Because sometimes recipe testing doesn't go exactly as planned...
When I create new recipes, I make a real effort not to "copy" a recipe I've read before. Part of the fun of creating new recipes is finishing it and being like, "Look what I did! All by myself!" And then taking a thousand pictures of it and posting it on your blog.
But sometimes, like when baking, I have to check out other recipes to make sure I don't totally screw it up. Because science.
Anyhow, next week's recipe theme is chocolate, and I wanted to make a super amazing fudge. But I've never made fudge before, so I checked out a few (hundred) different recipes to get an idea of how fudge actually comes together.
After deciding what ingredients to use, I got to work. However, the recipe I was using as a guide called for 3 cups of chocolate chips, and due to circumstances beyond my control (poor planning), I only had 2. Maybe 2 1/4. But, ever the optimist, I decided to keep going. I figured that, even being a cup-ish short on chips, I was adding enough other stuff that the fudge would still turn out.
But that's not how it ended. In truth, I currently have an 8x8 pan filled with super thick, very sweet, espresso flavored pudding. Kind of.
But I wanted to post the recipe anyway, because there's a good lesson to be learned here. Besides planning ahead.
The flavor of this "fudge" is amazing (think chocolate-covered espresso beans. yum!), and I will definitely make it again, with more chocolate chips. I'm thinking 3 cups or so. So the recipe isn't a failure. I just don't have the resources to make this fudge again now, because those chips are expensive! Anyway, the moral of the story is, don't give up. Just because this recipe didn't work the first time (they rarely do, trust me), doesn't mean that I suck at creating delicious food. I just need to problem solve and try again. And because screwing up a recipe makes for a good story.
The recipe below is what I will follow the next time I make this. So it's a best guess. I'll post an update to this page if/when I get around to making it again. In the meantime, if any one out there makes it before I do, post a comment and let me know how it turned out.
Cranberry Espresso Fudge
3 cups vegan chocolate chips (I used the Enjoy Life brand)
14 oz can coconut milk (I used full fat because I wanted the fudge to have a milk chocolate creaminess)
3 Tbsp finely ground espresso beans
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
Spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray. Set it aside (but not too far away!).
In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except cranberries. Stir to combine, and turn the stove to medium heat. You need to stir this stuff constantly so that the chocolate doesn't burn. (Burnt chocolate smells and tastes awful.) The chips should be totally melted in about 6 minutes or so. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cranberries. Pour the chocolaty goodness into prepared pan. Let it reach room temperature, then put it in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.
*Note: I know the "technical" way to melt chocolate is to make a double boiler, but let's face it, I'm super lazy and don't want to deal with all that. Also, I don't have glass mixing bowls. If you prefer the double-boiler method, yay go you. But if you choose to do it my way, never stop stirring. Good luck.