It’s not fudge, there isn’t any chocolate! That was the response when I let people try these. Technically according to dictionary fudge is “a soft candy made from sugar, butter, and milk or cream”. But really, fudge is about so much more than just chocolate. While I love chocolate as much as the next person, sometimes its nice to have a bit of other flavors to break it up.
So the original recipe that I based this one on, calls for buttermilk. But I had just written my article on buttermilk substitutes and so had some extra milk and lemon lying around. So I decided to use the substitute in this recipe. And I think it made it better! The lemon comes out in the fudge making the fudge a bit fruity and really ups the complexity.
The total cost of this recipe is $3.69 and $.23 per serving. Which is pretty good compared to the $17.00 per lb that you can spend on fudge at amazon. That is around an 80% savings which is pretty sweet to me! The most expensive ingredient is sugar, at 35.6% of the cost, with the walnuts coming in a close second. Maybe that is why chocolate fudge is so popular, I bet chocolate is cheaper than the walnuts.
Honestly I haven’t made fudge enough times that I’m happy with the results of it. So personally in this case I’m not going to be replacing my fudge consumption with ones that I make all that often. I think that there is a vast quality difference in fudge and I certainly appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into making a good fudge versus a bad one. So in my opinion spending the extra money to get a really nice piece of fudge is certainly worth it.
"Buttermilk" walnut fudge
- 1 cup walnuts (112g) $1.23
- 2 cup sugar (400g) $1.31
- 7.5 fl oz milk $0.30
- 1 tbsp lemon juice $0.08
- 1/2 cup butter (112.5g) $0.62
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt (.625g) $.0006
- 1 tbsp honey (18.5g) $0.15
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9x5” loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on long sides; set aside.
Make a buttermilk substitute, mix lemon and milk together and let sit for 5 minutes.
Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 8–10 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
Heat sugar, buttermilk substitute, butter, honey, and kosher salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until butter and sugar are melted, about 3 minutes
Fit saucepan with thermometer, bring mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thermometer registers 238° (mixture will be pale golden and smell faintly of toffee), 6–8 minutes.
Immediately pour mixture into a medium bowl and, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat until cool and thickened (it will be stiff and matte), 5–8 minutes.
Fold in walnuts. Scrape fudge into prepared pan; smooth top and sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit at least 1 hour before cutting into pieces.
I used a buttermilk substitute, but if you would like to use actual buttermilk. replace the milk and the lemon with 1 cup of buttermilk.