For every Christmas I can remember as a child, my grandmother would make chocolate-walnut fudge. When it came time to pass out presents, we could always find her neatly-wrapped boxes filled with the rich chocolate squares. I had never tried making her fudge recipe before, but I really wanted to share it with my boys this year—even if I can’t use milk and butter and walnuts like she normally would.
With some coconut milk, dairy-free margarine and a small reserve of Enjoy Life chocolate chunks, I whipped together a batch of her Never-Fail Fudge. Since my husband is allergic to walnuts, I used ground hazelnuts and raisins instead. Even though the fudge turned out a little soft, storing it in the freezer seems to solve the problem. With a few more batches, I’ll hopefully have the consistency issues worked out.
In the meantime, I’m enjoying the chance to eat allergy-friendly fudge with my boys, just like I did when my grandmother made it at Christmas. It’s important for me to share past holiday memories with them, while creating new ones here in Switzerland—many of them connected to food! Even though we can’t be with most of our family and friends at Christmastime (again) this year, as I’ve mentioned before, making recipes like this makes me feel more connected to them. For this recipe in particular, I cherish the memories of my family gathered around the living room to open small packages of delicious homemade fudge.
The holiday season is such a wonderful time of year, but for people living with food allergies, it can require additional preparation for all the food-centered gatherings. For some practical advice, check out FARE‘s quick list of 6 Tips for Celebrating the Holiday Season. My husband and I certainly use FARE’s recommended “tag-team” method when we’re at holiday parties with our 2-year old! He’s learning about his food allergies and has even begun to ask sometimes, “Can I eat it?” Even so, we still keep a close eye on him, just in case.
Thanks so much for reading Dairy-Free Switzerland. I really appreciate your advice and support. Bon week-end, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!
P.S. – January 2, 2014: After a second batch, I’m ready to share an updated version of my grandmother’s recipe. I hope you like it!
Coconut Milk Fudge
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup allergy-friendly chocolate chips (this time I used some from Divvies)
1/4 cup corn syrup, light or dark
1 tablespoon dairy-free margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar (or vanilla)
1/2 cup grated coconut or finely chopped dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, etc.
1. In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, and then stir constantly over low heat for about 10 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and mix in the remaining ingredients until smooth and creamy. Then, stir in the grated coconut (and/or other dried fruit, etc.).
3. Pour mixture into a pie plate or 8-9 inch round or square pan greased with dairy-free margarine. Optional: sprinkle some extra coconut on top while the fudge is still soft. Let cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then, refrigerate the fudge until completely cooled and firm.
Storage: Keep this fudge in the refrigerator so it stays firm. Our latest batch of fudge is in the freezer, for when we need a quick and allergy-friendly treat for my son. I’m trying to be good and not eat it all myself!