There's nothing quite as disheartening as a dessert recipe gone wrong. But if you're struggling to get your fudge to harden just right, you may be missing one key step. Preparing the perfect fudge will require some chilling time (and patience).
Opting for a healthier recipe won't help your fudge harden any faster, but it can help you cut back on some sugar and calories. This Chocolate Maple Almond Fudge, crafted by Christy Brissette, RD, president of 80 Twenty Nutrition, is easy to prepare and will give you the firm, fudgy consistency you're looking for.
Healthy Fudge Ingredients
- 1/2 cup natural almond butter (look for a no-sugar-added variety, Brissette recommends)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
How to Prepare Fudge
Makes 12 servings
- Line your container: Line a medium glass or ceramic food storage container with parchment paper. You can also line mini muffin tins with muffin liners if you want to keep your serving sizes small.
- Combine the ingredients: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine your almond butter and coconut oil. Once the oil melts, stir in the cocoa powder, vanilla and salt. When the mixture looks shiny and smooth, stir in the maple syrup.
- Pour the fudge: After you've added the maple syrup, pour the fudge mixture into your prepared container or mini muffin tins.
- Harden the fudge: Place your container or tins in the fridge for two hours or in the freezer, if you want it to set more quickly. Once it's hardened, cut the fudge into 12 pieces or remove it from the muffin tins. Store in the fridge or the freezer (if you don't devour it right away).
If you prefer harder fudge, leave it in the freezer for longer, which will give you a harder dessert in less time, Brissette says. Using a mini muffin tin or silicon candy mold can also help produce firmer fudge faster. Thanks to their smaller surface area, they'll help fudge harden much more quickly than if you pour it all into one larger container.
Healthy Ingredient Swaps
Almond butter packs heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which may help lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels, according to the Mayo Clinic. The omega-3 fatty acids in nuts (like almonds) may also help prevent irregular heart rhythms, which can be a contributing factor to heart attacks in some cases.
Almond butter will also add some fiber into your fudge, which butter doesn't supply. With about 3 grams of fiber per 2-tablespoon serving, almond butter provides about 12 percent of your daily recommended fiber intake, according to the USDA. Fiber helps keep you feeling full for longer, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and can therefore help you lose weight.
Brisette's dessert also trades refined sugar for maple syrup, which will provide the sweetness your fudge needs with some added health benefits: Maple syrup contains some important nutrients, including potassium, manganese and magnesium, and packs fewer grams of sugar than refined forms of the sweet stuff.