Paleo Almond Butter Swirl Fudge

One of the most popular recipes on this site is for Paleo Dark Chocolate and Red Walnut Fudge. You guys have great taste in dessert. There are three things that make that recipe a winner:

1. It's easy (Seriously, only 7-ingredients!)

2. You feel good eating it (Only real food here!)

3. Chocolate (Self explanatory).

I have wanted to revamp my fudge recipe ever since talking to a reader about swirling in Sunflower Seed or Almond Butter. Seeing how popular the original recipe is sealed the deal. To the kitchen! Besides, I was planning a ski trip, and this coconut based fudge makes for a great snack for the slopes. Not only is easy to eat on a ski lift, it's also satisfying and full of energy, which powers you through a full day of snowy fun. 

My original fudge recipe is sweetened with date paste. This time around, I swapped in honey, which requires less planning (the dates must be soaked ahead of time to make a paste). I also switched out the walnuts and went for an almond butter swirl. While the slightly bitter meat of walnuts offer balance to regular fudge, the combination of nut butter and chocolate in this version is to die for. If you are a chocolate nut-butter cup fan, this fudge is for you. If you are craving a bite of smooth, rich bliss... this fudge is for you. 

...If you just fell face first in the snow, expelled from your skis like a rock from a slingshot, this fudge is for you. Trust me. I've been there. I am there. A bite of this fudge is not going to make the bruises go away, but when your ego is hurting, fudge helps. 

This recipe was featured in the Real Food Friday #80 link up

Paleo Almond Butter Swirl Fudge

1 cup plus 1/4 cup coconut butter, melted (manna, not oil) 

1/2 cup coconut cream (to get coconut cream, place an unopened can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours. Open the can, and scoop off the white fatty part on the top)

3 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup cocoa powder (use high-quality cocoa - the flavor will shine through here)

1/4 cup almond butter

 

1. Heat the coconut oil, and honey over medium-low heat in a small sauce pan. Stir occasionally to prevent any burning. (Alternatively, heat them in the microwave at 30 second intervals until melted).

2. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, stir together the 1/4 cup of coconut manna with the almond butter until fully incorporated. Set the almond butter mixture aside. 

3. Once the oil and honey are melted, remove the sauce pan from the heat. Add in 1 cup melted coconut manna and coconut cream. Whisk until ingredients are fully incorporated. Then whisk in the cocoa powder. The mixture will thicken a bit. 

4. Use a spatula to spread the mixture into an even layer in a 9 x 9 pyrex dish. Using a knife, make 6 thin vertical "stripes" of almond butter in the fudge. Move your knife in a swirling motion through the fudge, dragging the almond butter in so that it is well distributed, but not complete mixed in. At this point, I use my spatula to gently even on the top surface of the fudge again. 

5. Cover the pyrex with plastic wrap or lid and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or until the fudge is set all the way through. Use a very sharp knife to cut into squares. Fudge will begin to melt at temperatures over 76°F, so store it in your fridge or freezer.

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Paleo Dark Chocolate and Walnut Fudge

I'm pretty excited about this one. In part, I'm excited to tell you about those deep red walnuts studding this fudge. But I'm also just really excited about the fudge, because it's better than I ever dreamed it would be. 

Until now, I had avoided making a Paleo version of traditional fudge because I had such low hopes for it. It's been years since I've had the real-deal, which made it even worse: my mind has only taken that rich, buttery bite we all know as fudge and lofted it up even higher than it was. In my head, fudge was no longer just smooth--it was velvety, substantial but somehow light, disappearing as it slowly met the temperature of the human body. Instead, I dilly-dallied around the idea, making "coconut squares" (coconut butter hardened into a bite-sized cube). 

Then these showed up in my mailbox: 

Ruby-colored walnuts. These particular walnuts were sent to me from the Sanguinetti Farm, a 40-acre family-owned walnut farm in the heart of the world's walnut capitol, Linden, California. A cross between Persian and English Walnuts, Sanguinetti's nuts are sweeter than most walnuts in the store. In fact, that bitter forefront flavor that most walnuts boast is hard to trace in these nuts. Instead, they're rich. 

Upon opening the bag, I immediately got this image in my head of walnut-studded fudge. You know: thick, dark, rich fudge with contrasting chunks of walnut that cut through the fudgey-sweetness, only making the fudge, well, fudgier. So I had to do it, what I had been avoiding: make a Paleo fudge that didn't let me down. 

The moment I tasted this fudge, I was a little girl again. I was on a road trip with my dad, stopping in Leadville at the wooden Fudge Shack that really wasn't a fudge store at all (more like a convenience store, but the line of people was there for the fudge). That velvety, buttery, rich texture I had lofted so high in my head? It did exist in a real-food paleo version. And just like the real deal, this fudge had that substantially rich chocolate quality about it that make me want to melt. And those deep red walnuts bejewel this fudge in just the right way--classic, homey, and decadent.   

Paleo Dark Chocolate and Walnut Fudge

Published October 15, 2014 by
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Yields: 30   |    Active Time: 15 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut butter (manna, not oil), melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (to get coconut cream, place an unopened can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours. Open the can, and scoop off the white fatty part on the top)
  • 1/2 cup whole deglet noor dates
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup cocoa (use a cocoa which has flavor you love—something rich, and dark- the flavor of the cocoa is very noticeable in this recipe)
  • 1 1/2 cups red walnuts

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the walnuts in an even layer on a cookie sheet. Toast the walnuts for 15-20 minutes or until golden and aromatic. Stir occasionally. Once toasted, remove from oven and set aside to cool.
    2. Place the dates in the water in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until they are quite soft (5-10 minutes)
    3. Strain the dates, and place them in a blender. Blend on high until a thick date-paste forms. Add the coconut cream, and blend again.
    4. Scoop date-coconut mixture into a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir in the melted coconut butter and oil. Stir in the cocoa powder until fully combined. You should have an even paste in your bowl. Fold one cup of the walnuts into the mixture, and stir until evenly distributed, then use a spatula to scoop the fudge into a 9 x 9 pyrex dish. Arrange the remaining walnuts over the top of the fudge, gently pressing them in (I like to do this in a grid pattern so that when I cut the fudge, each one has a walnut in the center).
    5. Cover the pyrex with plastic wrap or lid and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, of until the fudge is set all the way through. Use a very sharp knife to cut into squares.

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