Salted Dark Chocolate Fudge
Ah, chocolate. Sweet, nutty, beautiful chocolate. It’s everyone’s favorite, right? It’s the ultimate delicacy, rich and indulgent, and it just makes you so happy.
Especially my family. For us, chocolate is more than just the chocolate itself — it’s a part of our roots. Generations of my family have called Hershey, Pennsylvania home – good old Chocolatetown, USA. When I was a child, I thought the chocolate factory in the center of town was filled with glistening chocolate rivers just like Willy Wonka’s. Chocolate is everywhere — even the lampposts are shaped like Hershey’s kisses. Last year, the Sailor and I said “I do” at the Hotel Hershey, solidifying its reputation as the sweetest place on earth in my book. Chocolate is just part of the culture there. It’s wonderful.
But here’s the thing — I hate chocolate.
I know. It makes no sense. Don’t think I didn’t try — for years I willed myself to enjoy that mildly bitter, waxy flavor, but I just can’t do it. It just doesn’t light up those same yummy signals in my brain. I’ve accepted it, and I hope you can too. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still love chocolate in other ways — after all, it built the town my grandparents grew up in. It reminds me of home. To me it evokes childhood, fun, simple joys, and above all, family. And THAT I do love. A lot.
Food does more than just feed, and you don’t always have to love eating something in order to love making something. I whipped up these squares of rich chocolate fudge a few days ago and since then, they’ve made many people in my life happy — and that makes me happy. For me, cooking has little to do with eating. It’s about food’s awesome, magical capability to make you feel something. And when you share food, you share that magic. It brings you together. It’s an act of kindness, and comfort, and love. And from what I hear, for someone who actually likes chocolate, there’s no greater act of love than giving them a big, beautiful pile of the stuff.
This fudge recipe is both simple and decadent, which is what I always aim for when making something with chocolate. The chocolate’s dark bite is the absolute star, and everything else supports that flavor with a just hint of sweetness, a creamy texture, and a delicate sprinkling of salt. I used pink Himalayan sea salt to top each square, and love that the bright crystals against the deep chocolate mimics the flavor contrast the salt gives each bite. Even better, this recipe couldn’t be easier. Just a few ingredients come together into the classic, rich, perfectly fudgy fudge that will make you swoon — or, if you’re like me, make your loved ones swoon while you stand back and happily watch. And let’s face it — isn’t that just as sweet?
- 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips (60% cocao)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 1 rounded teaspoon esperesso powder (optional)
- pink Himalayan sea salt
Prepare a 6x8 baking dish by lining it with a sheet of parchment paper, making sure it covers the bottom and all sides. (helpful hint: I used a rubber band to keep mine in place!)
In a double boiler, combine the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate, extract(s), and espresso (if using). Heat slowly over simmering water until the chocolate is melted & the mixture is fully combined. (this will take a bit of muscle - the mixture will be quite thick!)
Transfer to the prepared baking dish and press to form a uniform layer. Place in fridge for at least 2 hours to firm up.
Remove fudge by turning out of pan and removing parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, cut into squares.
Top each square with a sprinkling of sea salt.
Make sure you use Hershey's! 🙂