By this point in December I am usually on a cookie baking binger. I will have gone through 4 pounds of sugar, 3 dozen eggs, and a bottle of vanilla extract but this year has been different. I think I tuckered myself out after baking 100 chocolate chip cookies, a batch of World Peace Cookies, some Austrian Shortbread, and almond cookies for the wedding. My Cusinart and I still need a little break from each other.
When I stumbled across this fudge recipe in the latest issue of Bon Appetit and realized it incorporated both chocolate and bourbon (!!!) and it was a recipe from one of the best pastry chefs (William Werner of Craftsman and Wolves out in San Francisco) I felt as if it was time to get back to baking (or in this case candy-making).
This fudge is about as fudgy as fudge can get. It is rich. It is chocolaty. It is the kind of treat that is decadent and completely appropriate from December through February. It's all around delicious but it's the sprinkle of bourbon sugar and sea salt on the top that really makes me swoon hard for it.
Chocolate Fudge With Bourbon Sugar
Recipe from Bon Appetit
I don't typically love the texture of fudge, I find it to be grainy but this stuff is a whole other beast. I don't know if fudge purists would call if fudge but I call it delicious and isn't that all that matters? I will say that this is rich (and this is coming from a chocoholic). The original recipe called cutting this it into 32 pieces and I think at that size it would be too much 48 pieces is much better.
The bourbon isn't as strong as I imagined it to be. You do get a faint hint of it but it's not overpowering in the slightest (you can easily feed this to kids). I will admit that my favorite part of this recipe is the bourbon sugar which I have plans for sprinkling on grapefruit cookies to make a cookie version of my favorite cocktail The Brown Derby - mind blown! I only made half the amount of brown sugar and I regret that decision now. Learn from my mistakes.
Makes 48 Pieces
1cup demerara sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 72%), coarsely chopped
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
To Make The Bourbon Sugar: Preheat oven to 150° or as low as yours will go. Scrape vanilla seeds into a small bowl; stir in demerara sugar and bourbon. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let dry out in oven overnight, leaving door slightly ajar. Mixture should feel like demerara sugar again in the morning.
Do Ahead: Store bourbon sugar airtight at room temperature up to 2 months.
To Make The Fudge: Line an 8x8” baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on 2 sides; lightly coat with nonstick spray. Heat chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let bowl touch water), stirring occasionally, until almost completely melted. Set aside.
Combine condensed milk, butter, bourbon, corn syrup, and kosher salt in a small saucepan; scrape in vanilla seeds and add pod. Heat over medium until barely hot (same as the chocolate).
Gently stir one quarter of milk mixture into chocolate with a rubber spatula. Add another quarter of milk mixture, stirring to incorporate (it might look broken and greasy; don’t worry, it will come back together). Continue with remaining milk mixture in 2 additions, stirring vigorously until fudge is very shiny and almost elastic, about 5 minutes. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle with bourbon sugar and sea salt. Let cool, then cover and chill at least 4 hours.
Turn out fudge onto a cutting board and slice into 48 pieces.
Do Ahead: Fudge can be made 1 week ahead. Wrap tightly and chill.