweet & Spicy Pecans from Trader Joe's and how I vowed to make something really cool with them? I did, I put them in the fudge, along with a pinch extra of heat.

This my friends, was so friggin good. I gave most of it away as I didn't want it sitting at home in my fridge staring at me to nibble on. You know how that goes. It all starts out with you going to the fridge, see the candy, the cake, the moist brownies or the buttery cookies sitting in their little tupperware container; you take a small piece out, walk away, eat it. Then you realize it tastes so good that you're just going to have one more piece: a small piece, and that's it. You take the piece back over to your desk or upstairs to your room, or back to whatever it was you were doing and eat it, realizing 'hey this is good'. And now, of course, you're craving more, and tell yourself 'one more piece and I won't have dessert tonight'. This seems rational to you at the time, so you go get another piece from the fridge, making sure to close the tupperware top all the way around as if this is going to help stop you from coming back again because the top is on tighter now. You walk back to whatever it was your were doing and by this time you've devoured the piece of goodness already. You instantly walk over to the fridge because you've already told yourself that you're not eating dessert so it's ok to go for one more little piece. you get to the fridge and take a bigger piece than last time and realize you shouldn't do it, put it back in the container and then it hits you 'I just won't have that much dinner and I will walk more tomorrow at the gym'. You go back to the fridge and get an even bigger piece....

Sound familiar? Yeah, that's why I send a lot of the goodies I make off to hubbys' work in Boston; they go on a field trip without me. (they had a blast on their field trip though!!)


spicy chocolate fudge w/ pecans

1 c. salted butter (2 sticks)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
2 lbs. of confectioners sugar
¾ cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
3 ts good quality vanilla extract
A pinch or two of cayenne pepper (add as much or as little as you like)
A good sized pinch of sea salt
1 ½ cup of sweet & spicy pecans* (I used 2 cups, I love a lot of nuts. Make sure to leave them whole, not chopped up)

In a separate bowl sift together powdered sugar and cocoa; set aside. Butter a 9 x 12 non-stick pan. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and cream cheese, stirring often. Do not boil! Remove from heat add in the pinch of salt, vanilla extract and pepper, mix again. Add the sifted sugar & cocoa to the cheese mixture, mixing well.
Stir in the nuts. Pour into buttered 9"x12" pan. Chill at least 3 hours or until really firm.
My fudge came out easily from the pan. Recipe by Dawn Finicane of vanillakitchen.blogspot.com If you don’t have a non-stick pan use parchment paper. Don’t spray it with Pam….that will taste horrible.
Makes 3 pounds.

*the sweet & spicy pecans can be found at Trader Joe’s. If you can’t find them try your local grocery store or nut shop. If you're going to add in your own nuts, make sure to toast them first. You want that crispy, flavorful nut in this fudge, and toasting helps bring out the flavor of all nuts.

38 comments:

  1. I will be making some for the holidays.

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  2. Cream cheese, butter & chocolate, you can't go wrong. I should make it with my brown sugar fudge for the Holidays. I'll make couple people happy.

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  3. Holy shit, yum. That combo sounds to die for. You have my address, so I'll be expecting some in 3-5 days, thank you very much. ;P

    (Are you talking about the Candy Manor?!!)

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  4. I've never had chocolate with cayanee before. It sounds really good. I know my husband would totally dig it.

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  5. HOLY FREAKING YUM!!!! Haha, so funny about the fudge "taking a field trip" without you ;0)

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  6. I love the idea of adding cayenne to the chocolate. It gives you that unexpected little kick while still satisfying the sweet tooth! I am going to have to go to Trader Joe's and give the pecans a try. I am like you, picky about what constitutes a delicious piece of fudge. Looks fantastic, Dawn!

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  7. Ha! So I'm not the only one who can rationalize a whole container of sweets away. I love chocolate with a touch of pepper. Starred for later!

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  8. Love the spicy, love it. It always goes so well with the chocolate!

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  9. I really like the sound of the spicy heat in this chocolate fudge.

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  10. 2 of my favorite things combined! Heat and chocolate!!!! That looks hot!

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  11. FUGDE!!! That looks seriously good. I'll be more than happy to take the fudge you don't want in your fridge! I've never tried this before, but with the holiday's around the corner, this will be a nice addition to have around.

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  12. what a fantastic way to use the Trader Joes Spicy and Sweet Pecans!

    I do about the same as you. When I bake I always send most of it off to work with P to give to his customers throughout the day. I bake once or twice a week and we can't have all of it laying around the house. If we did neither of us would ever eat a real meal.

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  13. Dawn, this looks and sounds amazing. My husband brought back some chocolate with chili in it when he went to Germany and we fell in love with it. I just know we're gonna love this. Now if I can only perfect my fudge-maknig skills......this is a good way to start, right?

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  14. Great idea! Almost time for holiday fudge making!

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  15. this fudge is perfect. just perfect. i like a ton of nuts in my fudge, too. come to think of it, i haven't had fudge in a while. that has to change.

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  16. ohh yum! this looks delicious! i do love the heat in chocolate. have you tried that new cocoa chilie spice blend from mccormicks? i like it quite a bit.

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  17. Oh man that fridge story is so familiar... Wait! Do you have a spy camera on my kitchen??? Listen Dawn, I've allready decided not to have dessert tonight, so I was wondering can you send me a piece of that? Or 2, or....

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  18. That fudge looks so rich and nutty, i think I am in love!

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  19. I'm friggin' all over this! I'll be heading to trader's ASAP for those pecans. Yum!

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  20. oh yeah. i love fudge. here's a poser--who ever decided that "fudge" should be used as an expletive. it's just not right. :)

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  21. oh i love fudge! this particular recipe sounds like it would be right up my alley :) thanks!

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  22. i really like spiced chocolate! it makes it a little different. have been seeing fudge recipes every where lately and it's killing me. gorgeous pictures.

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  23. Oh yum..I never would have thought to put something spicy in my fudge!

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  24. You continue to amaze me with these awesome combinations!! I definitely want to try a spicy chocolate something one of these days.

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  25. I 've never had spicy fudge, But I'm really liking the idea of it!

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  26. What in the heck am I supposed to do now???? I can't live without this fudge! What a genius idea to put in the spicy pecans. Dawn, you are brilliant, just brilliant!

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  27. I've tried chocolate w/ heat a few times and it really works.

    May I suggest packing these in dry ice & sending them up Canada way?

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  28. Fudge is a must during the holidays. I will have to try this version out! Looks awesome!

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  29. I just noticed how badly I spelled cayenne on my earlier comment. I hate that.

    Anyway, I have something for you on my blog.

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  30. Ohhh...goodness yes, bring on the fudge!

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  31. These look great - you can't go wrong w/these - really!

    -DTW
    www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

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  32. Oh wow! I love chocolate with a little heat. I can't wait to try these.

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  33. Ooooh yeeeah, lotsa nuts, just the way I like it. And spicy, as well as salty? Freaking beautiful! I've only been to Chatahm once, but oh my gosh, it's gorgeous there.

    Sorry to have been MIA for so long!

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  34. I love heat in my chocolate. When I get those gourmet boxes of chocolate for a gift sometimes the first one I go for is always the ancho flavored one!

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  35. Now I really have to get ahold of some of those pecans! I like the cream cheese addition. I had some really good fudge made with goat's milk that I picked up at an Amish stand in Ohio. I bet I could sub chevre in this and get a similar taste. Thanks for the recipe!

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  36. Ok, you were right. You WIN. 1-0 over here. I don't even like fudge, but this looks amazing. They are perfect with the pecans, and I can totally see why you need to walk to the gym for about a year now. But, let's be honest... it is so worth it :)

    By the way, that story was one of the greatest, EVER. I totally know people like that :)

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  37. I made a batch of these the other day, and they're definitely going into my holiday goodie boxes! Thanks for the recipe!

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  38. I so know how that goes! Dangerous! This looks and sounds spectacular, Dawn--I have a HUGE weakness for fudge. HUGE. It's terrible--I even crave it.

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