I am not normally a huge fan of fudge -- it's just too sweet -- but this recipe for bittersweet walnut fudge caught my eye when I first saw it on Epicurious some time last year. I figured toasted walnuts and a good bittersweet chocolate would cut some of the sweet and I was right. I used Ghiradeli 60% for most of this chocolate, but I think if I had used a 70% cocoa chocolate it would have been even better. Don't get me wrong, the stuff is still really sweet, but as long as it's cut in small pieces it's something I can eat and enjoy.
It did take quite a long time standing over the stove boiling the milk and sugar, but I think it was worth it. I also think my inexperience with making fudge hurt a little here because I think I got the milk and sugar too hot which affected the texture a bit. My fudge came out a little crumbly as opposed to the picture on Epicurious which shows smooth and soft fudge...
ah well. It still tastes good, and that's the important part.
1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
3 cups sugar
1 12-ounce can fat-free evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups walnut pieces, toasted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Stir sugar and evaporated milk in heavy large deep saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to boil. Attach clip-on candy thermometer to side of pan. Boil until temperature registers 234°F, stirring constantly and adjusting heat to avoid boiling over, about 10 minutes. Immediately pour milk mixture over chocolate mixture. Whisk until chocolate and butter melt and fudge is smooth. Mix in nuts and vanilla.
Spread fudge evenly in prepared pan. Refrigerate uncovered until cold and set, about 3 hours. Using foil as aid, lift fudge from pan. Cut crosswise into 7 strips, then lengthwise into 5 strips. Return to pan, cover, and chill. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep covered and chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.)