Sunday, January 27, 2013

Super-Easy Low-Carb Fudge

I've been testing and tweaking chocolate candy recipes lately in search of a healthy and tasty low-carb option. I've discovered that this is, in fact, quite doable, and I've come up with some of my simplest recipes yet! It all hinges on unsweetened baking chocolate, something that almost every grocery store sells in the baking aisle. Unsweetened chocolate is low-carb, full of antioxidants, and actually has some fiber and protein, too! The problem comes in with the sugar and cream added to most chocolate candies. I have 2 different fudge variations that essentially involve making an emulsion with approximately one part melted unsweetened chocolate, one part creamy substance (almond milk or peanut butter), and some Splenda. Whether or not you are low-carb, this might become your go-to dessert!

The first recipe is the simplest--it only has four ingredients and takes only a few minutes to make--and is my personal favorite. Do you know what a gananche is? It's a fancy-sounding French technique that is the dead-simple trick to making fab low cal, low-carb, vegan truffles/fudge. A ganache involves emulsifying chocolate in cream. I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead--it is very low cal and low carb, and the flavor goes great with chocolate. The ratio of liquid to chocolate can be varied to make anything from a chocolate sauce, a glaze for cakes, a frosting, or truffles. The milk-to-chocolate ratio listed below makes a truffle-textured ganache. The traditional way to serve ganache truffles would be to let the ganache cool, roll pieces into inch-sized balls, and roll in the coating of your choice: cocoa powder, chopped nuts, coconut, etc. To make it super easy, I just poured it into a baking dish and let it cool in a block to make "fudge". It is the the richest and most velvety fudge I've ever tasted!

Note that these recipes make a dark chocolate flavored fudge. If you prefer a creamier milk chocolate flavor and are not concerned about fat, you could use half and half or cream instead of one of the milk substitutes below. It will still be low carb.

Ganache Fudge
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (coconut milk would also be fab)
1 3/4 cups granulated Splenda or sweetener of choice
optional: you could also add a teaspoon of instant coffee to make mocha fudge
8 oz Baker's unsweetened chocolate squares
1 t vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, bring milk, Splenda, and coffee, if using, to a slight simmer over medium heat, uncovered. Turn off heat and drop in chocolate squares. I don't even bother with chopping it up like many recipes call for. It will melt anyway. Cover and let steep for five minutes. The residual heat from the milk will melt the chocolate perfectly without scorching. (The pieces will look intact after you steep them, but they will be super soft and will dissolve when you stir them.) Add vanilla and stir until everything is smooth. Pour into square baking dish and refrigerate.

Cut into 32 squares. A serving size is 2 squares. Calories: 73, fat: 7.2 g, protein: 2.1 g, total carbs: 4.1, fiber: 2.1, net carbs: 2.


The second recipe adds peanut butter to the mix, making a deliciously creamy, peanut buttery dark chocolate fudge, my husband's favorite. This recipe is a bit higher in fat and carbs because of the peanut butter, but it is still pretty light.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 3/4 cups granulated Splenda or sweetener of choice
8 oz Baker's unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup peanut butter. You can use crunchy or smooth peanut butter, or any other nut butter of your choice. Almond butter is scrumptious in this.
1 t vanilla

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a large microwave dish. Microwave 1 minute, stir, then microwave in 30 second bursts, followed by stirring, until the chocolate is melted. (I usually have to do this 2 or 3 times. Be careful not to overcook). Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Mixture will be thick at this point. I usually just leave it in the container I microwaved it in--one bowl fudge! Refrigerate.

Cut into 32 squares. A serving size is 2 squares. Calories: 166, fat: 15.2, total carb: 7.2, fiber: 3, net carbs: 4.2.

8 comments:

  1. I've made the ganache fudge twice, with good success. However, the third time I screwed things up...and discovered something cool.

    A few days ago, I thought I'd make some more...and also thought I knew the recipe enough that I didn't look at it. I used 1 cup of unsweetened chocolate almond milk, one bar of 100% unsweetened Gharardelli chocolate, and several good squirts of liquid Splenda. I forgot the vanilla. After the milk came to a simmer, I added the chocolate, covered, took it off the heat...and waited for 10 minutes. Then I stirred and stirred and wondered why it didn't start to set up. I put it in the fridge and pulled out the recipe. Oops! I let it sit for 10 minutes instead of 5. A little later I checked, and it was the consistency of pudding and was slightly grainy with small chocolate lumps. I left it in the fridge. A few hours later, my teenage son wandered by, found it, and added several spoons to a cup with hot half and half thinned with hot water. The result? A low carb hot chocolate that he loves! I added a few spoons to a mug of coffee, and had a nice hot mocha.

    So now, thanks to my screwup, I've got a good recipe for hot chocolate and hot mochas. Excellent!

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  2. This was way too bitter for our taste. I had to add alot more granulated Stevia & Splenda both, a couple of good squirts of liquid Splenda, and I'm not sure it lastes like fudge yet.

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  3. I used powdered erythitol with a touch of vanilla stevia for the sweetner. I didn't have vanilla almond milk so just used the original unsweetened almond milk. I also added raw almonds. Tastes great!

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  4. I made this last night, stuck it in the fridge, and this morning I realized it still hasn't "set". I tasted a bit of it and it's pretty delicious....just not hard like a brick of fudge, so I ended up sticking the pan in the freezer. Hopefully it will be good! :) Thanks for sharing this recipe! :)

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  5. Thanks everyone for your comments! Glad you're enjoying it! A good tip if you are concerned about your fudge not setting properly is to start out with a little less milk than the recipe calls for.

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  6. Tried the recipe. It did not set. it is more like fudge sauce.
    Kate

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    1. Sorry to hear that! Hopefully it was at least delicious fudge sauce! See my comment above about using a bit less milk than the recipe calls for. It may especially be a problem if you live in a humid area. I hope you get it to work with a little trial and error!

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  7. Tried the recipe, using heavy cream but otherwise the same. Sadly, not fudge-like at all. Will continue my search for a low carb sugar free fudge.

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