Festive (Quick & Easy) Fudge

Sometimes Christmas presents are a conundrum, but this year takes the cake: my future step-in-laws.

The cousins, aunts and uncles of a Bean’s new(ish) step-siblings, including The Baroness (I’m not kidding, the whole affair is honestly out of a novel).

I’ve met them twice, including at the wedding. It’s going to be a hoot and a half, but gift-giving for mildly related and fresh acquaintances means I am stuck in that puzzling present place. There are too many of them for complicated, personalised presents, and yet I still wanted to do something special.

FINAL fudge deep rows

And so I give you Festive Fudge. Simple, super quick (and let’s face it, super cheap, there are dozens of them) delectable holiday sweets with wow-factor 10.

First, there is this Simple Fudge. Nigella at her laziest.

There is chocolate, butter and condensed milk melted to luscious lather, then hardened in the freezer. It takes less than ten minutes all in, and when cut bite-sized (slightly larger than postage stamps) I get a good 100-120 cubes per batch. Brilliant.

Now if I were to eat these at home (which I do, and often), I skip the nuts and add a drop or two of peppermint oil for the perfect after dinner nibble, straight from the freezer.

FINAL fudge rows

 

But for Snazzy Spazzy Holiday Fun, I used chopped pistachios as directed (though only half as many), and then dusted the mostly-hardened cubes in cocoa powder.

… and by dusted I mean put a handful of frozen cubes in a tupperware with a tablespoon of powder and shake-a your maracas.

The rich, bitter edge of cocoa playing against the slightly salty nut crunch moves these up a level or twelve. To somewhere in the region of 5th Avenue fancy.

Plus, as the fudge will soften at room temperature, the dry powder helps contain the squares and avoid tacky party fingers.

FINAL fudge close up

Then the pièce de résistance: packaging.

First, set the squares into mini muffin papers to keep any loose cocoa dust from spreading. Then wash your powdery fingers. No sense in having brown smudgy prints all over your pretty packages.

Set rows of your papered chocolates into boxes – I used old tea tins, and put parchment paper squares between the layers.

FINAL fudge in boxes

Wrap according to taste. I skipped paper all together, since the tins were so pretty, and added a dash of ribbon and a couple of springs of plastic greenery I picked up 4 for £1 at PoundStretcher about a million Christmases ago.

   FINAL fudge wrapped boxes finished

Sure it takes a little more effort this way, but with all the time I saved on shopping and making gifts, spending half an hour wrapping them up with a little pizzaz felt worth it.

Et voila. Parisian petit candies, fit for a Duchess. And all for about £6. Magic.

Should you find yourself in the throes of party present panic this weekend I have now saved your life. You are welcome.

 

 

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