Now that Thanksgiving has passed and we can all (finally) focus our energies into preparing for the number of holidays that are upon us this month, I figured we’d kick things off with a little sugar-loaded indulgence. Something that will not only give you the extra kick you need while you’re decking the halls, but something that will make a great gift or a simple addition to your holiday dessert menu.
Unlike many of my recipes around these parts, this one isn’t even close to being healthy, but it is prepared with some of the finest ingredients (dark chocolate! coconut milk! cacao powder! natural candy canes!) so I think we can all feel good about that. As for the sugar? Well, unfortunately, I don’t think we’re going to be able to avoid that this holiday season, but if you’re looking to decrease the amount of sweet stuff in this recipe, it can be lowered to 1 1/2 cups (although I do not recommend it).
One of the things I love about this recipe is that the richness of it is totally up to you. If you’d prefer fudge that’s super sweet, keep the cacao powder (or natural cocoa powder, if that’s all you have) to the lowest measure. But if you prefer intensely dark fudge, I’d add the full amount — or maybe even an extra tablespoon on top of that. This fudge relies on the use of coconut milk, so make sure you get a good quality can (Whole Foods brand is my favorite, but the best coconut milk can be found in Asian supermarkets — it rarely has additives). As long as you get the full-fat stuff, you should be fine. However, if you can’t find coconut milk, you can swap it with you favorite non-dairy milk. Instead of using 1/4 cup of coconut milk fat and 2 tablespoons of coconut water, replace them both with just 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk (or cow’s milk, if that’s what you prefer).
Easy Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
Makes 18 pieces.
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated 24 hours
- 1/2 cup good quality chopped dark chocolate
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 to 6 tablespoons cacao powder (or natural cocoa powder)
- 2 cups powdered cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons crushed natural candy cane
- Line a 1-quart loaf pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- Open the refrigerated can of coconut milk and scoop out 1/4 cup of the solid cream that has risen to the top. Put it in a small saucepan set over low heat, and add the chocolate. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chocolate has melted.
- Once it’s melted, remove the mixture from heat, then stir in the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of the coconut water (this will be beneath the thick layer of coconut cream), or your preferred non-dairy milk.
- Sift in the cacao powder and stir to combine, then sift in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking after each addition.
- Pour the fudge into the prepared fan and sprinkle with crushed peppermint.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour, then cut into 1-inch cubes. The fudge will keep for up to one month, but is best within the first week.
Photo credit: Ashlae Warner