Fantasy-ish Fudge

Fantasy-ish Fudge Recipe

Classic fantasy fudge - so good, but oh-sooo bad. It's an icon of holiday indulgence, and the rich, smooth chocolate squares are hard to resist. I love the way each bite feathers against the enamel of my teeth. I love the jolt of tooth-ache inspiring sweetness that dissipates before I know what hit me. That being said, I'm never the supplier - I never make it. I know what goes into a batch of fantasy fudge, and rarely have anything other than the chocolate on hand in my own kitchen - no Kraft marshmallow creme, no margarine, no huge quantities of white sugar, no evaporated milk. But we are neck-deep in the holiday season, and when I came across a container of Ricemellow Crème the other day while grocery shopping, it occurred to me to try to make my own version using less processed and better quality base ingredients. It's still fudge, it's still the sweetest thing I've put in my mouth all year, but it's a few degrees in my direction on the ingredient spectrum.

Fantasy Fudge Recipe

Here's how I approached this. I wanted to maintain the spirit, texture, and general flavor of the original recipe. I didn't even attempt to cut back on sugar, fat, or anything like that. When it comes to fudge, I think I'd rather enjoy half as much amazing fudge, and have it be great. A small piece of this goes a long, long, way. I used butter as the fat and organic, fine-grain cane sugar, and the Ricemellow Crème - which is made from brown rice syrup. I used coconut milk, and its mild flavor worked beautifully in place of the evaporated milk. And I used a bar of Scharffen Berger 62% semi-sweet chocolate. I like my fudge smooth, so no nuts in my version - but if you like your fudge chunky, the original calls for 1 cup chopped walnuts.

Fantasy Fudge Recipe

I haven't tested it yet, but I'm nearly positive you can do a delicious vegan version of this recipe by using coconut oil in place of the butter. Also, for reference, Kraft Marshmallow Creme doesn't have gelatin in it, but it does have corn syrup, artificial color and flavor, and egg whites (for those of you avoiding animal-related products). The original, classic fantasy fudge recipe was printed on the side of Kraft Marshmallow Creme jars.

Fantasy-ish Fudge Recipe

I used Ricemellow Creme here. If you can't find Ricemellow Crème in your natural food store, you can still use regular marshmallow creme with good results. Vegans, I almost did this with coconut oil - I think it would be a reasonable (and tasty) substitute for the butter here.

1 9.7-ounce bar of good-quality semi-sweet chocolate (62% Scharffen Berger)
3 cups organic cane sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup lite coconut milk (regular is fine too)
7 ounces Ricemellow Crème (or the marshmallow creme of your choice)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Butter a 13x9 baking dish. Alternately, you can line it with parchment paper. Finely chop the chocolate bar and set aside.

Combine the sugar, butter, and coconut milk in a thick-bottomed medium-large saucepan. Slowly bring the mixture to an active boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling for five minutes over medium heat - if you are using a candy thermometer it should reach about 235F degrees. Remove from heat, stir in the chopped chocolate. Continue stirring until the chocolate is melted, add then add the Ricemellow Creme, vanilla, and nuts (if you are using them).

Pour the fudge into the prepared baking dish, and let cool. After 5 minutes or so, I use a spatula to make a swirl texture on the top of the fudge (optional). You can let it set at room temperature, but I like to let it cool in the refrigerator overnight, where it sets up nicely, making it simple to slice into 1/2-inch cubes. Tip: A thin knife is best for cutting, or (even better) a large pizza cutting wheel.

Makes a couple hundred tiny fudge bites.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Comments

  • Your fudge is to die for... my cravings have started already :-)

    sunita
  • I'm not the chocolate fanatic in the family, but I know my wife will love me for trying out that recipe. Gotta go shop for the ingredients.

    Haydenspass
  • "I think I'd rather enjoy half as much amazing fudge, and have it be great." hear hear! all hail the heidi swanson diet! :D

    taghag
  • Robin, all you need to make fudge are 3 ingredients (4 if you want to make chocolate fudge or add a flavour), butter (NEVER maragarine), sugar and milk or cream. Obviously the better the quality of your ingredients, the better the fudge. I like to use the kind of French butter that has salt crystals in it - but I think that might not be readily available in China! Loving the delicious pictures of this (as usual) but for me any product that lists soy protein as one of its ingredients comes under the 'processed' heading for me so I don't think I'll be trying this one out.

    Tisiphone
  • The fudge looks amazing! However, I live in China and can't buy ricemallow or marshmallow cream. Any ideas on what to use as a substitute? Or am I completely out of luck? I haven't even seen fudge in years but am dying for a piece now! Thanks

    Robin
  • Thanks for the great fudge recipe! Looks absolutely delicious. I am going to have to place this recipe inside my favorite recipe book, "Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's," by Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati- this recipe book never leaves my kitchen, so I will be sure to not lose your fudge recipe.

    Becky
  • Wow, I *just now* finished making a batch of "fantasy fudge" (never heard that name before, but my recipe is basically what you mention above) and was lamenting how I had to buy junky marshmallow creme for it. I did substitute raw sugar for the plain white, and I'll know tomorrow when I test it how that turned out, but I love the idea of coconut milk and rice-mallow as well. If I make another batch of fudge this holiday season, it will definitely be this one.

    MRM
  • That fudge looks absolutely gorgeous. I love fudge at the holidays and could probably eat a pound on my own. . . which is why I couldn't bring myself to make "real" fudge this year! I found a recipe for agave- and nut butter-based fudge that I think is pretty great and also a healthy alternative (maybe the next step down from yours?). The coconut oil would definitely work here--I've used it for caramel, toffee, and a host of other butter-based recipes with great results.

    Ricki
  • Wow...I have been dreaming about fudge lately. (No, I really have. No worries--I know exactly how weird that is.) Unfortunately, fudge is usually so sweet it makes my teeth curl. You have inspired me to try some different recipes and see if I can find something that works. Last year, I made my own truffles...maybe this year, it'll be fudge! Thanks!

    Laurel from Simple Spoonful
  • Are you kidding me?! I'm dying over here. I appreciate that you would approach this completely indulgent and 'pure'. I love trading out quality, unrefined ingredients in old standbys and seeing how much more they can be. thanks a million for this one. My nostalgic school-girl sweet tooth will be pleased I'm sure.

    Monique
  • Lucky for me I am making some fudge this holiday as a gift for my dad and best friend...looks like I found my recipe! I think I might try a batch with cashew butter added in or as a base...it's my weakness.

    Hayley
  • How much coconut oil do you think you would use in place of the butter? Would it still be 3/4 cup? I'm not vegan but am attempting to make holiday treats for vegans! I'm not used to the conversions though ...

    Nicole
  • Um, can you send me some? Like, now? Because I read your blog all the time but never have I ever wanted to lick the screen as much as I do right now! Thanks for all of the great recipes!!!

    mudnyc
  • I love making fudge for the holidays... do it every year. Thank you for this new recipe! :)

    Jenny
  • Oh, this looks utterly wonderful, and I don't even have a sweet tooth. :) I think I'll pass this one on to my fudge-loving brother...

    Maya
  • Sublime. The image of that marshmallow fluffy goodness and the smooth, sunny butter coming to a soft ball..well, I am six again. Waiting eagerly to tackle that spoon when my mom is finished stirring. Thanks for the sensible homage to a timeless recipe.

    Jess @ lavidaveggie
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