About a week back I was working from home because we had a snowstorm, which in Washington D.C. speak means we got 4 inches. But, rather than getting excited about the idea of working in my pajamas for the day or taking advantage of the chance to coincide household chores with work, I instead took the opportunity to make whisky sugar. That’s a normal thing to do, right…?
An infusion of simply those two things, whisky sugar doesn’t take much effort, just time. After combining the two ingredients and spreading the mixture out on a sheet pan, it goes into a 200-degree oven for about 8 hours until the moisture evaporates and you’re left with something resembling the demerara sugar you started with, but infused with a nice boozy flavor. The whisky doesn’t have an overwhelming presence, but just enough to let you know it’s there. So with whisky sugar at hand, the next natural step was to make chocolate whisky fudge…you know, in order to sprinkle the sugar overtop it. I suppose these are the thoughts that go though your head when cabin-fever craziness coincides with chocolate cravings.
But yes, the next step did indeed happen, the two entities merged, and I have therefore spent the last few days failing at resisting temptation to eat fudge every time I think of it. Which is often. I wasn’t even much a fudge fan to begin with but there’s something different about this one. It takes on a quality that it more like a chocolate truffle since it’s much smoother and creamier than the gritty and crumbly fudge I used to know. The whisky, in both the fudge and the sugar, also lends a deep caramel flavor rounded out by a sprinkling of flaky salt on top.
The fudge itself, excluding the time it takes to make the sugar, actually comes together quickly and easily so it’s certainly something you can make when short on time. Just top with plain demerara sugar instead. Perhaps this is a little untimely with it’s post Valentine’s Day unveiling but if you’re itching for something to do while hiding away in the house, escaping the cold, you too may find that making fudge is a rather nice way to spend the day.
Chocolate Fudge with Whisky Sugar
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Note: you will have lots of leftover sugar, which is great in a cup of coffee. It will keep for 2 months.
For the Whisky Sugar
1 cup demerara sugar
2 Tbs. Whisky (I used Crown Royal Maple Whisky for a bit of added sweetness)
For the Fudge
10 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
10 Tbs butter, cut into pieces
2 Tbs whisky
1 Tbs light corn syrup
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
The whisky sugar and Maldon Sea Salt for sprinkling on top
Make the sugar. Heat the oven to 200 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Mix together the sugar and whisky and spread out evenly on the pan. Place in the oven for 8 hours leaving the door of the oven slightly ajar. After about 4 hours, I recommend pulling it out and breaking up the sugar with a rolling pin since it will start to form into one big sheet of sugar. By the end of the 8 hours, it should feel like dry sugar again. If not leave in the oven until it does.
Now make the fudge. Line an 8x8 inch brownie pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on all sides, and brush lightly with vegetable oil. Heat the chocolates in a heatproof bowl that is set overtop a pan of simmering water (don’t allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water). Stir until the chocolate is just melted and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the condensed milk, butter, whisky, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla. Heat on medium, while stirring, until just hot. Using a rubber spatula, stir a quarter of the milk mixture into the chocolate. Continue adding the milk, one quarter at a time, stirring after each addition. It will look like it’s separating but it will come back together so don’t worry. After adding the last of the milk, stir the mixture vigorously for about 5 minutes. It should be shiny and almost stretchy. Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle over the whisky sugar and the flaky salt, as much as you desire. Let cool, cover, and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Once chilled, remove from the pan and cut into blocks. The fudge will keep in the fridge for a week.