Valentine's Day can be so easy. Don't you think?
Anything homemade and chocolatey, or even anything homemade and not chocolatey, says “I love you,” if you package it just right.
For example, I would like to direct your attention to this Dairy-Free White Chocolate Fudge.* I made it just for you. Will you be my Valentine?
Some of it, I covered in melted dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate.
Some of it, I didn't.
*You might suspect that you spotted peanut butter chips in the chocolate-covered version of this otherwise dairy-free fudge. I'm here—to confirm those suspicions. It goes something like this: I'm not, actually and personally, dairy-free. And I was concentrating so intensely on the Dairy-Free White Chocolate and demonstrating how to make Dairy-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk successfully. I was hard at work! And I let down my dairy-free guard. And I whiffed.
I added dairy-containing Reese's peanut butter chips. For you, I suggest using dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips. Or just pecans. Terribly sorry.
I made some dairy-free bittersweet chocolate with the same ingredients I added to my Bittersweet Chocolate Almond Butter (except the almonds), and packaged them up real nice with some (mostly) Dairy-Free White Chocolate Fudge in one box.
Can you see in the background what's in the other box?
Yup. Gluten-free Rainbow Cookies.
Rainbow cookies are an all-time favorite of mine, so I might be eating more of those than my husband ever gets his hands on.
Finally, before we get to the Dairy-Free White Chocolate Fudge recipe, I wanted you to see what the dairy-free sweetened condensed milk should look like.
If it's not this thick, you didn't cook it enough. You don't need to use a candy thermometer to check the temperature (since it might never reach a temperature of 236 degrees F, which is the temperature to which you need to cook heavy cream if you're using that to make fudge, instead hovering around 220 degrees F, and you'll think something's wrong, but it isn't). You just need to eyeball. And be patient. As long as you keep stirring, it won't burn.
I know some of you have found it challenging to get my Really Nice, Dairy-Free Fudge to set up. I've made it time and again with success, so I thought it might be helpful to break it down a bit. I think the above pictures will be rather helpful.
It comes down to this: the coconut milk really does need to reduce by half. I measured the weight of the finished product, and it's almost exactly 14 ounces. Even a bit less than half, if you take into account the 100 grams of granulated sugar you added to the milk to sweeten it. So keep cooking. Don't stop short. And dairy-free sweetened condensed milk will be yours for the taking.
|Dairy-Free White Chocolate Fudge|
- 12 ounces (336g) dairy-free white chocolate, chopped (or morsels)
- 2 14-ounce cans coconut milk (not low fat)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon (14g) virgin coconut oil (or vegetable shortening)
- 1/2 cup (58g) confectioner's sugar
- 1 cup (110g) chopped raw pecans
- 1 cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
- In a medium-sized bowl, place the chopped white chocolate (or morsels), and set the bowl aside. Line an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Place the contents of both cans of coconut milk (taking care to scrape out the entire contents of the cans), the granulated sugar and kosher salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Turn the heat on medium-high, and stir as the coconut milk solids melt. Continue stirring. After about 2 minutes over medium-high heat, the mixture will begin to bubble up quite a bit. Keep stirring and cooking as the liquid bubbles off and the mixture reduces.
- After about 10 minutes, the mixture will coat the back of a spoon and begin to thicken more rapidly. Once it is reduced by half and is substantially thicker (see photo), remove the condensed milk from the stovetop. Pour 10 ounces of the mixture into the bowl of chopped white chocolate, and stir to melt the chocolate. Add the vanilla, coconut oil or shortening and confectioner's sugar. Stir until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool for about 5 minutes or until cool enough that it won't melt the chips. Fold in the pecans and (optional) chips.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and smooth the top with a spatula. Place the fudge in the refrigerator to cool until set, between 1 and 3 hours.
- Once set, slice into squares and coat with melted semi-sweet chocolate, if desired.
Be sure to cook the coconut milk mixture until it thickens noticeably or the fudge will not set.
If you can have dairy, substitute an equal amount of sweetened condensed milk for the coconut milk and granulated sugar reduction.
P.S. P.S. If you haven't yet, please pick up a copy of my cookbook, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy! I can't make this the best gluten-free blog without your support.