A while back, I had the curious impulse to make dairy-free maple fudge. Was it possible? I had never even made fudge before. After great research and consideration, I embarked on this method. Fortunately, it was easy!
- 4 cups coconut milk (or, for dairy option, 2 cups cream)
- 4 cups pure maple syrup
- 2 cups chopped walnuts
- 2 liberal dashes salt (tip – salt brings out the sweetness)
- candy thermometer
1. In a saucepan, simmer coconut milk over low heat until it is reduced by half (about 20 minutes). Allow to cool slightly. (If using cream, skip this skip and just put the cream in the saucepan and continue.)
2. Add maple syrup and salt. Fasten the candy thermometer to the side of the pot so that it is not touching the bottom. Over low-medium heat, cook to 238 degrees F, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
- In the beginning, the coconut milk will be lumpy, but as you stir, it will become smooth.
- As I learned, fudge is very temperature-sensitive, and so a thermometer is highly recommended unless you are an expert!
- For an extra buttery flavour, you can add 1 tablespoon butter with the maple syrup, but it is not necessary – the maple fudge in the photo above was made without it.
- If the weather is humid or rainy, cook to 240 degrees F.
3. Without stirring, gently remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Do not scrape the bottom of the pot. Allow to sit for 5 minutes without stirring.
4. Add walnuts and stir for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture holds its shape. This should require some effort, especially at the end.
5. Pour into a pan lined with wax paper. Smooth the top using a greased piece of wax paper.
6. Allow to cool. It will set as it cools. If the weather is humid, you may want to put it in the refrigerator. Slice when set.
Makes 16 small squares.
One of the first responses this recipe got was, “Maple syrup is expensive!” Yes, it is expensive (at least in most places). This is not an everyday dessert but rather is worthy of a special occasion or to give as a gift.
Also…throughout most of human history, desserts were special treats, not to be enjoyed every day. We are living in a very unnatural era, where cheap candy bars have become the norm. A dessert should be a little expensive and hard to obtain!