This is fudge making on easy mode. Now, I’ve made plenty of fudge in my day. Most of my recipes call for candy thermometers, precise heating and cooling, and a lot of beating (as in, a lot of beating). Not this fudge. This fudge is easy. And it’s really, really good.
This is my one of my mom’s favorite fudge recipes, based on an old Cook’s Illustrated clipping. It’s creamy, dark and, well, downright fudge-y.
The original recipe explains that the tiny bit of baking soda does something to the fudge’s pH to help lighten it up.
Easy Dark Chocolate & Walnut Fudge: A note on ingredients
Be sure to use condensed milk�not evaporated milk.
Sweetened condensed milk is really syrupy. Basically, it’s whole milk that’s evaporated with sugar. It’s thick, sticky, and very sweet. (Evaporated milk is condensed milk that’s not sweetened.)
Sweetened condensed milk
For the chocolate, I used a mix of regular ole semi-sweet chocolate chips and unsweetened Baker’s chocolate.
Oh, and about the nuts. This was amazing with walnuts, but I’ll bet it would also be really good with chopped pecans, hazelnuts, or almonds as well.
For the vanilla, I used the homemade vanilla extract that I’ve had going for years. (Vanilla beans + good vodka = fabulous vanilla extract.)
My bottle of homemade vanilla extract, stuffed with vanilla beans
Easy Dark Chocolate & Walnut Fudge: The basic technique
Basically, you heat most of the ingredients together in an improvised double boiler (or a real one, if you have it) until they *just* melt. Stir in the nuts, then turn the fudge out into a pan to cool and set up.
It’s really that simple. Read on for step-by-step photo instructions.
Easy Dark Chocolate & Walnut Fudge
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 14-0z. can condensed milk
1 Tbls. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
Makes about 2 1/2 lbs. of fudge in an 8-inch square pan
Easy Dark Chocolate & Walnut Fudge: Do a little prep
Spray an 8-inch x 8-inch glass pan lightly with oil. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Press it down gently so it sticks. Set the pan aside.
Next, start an improvised double boiler. Put about 2 inches of water in a pan on the stove over high heat to get it boiling.
Measure out your chocolate chips and put them in a large, heatproof bowl.
Chop up the unsweetened chocolate into small-ish pieces. (I like to use a serrated bread knife to do this.)
Toss that into the bowl with the chocolate chips.
Easy Dark Chocolate & Walnut Fudge: Make the fudge mixture
Add the baking soda and the salt.
Stir to coat the chocolate and evenly distribute the salt and baking soda. (You don’t want to end up with clumps of them in your finished fudge.)
Pour in the condensed milk.
Give the inside of the can a scrape with a spatula to get it all out.
Toss in the vanilla.
Stir the whole thing to combine.
Easy Dark Chocolate & Walnut Fudge: Melt the ingredients
By now, your water should be boiling.
Drop the heat to low. Set your mixing bowl on top of the pot of water.
The chocolate should start to melt immediately.
Stir constantly until the mixture *just* melts.
This will only take a few minutes.
When the chocolate has just melted and the mixture is fairly smooth, remove the bowl from the heat.
Stir a little more once it’s off the heat to ensure that all the chocolate has melted.
The mixture will be really thick and creamy, like this:
Easy Dark Chocolate & Walnut Fudge: Finish the fudge
Toss in the chopped nuts.
Stir to combine them well.
Pour the fudge out into your prepared pan.
Smooth it down with a spatula so the surface is fairly even.
Set it in a cool spot (or in the fridge) for a few hours until it firms up.
When it’s firm, cut it up into squares. Or leave it in the pan and slice as needed.
I cut the whole pan up into squares and put each one in a mini-muffin liner.
This fudge keeps well tightly wrapped on the counter for a few weeks. That is, if it lasts.