Monday, September 10, 2012

Nutella & Sea Salt Fudge

 My mom and I finally went to Costco's this past weekend after having it been open in the next town for about 3 years. We used to shop at Sam's, but there isn't one anywhere close to us so we went into Costco's. We only got a few things which included a 1.5lb box of Macedonia nuts which was way cheaper than at Whole Foods, Dried fruit for baking, packages of both salmon and turkey burgers, some granola cereal, and a fuzzy throw blanket for me. I thought it was okay, except for the fact that my mom and I don't eat much processed foods which is almost everything they sale at those stores in bulk to eat. So I decided that someone should have a bulk store except with gluten free, vegan, dairy free, organic, and other "healthy" things (like a bulk Whole Foods) because I know that we'd be customers for life.
Twister almost broke me foot Saturday night. When my dad and I were moving the horses into the back pasture, I picked Twister since Buttercup has been acting up again. Both horses acted fine going into the back and just as I picked Twister's head up to go into the gate, he was still wanting to graze and stepped sideways for more grass and his hoof landed right on my foot.  This isn't the first time I've been stepped on by the horses and I highly doubt it will be the last, but that didn't make it hurt any less. I'm guessing that I have both an external and internal bruising (which makes it hard to wear a shoe on that foot) which I'm sure was the some diagnosis the last time this happened. I have to say that I'm lucky seeing as I've been thrown, stepped on, bitten, kicked, drug over rocks,  squished against fences and walls, but I've never had any broken bones or trips to the E.R- just a lot of swelling,pain,  ice packs, and sometimes blood.

Well, after talking about my weekend I think it's time to get down to the recipe...
 Two years ago I wouldn't have ever thought I would say this but I'm not really a Nutella-fanatic anymore. I had a half jar of nutella in the pantry and I wanted it gone. It's just too sweet for me and I like Justin's choc. hazelnut butter much better. I used to think that Nutella was the best thing in the world, but then I tried Biscoff and discovered I liked it better even though the 2 product are completely different and I don't eat much of either. If I were at a party and they had a dessert with nutella, I would eat it, but I just don't want to have a whole jar in the house. I have several recipes on foodgawker saved that have nutella, but I remembered seeing this recipe on Tasty Kitchen around the holidays last year. While I was making the fudge, Gus Gus was getting into trouble in the next room.

Nutella & Sea Salt Fudge
50 - 3/4'' pieces  

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz  bittersweet (60% cacao) chocolate chips (you want to use a good quality)
1 cup Nutella, room temperature
3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
Course sea salt ( 1/2 tsp)
extra softened butter, for greasing pan.

1. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8x8 baking pan with butter. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overlap on the sides.

2. In a medium glass bowl, mix together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate chips, Nutella, and butter.

3. Form a double-boiler by setting the bowl on a medium pot of gently simmering water. The water level should be low enough that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread the top smooth with a spatula. Refrigerate until the fudge.  *After about 1 hour of chilling, I sprinkled the top with course sea salt. If you use fine salt then you may want to wait until the fudge is fully firm or the salt is disappear (many who made this recipe noticed this). Continue to chill for fudge for another hour (making the minimum time needed to chill 2 hours.)

5. Using the overhanging parchment paper, lift the fudge out. Peel off the parchment paper.Run a knife under hot water, dry it off, and cut the fudge into 3/4-inch squares -the hot knife helps make clean cuts. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

-When looking into the jar I thought I had 1 cup, but I actually only had 1/2 cup so I halved the recipe and poured the fudge into a standard size bread pan. If you halve the recipe, measure the milk by weight.
-I had some hazelnuts and I thought about chopping some up and stirring it into the fudge, but to me fudge is suppose to be smooth. You could toast some hazelnuts, chop them up, and sprinkle over the fudge when you sprinkle to salt to give a nice crunch with the creamy fudge.
- if you wanted more hazelnut flavor, you could switch to vanilla with hazelnut extract.

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