Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Coconut Fudge Recipe; Good Recipe, Personal Disaster


A few weeks ago, I saw a Whole Foods recipe online that inspired me: 'Coconut Fudge'. It looked delicious, all natural, and rich in the way that I like dessert to be. So I decided to try it. As you'll see below, I struggled with this recipe a little bit, mostly because of brain-freeze on my part, and partially because of the recipe itself. But it was no loss! Here is my review along with tips and recommendations to make this the best 'fudge' possible.

Recipe being reviewed: Coconut Fudge Recipe on the Whole Foods Website

Link to recipe: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/coconut-fudge

Quick  Review Notes:

  • The result is a very silky-smooth dessert with a truffle-like texture.
  • Delicious if you like the taste of coconut milk or cannot have dairy, but if you prefer a cream truffle, this might not be your thing.
  • It is extremely difficult to slice because it is so soft, and you really need a spoon or fork to eat it, not like regular fudge.
  • A little on the sweet side because of the chocolate chips. To suit a Paleo or low-sugar diet, change the sugar in the recipe to to 'coconut blossom sugar' or change your chocolate to a 70% or 80% dark chocolate.
Recommendations:

Since it is so difficult to slice, I recommend the two following changes:

1. Press a coconut-&-flaked chocolate mixture into the sides to make it easier to pick up. Because it is so soft, pour your fudge mix into a pan lined with plastic wrap, or a waxed paper or parchment-lined pan, so that you can extract the entire dessert easily. Once it sets in the fridge, place a plate or piece of waxed paper over top of the coconut topping then flip the entire thing upside down. Sprinkle more coconut topping (I mixed finely chopped dark chocolate with medium unsweetened coconut flakes, which made a really delicious topping) on the back side of the dessert and press it in.  Then, carefully cut 1" square slices and dip all sides of each piece into more of the coconut/chocolate topping. This makes each piece easy to handle. It also adds a nice delicious texture to the outside. Serve in mini or small cupcake papers.

2. Turn it into a coconut-chocolate pie! You can also pour the 'fudge' mix into a tart shell, such as a baked coconut crust, to make it easier to slice and serve. For a crust recipe, try the coconut pie crust that I provided in one of my PIECAKEN recipes here: http://piecaken.blogspot.ca/2014/07/cherry-pie-in-chocolate-truffle-cake.html.

3. Reduce the coconut milk in the recipe to half of the recommended amount.


My Recipe Experience:

It is so cold outside that I think I have been experiencing brain-freeze lately. I am usually very good at following recipes, but something about this recipe caused me to take three tries and a lot of wasted chocolate in order to get it right.   

The first attempt went amuck when I read the ingredients incorrectly and used only half of the chocolate.  I could have saved it by rolling it into balls and dipping them into melted chocolate to make chocolate truffles. BUT, I had already sprinkled coconut flakes on top and rolling balls would have ended with a mess and an unpleasant texture for a truffle.  I tried freezing it so I could slice it and dip entire squares into chocolate - but even after freezing, it was still too soft and these ended up being mis-shapen oddities with ends that stuck out all over the place and refused to dip. Most of it was wasted, or wasted caloric intake on my part.

On the second attempt, I fell into old habits. Without even thinking, I started to melt and temper the chocolate over a double boiler because that is how I start most creations these days. But this recipe was the simple version, where chocolate need not be tempered. So instead I ended up using the tempered chocolate to make a delicious chocolate fudge of my own creation, inspired by some of the elements of the recipe that I was following. You can find this recipe in the next post.


Finally the third try was perfect. I followed all the steps and created a lovely truffle.  However, it is still a little on the soft side to be called 'fudge', but once I carefully sliced each piece and then dipped them in a combination of coconut flakes and shaved chocolate, the pieces were much easier to handle and eat. I packaged these up in cupcake papers and they look delicious!

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