I inherited my sweet tooth for chocolate, among many other features, from my sweet grandmother Mimi. Mimi made the best old-fashioned fudge around. She didn’t use marshmallow fluff or any other questionable substances—just sugar, cocoa, milk and butter, carefully combined according to the technique she’d learned in her high school home economics class (circa 1933).
Mimi and I made her famous fudge together a couple of times. She would start by pulling out her recipe, which was written in her young handwriting on an old, yellowed piece of paper. I’d stand on a step-stool in her sunny kitchen in Woodward, Oklahoma, and lean with my little hands, which looked like miniature versions of her hands, over her yellow laminate countertops. Her elegant, pale gold watch and wedding ring glimmered as she measured and stirred, and her brown eyes, the same color as mine, twinkled as she taught me her secrets to fudge making. I remember balling up little bits of fudge between my fingers and dropping the bitty balls of fudge into a bowl of water to test the temperature. We stirred some more and, finally, we dropped spoonfuls of heavenly scented, melted fudge goodness onto waxed paper. The process seemed like magic.
I’m sad to say that I have lost her fudge recipe, but all is not lost. I like to imagine that I’ll find it someday, tucked in between her other recipes or in one of her old cookbooks, and feel elated for days. I’ve recently inherited her wedding ring and watch, which fit my finger and wrist like they were made from me (because they kind of were). If Mimi were around today, I’d like to think that she’d love this fudge. It satisfies my sweet tooth, so I think it would satisfy hers.
Sometimes I try intriguing recipes out of sheer curiosity, and this is one of such recipes. It’s vegan and made with real, natural ingredients. It’s both vegan and raw if you use peanut butter made from raw peanuts (I didn’t). It requires a food processor and a small container (like the kind you might use for leftovers), but the method is as easy as it gets, no candy thermometer required. And it’s crazy delicious. Oh my, this fudge is good.
I’ve made it twice, once with regular cocoa powder and then again with organic cacao powder, which results in a richer fudge with a more intense dark chocolate flavor. If you can find it, I recommend using cacao powder because of its more healthful properties and because its richness does a better job of masking the flavor of the bananas.
- ½ cup coconut butter*
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter**
- 2 small ripe bananas, cut into one-inch chunks
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder*** or regular cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch sea salt
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, roughly five minutes or so.
- Use a spatula to pour the mixture into a flat, sealable container.
- Place the container in the freezer. The fudge needs to be super cold in order to retain its shape, so I find that it's best to store the fudge in the freezer. If you store it in the fridge, it will have a semi-solid mousse-like texture.
- Adapted from Munchin with Munchkin's Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge.
- For more vegan fudge variations, check out this vegan fudge post on Chocolate Covered Katie.
- This fudge keeps well in the freezer for a surprisingly long time, upwards of a week. Try not to slice it until you're ready to eat a piece.
- *To make your own coconut butter, pulse 8 ounces of shredded, unsweetened coconut in a food processor until smooth, which will take 8 to 12 minutes. Please note that 8 ounces of coconut will yield 1 cup of coconut butter, which is twice what you need for the recipe. I recommend 8 ounces because I have not had any luck making smaller batches in my food processor; too many flakes stick to the side. Perhaps a very smaller food processor could do the job. If you make 8 ounces' worth, you can save ½ cup of coconut butter for later (it's great on quick breads, muffins and more), or you can double the batch and toss twice the remaining ingredients into the food processor after making the coconut butter. Just pour the mixture into a bigger container and refrigerate/freeze as directed.
- **Use raw peanut butter (here's how to make your own) if you want truly raw fudge.
- ***Cacao powder is ground from raw cacao beans. It is not as processed as regular cocoa powder, which means that it is higher in antioxidants and nutrients and also tastes more intense than cocoa powder. You should be able to find a bag of it at your local health store or in bulk online. It's great in smoothies, too.