Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

November 20: National Peanut Butter Fudge Day

Need a quick sweet snack to share at a social gathering during the upcoming holidays? Then prepare chocolate peanut butter fudge! It only takes a few minutes to microwave and stir the ingredients together and just an hour to chill the chocolate peanut butter fudge. And a little also goes a long way! Fudge is fabulous as a gourmet gift when presented in a pretty package or on a party platter. For a fast and festive food, make chocolate peanut butter fudge for National Peanut Butter Fudge Day and holiday events.

Recipe

(Adapted from Jif)

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 jar (18 ounces) crunchy peanut butter (we used Jif brand extra crunchy)
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

Directions

Line an 8×8-inch square pan with foil, leaving some overhang. Mist with cooking spray. In a large microwave-safe bowl, place the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Microwave on high for a minute or two, stirring until melted.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Add the almond extract and condensed milk and blend well until smooth. Quickly pour into prepared pan.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Refrigerate to set for at least an hour. Remove from the refrigerator. Lift the foil overhang to take the fudge out of the pan. Slice into small squares.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Notes

  • Although we are not fond of fudge, we actually like this recipe because the extra crunchy peanut butter tones down the sweetness of the chocolate.
  • Find more fudge, peanut butter and chocolate recipes on our blog by searching on the sidebar.

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

November 15:
National Bundt Pan Day

Most homestyle bakers have a bundt in their cake pan collection. Islander has ta few—a fancy pineapple-design form and two mini bundt pans—but she borrows a basic one from her brother. The round, ridged mold with a hole in the middle gives cakes a distinctive shape.

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

The bundt pan evolved from the Viennese kugelhopf.  Austrians and Germans who immigrated to North America brought their baking traditions—and ring-shaped pans—with them. The word “bund” translates to “community” or “a gathering of people;” hence, the round pan shape for cakes that were meant to be shared during coffee or tea time. The first reference to a recipe for bundt kuchen was found in the turn-of-the-20th-century “Milwaukee Settlement Cookbook.”

Nordic Ware adapted the design to make a bundt pan at the request of members of the Hadassah Society, an American Jewish volunteer women’s organization. The company trademarked the pan in 1950, but sales were slow. A decade later, “Good Housekeeping Cookbook” featured a pound cake recipe baked in a bundt. In 1966, after a “Tunnel of Fudge” bundt cake recipe won second place at a Pillsbury Bake-Off, the bundt became the best-selling cake pan in America!

Nordic Ware and other companies continue to make classic and creative bundt pans in different designs, shapes and sizes. In 2007, some of the original Nordic Ware bundt pans became part of the museum exhibits at the Smithsonian Institute.

Pillsbury licensed the bundt name in 1970 for its line of cake mixes, which are not available as of this post. But we made a version (see Notes) of the Tunnel of Fudge bundt cake to observe National Bundt Pan Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Pillsbury and Busy Cooks via About.com)

For the Tunnel of Fudge cake

  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, granulated white
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
  • 1 tub chocolate fudge frosting (we used Pillsbury brand)

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and blend well. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and cocoa powder. Using a spatula, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix by hand. Fold in the nuts. Generously grease the sides of the bundt pan with vegetable shortening or cooking spray just before adding the batter in it.

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

Place half the batter into the pan. Spoon a thin ring of the fudge frosting in the middle of the batter, being careful not to let it touch the inner and outer sides of the bundt pan. Place the remaining batter on both sides of the fudge frosting and on top. Smooth it out. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour or until the edges of the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the bundt pan. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for about two hours. Invert onto a wire rack over a foil-lined lipped pan to cool completely. Prepare the glaze.

 Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

For the chocolate glaze

  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder/unsweetened cocoa
  • 6-8 teaspoons milk

Directions

In a bowl, combine the powdered sugar with the cocoa. Stir in the milk until it is smooth and has a drizzle-like consistency.

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze on top of the bundt cake, letting it drip down the sides. Transfer to a cake platter, slice and serve.

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

Notes

  • The original Tunnel of Fudge cake recipe included powdered fudge frosting mix, but Pillsbury has discontinued the product. Since the 1966 bake-off, the company has modified the recipe. The fudge from the tunnel is basically the undercooked batter, which is similar to a molten chocolate or lava cake.
  • Other companies, such as Nordic Ware (makers of the bundt pan and a Tunnel of Fudge cake mix) and Sof’Ella, make bundt cake mixes.
  • When we previously attempted to make a Tunnel of Fudge cake, it crumbled when released from the bundt pan (not greased enough) and it did not have fudge oozing out of the tunnel (overbaked). We also modified the recipe by following the concept of filled cupcakes (such as Betty Crocker brand FUN da-Middles). Half the batter is poured into the pan, a syrup filling is squeezed in the middle, then the remaining batter covers the filling before baking.
  • Thanks to Islander’s brother for letting us borrow his basic bundt pan for this Tunnel of Fudge cake recipe.
  • Thanks to Lisa L. who gifted Islander with the adorable “aloha” bundt pan.
  • Search our blog for recipes of other cakes baked in bundt pans.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

June 16: National Fudge Day

We have lived in the Lone Star State since 2008 and we get a taste of Tex-Mex meals and cowboy-country cooking all around town, whether at food festivals, restaurants or informal get-togethers. We especially enjoy the down-home desserts, such as cobblers and cookies, pies and puddings and custards (flan) and cakes.

Sometimes we see a sweet and simple chocolate cake at social events. What looks like a giant fudge brownie is known as a “Texas sheet cake.” And since “everything is bigger in Texas,” the flavor of this rich, moist dessert is even more pronounced—irresistably chocolaty and fudgy!

Texas fudge sheet cake is considered a comfort food. The ingredients are basic and the recipe is straightforward. The completed cake can be ready in less than an hour! It is sturdy enough to transport to potlucks and can be served straight out of the pan in which it was baked. Mmmmm…fudgy, not fussy!

Try this Texas fudge sheet cake for National Fudge Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from the Pioneer Woman)

For the fudge sheet cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • ¼ cup cocoa (we used Nestle brand)
  • 1 cup water, boiling
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Set aside. In a pan, melt the butter. Stir in the cocoa, then the boiling water. Boil for another 30 seconds.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

Pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture and stir. In a small bowl, mix the buttermilk with the eggs and baking soda.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

Add the vanilla to the buttermilk mixture. Pour this into the flour-chocolate batter and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour into a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking pan.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven. Cool completely. The cake may be frosted in the pan itself. Or it may be inverted onto a cake board or platter and then frosted.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

For the fudge frosting

(Adapted from About.com – Desserts/Baking)

  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3+ cup milk

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, sift the cocoa with the sugar to remove any lumps. In a separate microwave-safe bowl, place the stick of butter, cover with plastic film/wrap and microwave until melted. Remove the melted butter from the microwave and stir in the vanilla.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

Pour the butter-vanilla mixture into the cocoa-sugar and stir to combine. Add 1/3 cup milk and blend with a hand-mixer until smooth. Add a tablespoon of milk at a time to achieve the desired spreadable consistency for the frosting.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

Generously spread the top of the cake with frosting. Make decorative swirls with the spatula on the top and sides of the cake. Let set. Slice and serve.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

Notes

  • Howdy, partner! Texas fudge sheet cake pairs well with plain vanilla ice cream.
  • At weddings, the Texas sheet cake recipe gets dressed up as a groom’s cake. Baked in a Texas-shaped pan and decorated with chocolate-dipped strawberries, this fudge cake is a favorite among guests at a Texas BBQ reception!
  •  Search our blog for other chocolate cake recipes.

Vanilla-Macadamia Nut Fudge

Vanilla-Macadamia Nut Fudge

May 12: National Nutty Fudge Day

We usually find fudge to be too sweet—even for our notorious sweet tooth! But when it is made with macadamia nuts, fudge is fine as the roasted nut flavor tones down the sweetness a bit. Although we are not too fond of fudge as a whole, some of our mainland friends like the tropical taste in this recipe, especially around the holidays for a Hawaiian-inspired dessert exchange. So for all of Islander’s fellow cake club members and blog readers, below is the recipe for vanilla-macadamia nut fudge for National Nutty Fudge Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Nestle)

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups sugar, granulated white
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow crème
  • ¾ cup roasted macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon coconut extract

Directions

Line a 8×8- or 9×9-inch square pan with foil, leaving the edges hanging over the pan. Generously grease the foil with butter. Also butter the sides of a 3-quart saucepan. In the saucepan, combine the sugar, coconut milk and butter. Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a slow boil. Insert a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan, but do not let it touch the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue boiling it slowly without stirring. Boil for about 15 minutes or until the candy thermometer reaches 238 degrees F (softball stage). Remove from heat.

Vanilla-Macadamia Nut Fudge

Quickly stir in the white chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Add the marshmallow crème. Fold in the nuts. Mix in the vanilla and coconut extracts.

Vanilla-Macadamia Nut Fudge

Spread into the prepared baking pan. Let cool for at least 3-4 hours or until firm. Lift the fudge from the pan using the foil side handles. Use a sharp knife to cut into small squares. Yield: 36 pieces.

Vanilla-Macadamia Nut Fudge