Monday, July 12, 2010

Faux Pas Surprise

*UPDATE and new pics through out: Yes you can indeed go straight from hot pasty sludge (picture number three) straight through to making the sauce without spreading and cooling it first.*

I'm sure we've all done it. I've done it lots of times. It can occasionally be salvaged, but most of the time you just lay them to rest in a little hole in a corner of the yard somewhere. Oh..you don't? That must be only me then.

What am I speaking of you ask? Why, kitchen flubs and faux pas of course - mistakes! Mine usually spring from forgetting an ingredient, or thinking I could remember a technique I hadn't seen or done in a while or just messing up from cooking when too tired. This particular time, I didn't have a lot of ingredients and substituting took a lot more measuring than I expected which distracted me from remembering basic dessert chemistry. And I was tired and it was late. Whammy all the way around.

My failed fudge - rather than going to the recipe-whoopsie-graveyard out back (this is where stuff like curdled cream soups and things go) managed to gain redemption in the form of fudge SAUCE. And what an awesome sauce it is..er was (I think there's like a tablespoon left). I think I will actually repeat this flub and make it a bonafide recipe instead. The results were outstanding and tasty and I will share them here with you dear readers.

It all started with needing to rid myself of old canned ingredients before the expiration date, the majority of which was sweetened condensed milk.  So here's your ingredient list.

1 Can sweetened condensed milk 14oz
8 1oz pieces Bakers UNsweetened Chocolate (aka Baking Chocolate)
12 TBS Hershey's Cocoa Powder (equal to 3/4 cup)
4 TBS oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
12 TBS granulated sugar (also equal to 3/4 cup)
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract (use the real stuff!)
1/4 to 1/2 Cup approx, water
1/4 Cup approx whole milk

Place the chocolate, cocoa, oil, and sugar into a heat safe bowl and on top of a sauce pan with some water in it to devise a makeshift double boiler, or use your own if you have one. Don't burn yourselves.

Bring water to a nice steamy simmer and let the residual heat melt everything slowly together. Give it an impatient stir occasionally like I did. Once the chocolate and everything is all gritty and pasty and you're feeling disgusted that it took so long (especially if you used a Pyrex glass bowl instead of metal) it will look like this:

Now open your can of SWEET MILK and scrape it all into the bowl. Just before this point you'll want a sheet pan or something nearby, already buttered so the stuff will release when you get ready to take it out. You can turn off your burner now. Mix the sweet milk into the chocolate pasty stuff and watch it tighten up fast. When it's nearly mixed entirely, don't forget to put in your 2 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl so everything is combined.  It will look like this:

Use a pot holder whilst you move the now tight and still gritty chocolate "fudge" to the sheet pan. Smooth it out flat - don't worry about getting it perfect. Throw that into the freezer for a while until it sets up - probably ten minutes or stick it in the fridge for closer to 20, just so it's all stiff and nothing pasty anymore. At this point you can nibble on a cold corner of the failed fudge and wishfully sigh about how it would've made such nice fudge if you'd remembered to melt the sugar first. Or you can wrap it up in some plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge over night while you consider your future options.

I assume if you just go straight to making sauce out of it, that it will work fine, but I don't really know because I left mine in the fridge over night. I will try to make it straight through in the future though. (*See update at top of post*)

Whatever you decide, you should put the firm failed fudge (say that three times fast) back into the double boiler, heat on simmer, let it start to get warmish at the edges, looking like it could melt back into a gritty paste if you gave it some time, then add your WATER a little at a time and begin stirring. You may not need to use all of the water to get it where you need it. I must admit I didn't measure at the time.

The sugar crystals should disappear and it should be glossy and puddingy but a little thicker than pudding, which is when you put your WHOLE milk in and give it another stir. My friends, you have just made the most fabulous chocolate fudge sauce you will ever put your spoon, fingers, or lips to.

You should have a consistency that will mostly dribble off of a spoon onto a scoop of vanilla ice cream but requires you to stick the spoon in your mouth to get the rest. If you don't, then add a touch more milk or water, probably a TSP at a time so you don't over do it. If you go with the milk, it will result in a richer end product. When chilled it has a fairly "Nutella" like look, but a touch firmer. I bet it would be awesome as a spread come to think of it.

When you want to reheat it, just do it passively in a warm bowl or something. I was toasting pecans in an iron skillet and when done, I just sat a bowl in the still warm (not hot! you'll break your bowl!) skillet and let the natural heat of the iron warm the bowl and sauce. I am kinda dangerous and turned the flame on lowest for about 1 minute or less to bump up the speed a little. I can't recommend you do stuff like that because you could forget and shatter your bowl and ruin your fudge sauce. Umm.. and put out an eye maybe.

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