Thursday, December 8, 2005

All better

I do apologize for the rant earlier today. I was not happy. Fortunately though, I think I have redeemed myself, and things are looking up. My almond roca still isn't quite right, but at least it is good. It doesn't quite have that buttery lightness that I associate with the roca. Instead it is a little darker, and more like an almond toffee. Similar, but enough difference to make it, well, different. I will have to try more, but this will b eokay for something.

I also successfully made a batch of Maple-Walnut Fudge. I love this fudge. It is very easy and very delicious. I will post the recipe at the bottom. The best part is that it doesn't call for a thermometer- which I am a little leery of right now. Just simmer your ingredients, mix and pour. I found the maple flavoring at a local dry goods store, but I think you could use a maple extract if that's all you can find. It is a cooked brown sugar fudge, so it has that slight crumbly texture that I love about cooked fudges.

I also have a batch of Pumpkin Walnut Fudge cooling on the stove. It's too soon to say it was a success, but so far it's looking good. I was able to use my back burner to some success, and I used my probe thermometer, and that seemed to work okay. I just have to come up with a way to hang the probe on my pan. At least I did not come up with a scorched black mess like I did the last time I attempted this fudge. It smells good, and I'm looking forward to sampling it. Right now it is coolin gdown to temp, and then I will beat in the walnuts and it should set up soon. I will report tomorrow on the success or failure.

So here are the recipes for both the Maple Walnut Fudge and the Almond Roca. The maple fudge is complements of Valchemist on the CLBB and the roca is from Anna at Cookie Madness.
* Exported from MasterCook *
Anna's Almond Roca

2 Cups Sugar
1 Pound Butter -- (4 sticks)
1 Cup Water
1/2 tsp. Salt
3 Cups Almonds -- the "shaved" kind
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 bag milk chocolate chips

Reserve 1 cup of the almonds and set aside. Mix sugar, butter, water, and salt in large, heavy saucepan and heat to boiling over medium to medium high heat. Make sure there's room in the saucepan for the mixture to foam up and boil. Heat mixture over medium to medium high until it foams and reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (don't stir). When temp reaches 240, stir in 2 cups of almonds. Stir mixture constantly and watch temp carefully until temp reaches 290. Remove from heat, stir in soda and QUICKLY pour onto a cookie sheet covered with buttered or greased wax paper. Mixture should start to harden immediately. As mixture hardens, sprinkle chocolate chunks over hardening mixture and spread the chocolate chunks around until they melt. Sprinkle melted chocolate with reserved almonds. Let sit until toffee hardens and chocolate sets.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
* Exported from MasterCook *
Perfect Maple Walnut Fudge

2 cups packed brown sugar
5 oz evaporated milk
1/2 pound butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup walnuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring

Butter a 9x13-inch pan and set aside. (9x13 will produce very thin fudge. use a smaller pan if you like thicker pieces.) (I used an 8x8 pan for the perfect thickness) Lining the pan with foil or paper and buttering that makes cutting and removing much easier.
n a medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter and milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat very slightly and boil 10 minutes while stirring constantly. No longer! (I didn't stir constantly. I was fairly good about it, but I left it every now and then and that turned out to be ok.)
Remove from heat and add powdered sugar, vanilla and maple flavoring. Mix thoroughly with hand mixer on medium until thick and glossy - just a couple of minutes. Fold in walnuts and pour in prepared pan.
Note: This recipe also doubles easily. For thicker fudge double and still use the one pan.
Source: "shared by Valchemist on CLBB"


Anna said...

Sorry the almond roca didn't turn out, but keep practicing! Maybe make a smaller batch just for fun. I've been making it for about 20 years now and I still don't get a perfect batch every single time. Make sure you use an accurate thermometer and a heavy bottomed saucepan. And do NOT stop stirring after you add the almonds.

Erika said...

Thanks for the encouragement Anna! The second batch turned out okay, but it was much more toffeelike than roca like. It was still good enough to package up and share.

I think I need a new pan though...