As a child I always thought I was allergic to chocolate because eating it gave me hives. I’m not allergic, it was just contaminated back in the olden days before FALCPA and there was no way to know. (Sorry, Mars but it’s true.) Because I repeatedly got allergic from all kinds of chocolate bars as a kid, it was like aversion therapy for chocolate; I lost a taste for it.
To wit: I’m not really a chocolate person.
As an adult, and really only in the last five years or so, since excellent quality allergen-free chocolate has come on the market I’ve started reintroducing chocolate back into my life. I still don’t lurve it the way many of you do but I eat the safe brands without fear of hives and with joy.
Divvies, the manufacturers of the Benjamint Bar – my all-time-fave-ready-to-eat-safe-and-minty-chocolate-bar - has a gorgeous new allergen-friendly cookbook out. All the recipes are dairy-free, peanut-free, tree-nut free and egg-free. (The Divvies Bakery Cookbook recipes do employ soy products and wheat products so if those are your Kryptonites (or intolerances like me), you’ll need to use substitutions.) I received a copy from the publisher and I jumped to make the fudge.
So PS, I’ve never had fudge. Before you start thinking my childhood was seriously lacking, don’t worry I had plenty of other sweets but I never had fudge, probably because it usually had, and still has, nuts. So I ran to try the Divvies Bakery Cookbook recipe for fudge and let me tell you if this is what fudge is like (rich, silken, melt in your mouth), I see the allure.
Here’s the journey of the Divvies Bakery Cookbook fudge recipe and this Allergic Girl.
Divvies Bakery Cookbook recipe:
(From The Divvies Bakery Cookbook by Lori Sandler. Copyright (c) 2010 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin's Press, LLC.)
Because I couldn’t leave well enough alone, I gilded the Divvies Bakery Cookbook fudge lily. I split the fudge recipe into threes.
I made a mint batch by adding half a teaspoon of peppermint flavoring to a third of the batch. It tastes like molten After Eights, my British college boyfriend, Rudyard’s favorite. Addicting and refreshing.
The other two batches I laced with lardons and candied lardons. I took a special trip to get house smoked and cured, thick cut bacon i.e. lardons from Marlow & Daughters in Williamsburg Brooklyn.
Marlow & Daughters:
Marlow & Daughters lardons going in the oven:
I sprinkled the lardons with some organic turbinado sugar and let them cook in a hot oven for about 30 minutes. They came out all candied and glorious. I waited until they cooled to chop into smaller pieces. When the fudge was ready (made according to the directions) I put down a layer of fudge, then sprinkled the candied lardons on top and covered it with a second layer of fudge.
Cross-section of candied bacon fudge, not for the faint of heart:
The resultant fudge was creamy, luxurious, sweet but not too sweet, decadent and vegan, kosher (not the bacon one, natch) and allergen-free!
I look forward to exploring more recipes in the Divvies Bakery Cookbook . Thanks Lori!
PS I will be running a fudge recipe context starting next week with a generous prize from Divvies, so stay tuned!