When sitting at my computer last night, I had a burst of inspiration. I need fudge. With a heath bar mixed in like a Blizzard. And it has to be super deliciously chocolate. Then I realized, wait. I can make that. My family has made English toffee every Christmas for as long as I can remember. Like all good things, I was taught to make this confection by my mother. I love the crispy, crunchy, sinful taste of toffee. But I love chocolate more, so this is like an inverse recipe. I can’t speak to when I realized I love fudge, but I definitely remember it as a first request at the tail end of my Gestational Diabetes pregnancy with Quentin. An odd request for me really, I’m much more of a fried mozzarella cheese stick or wine glutton, or if I’m having a really bad day, an entire bag of cheetos and a Coke Classic. But every now and again, fudge just calls me and I’m never disappointed.
If you’re dieting, you may want to throw me off a cliff right now. There is absolutely no redeeming nutritional value to this recipe. I think of dessert as a choice. So if I’m choosing, I’m going all out. I’ll never learn to drink diet coke, I’ll just drink water more of the time. Sweets are simply not my main priority – now you take away my salt or my wine? We are going to have issues. That said, it may be such a phenomenally rich dessert that you can just have a small piece and call it a day. My sister Allison has phenomenal will power with chocolate. She really can just have a nibble and save the rest. I can do that with chocolate, but you put a pound of cooked bacon in front of me? Don’t count on any bacon left for your children’s breakfast. All that said, everyone should try a little of this fudge. It might be life changing.
The only special equipment required for this recipe are a candy thermometer (I think these are almost always glass not digital due to the extreme high temps required) and plastic wrap. I like the Saran original myself but it’s a total pain to find so I used Saran Premium in this recipe, I imagine Glad Clingwrap would work, I find it just doesn’t stick as well as the others. Whatever you do, don’t try that press and seal business, I’m still not entirely sure what coats the surface of that stuff and it just seems like one big giant mess. Candy making can seem intimidating, so I’m going to try and interlace the recipe with step by step photos.
Dark Chocolate Toffee Crunch Fudge Recipe
1 stick plus 6 tbsp butter
1 c. sugar
2 tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla
3 c. bittersweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp butter
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
Grease a cookie sheet with butter. Cover the sides and bottom of an 8 x 8 glass casserole with plastic wrap as snugly as you can. Make sure the sides hang over the edges a bit. In a saucepan over high heat, combine the butter, sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then start stirring with a wooden spatula.
Continue stirring, beginning to check temperature when you see a distinct color change towards brown. You’re looking for a completed temp of about 310.
Remove from heat quickly add vanilla, stir, then pour onto prepared cookie sheet. Let cool completely, then gently tap the handle end of a dinner knife at a 90 degree angle to crack toffee. You only need about half of the toffee for the amount of fudge we’re making, the rest you can eat, feed to your kids, store, save, give to your teacher, whatever.
Take the half of cracked toffee to a large cutting board and use a mallet or the bottom a heavy glass to smash into crumbles.
In the top of a double boiler, combine chocolate, butter, and sweetened condensed milk. Let rest over barely simmering water, but resist the urge to be productive while you’re waiting. Chocolate is easy to burn, and frankly, we all need to sit and do nothing every now and again. Glance at your chocolate mixture every now and again and give it a gentle stir every two minutes or so. Once chocolate starts melting the process things speed up precipitously and this window is your most likely chance to mess things up. Once thoroughly melted and stirred, add 1/2 cup of your toffee crumbles and stir again. Pour mixture into glass casserole you earlier fitted with Saran wrap. Use a spatula to smooth surface, then top with more toffee crumbles. Refrigerate at least two hours, then gently use a knife between saran and glass to wedge out the entire block of fudge.
Cut and eat in bliss.