Bookish Recipe| Diana Gabaldon’s Christmas Fudge Made Vegan

Hi friends! Last week, the lovely Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, was unbelievably generous and shared her family’s fudge recipe with us on Facebook! When I first saw this, I was unbelievably excited. I absolutely LOVE the Outlander series (despite having fallen terribly and inexcusably behind in my reading). The comments on this post are super heartwarming, with fans sharing how similar the recipe is to their own family recipes, and some people even proceeded to share their recipes.

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‘Tis the season of snow (depending where you live) and parties! Elder Daughter just asked me for the ancestral Christmas Fudge recipe for a party this weekend, and I thought y’all might like to have it, just in case anyone in your household is growing faint from lack of chocolate…
As a small Christmas present from me to you—here’s my ancestral recipe for Christmas Fudge (you only make it at Christmas, because if you ate it more often, you would weigh 400 pounds and/or die).
Diana’s Christmas Fudge
It’s a very simple recipe–one of the “ancestral” ones handed down from one of my great-grandmothers:
4 cups of sugar
1/2 pound of butter (two sticks)
1 can of Carnation Evaporated milk
3 bags Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate morsels
2 jars marshmallow creme
walnuts (the recipe says “1 can of shelled walnuts,” but they don’t sell them in cans anymore. I really like walnuts, so I use tons, but I don’t measure them. <g>)
Anyway, you melt the butter and sugar and evaporated milk together over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When it comes to a full, rolling boil, cook seven minutes by the clock, _stirring constantly_. Then remove from heat, mix in marshmallow creme and chocolate chips, stir in chopped walnuts, and pour or scoop into greased pans or baking dishes. Put in refrigerator to cool and harden. Makes about five pounds (in the pan. It will make about ten, if you eat it all yourself. I recommend sharing). <g>
NOLLAIG CHRIDHEIL!!

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While going through the comments of the original post, I also found that several people didn’t have access to the marshmallow fluff. And my inner vegan proceeded to slap on a big, goofy grin. As soon as I read the recipe, I instantly knew how I could make this vegan. And the swaps—even for the marshmallow fluff—are super easy and don’t make the recipe any more complicated—which made me even more excited. So here’s my  vegan, marshmallow fluff-free adaptation of Diana’s recipe! I know that the chickpea liquid mixture sounds terrifying—but trust me! It’s all good. They whip up just like egg whites!

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• 4 cups sugar, divided into 3 2/3 cups and 1/3 cup*
• Liquid from 1 can chickpeas (chilled)
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
• A pinch of cream of tartar
• 1 cup margarine**
• 500 ml milk substitute***
• 3 bags semi sweet chocolate chips****
• Tons of walnuts

* If you want to follow Diana’s recipe a little bit more, you can use 4 cups + 1/3 cup sugar. I decided to split the 4 cups of sugar rather than add extra.
** I used Becel Vegan Margarine
*** I used Silk Unsweetened Coconut Almond Blend
**** I used Laura Secord semi-sweet chocolate chips

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1 | Evaporated milk substitute | Place milk substitue in a small-medium sized saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, whisking frequently to prevent scalding or sticking. Continue to heat until the volume has reduced by half. Set aside.

2 | Marshmallow fluff substitute | Place chickpea liquid in a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the liquid and slowly add the vanilla & almond extract, 1/3 cup sugar, and cream of tartar. Continue to whisk for approx. 10 minutes, or until the mixture forms a consistency between soft-stiff peaks.

3 | While the marshmallow fluff is mixing, you can melt the butter, the remaining sugar, and the evaporated milk in a large saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally. When it comes to a full boil, cook for 7 minutes, stirring constantly.

4 | Remove from heat and stir in marshmallow fluff mixture and chocolate chips until well combined.

5| Optional | Stir in walnuts.*

6 | Spoon onto greased pan(s) or baking sheet(s) and place in fridge to cool and harden—I had enough to cover 1 baking sheet.

7 | Also optional | Share with friends.

8 | Once again, optional | Binge your way through the first book or season of Outlander and eat the fudge in one sitting—this is an especially important step if you’ve never read the books or watched the TV series.

* I didn’t have walnuts on hand, so I used crushed pecans. I also sprinkled them on top instead of mixing them in.
NOTE| If you aren’t used to a lot of sugar, like me, this fudge is SUPER sweet and rich. You could probably get away with only 2 cups of sugar in the butter/milk mixture. Feel free to experiment! It still turns out great!

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This fudge is amazing and incredibly rich—perfectly balanced with a strong, bold cup of coffee! Any excuse to have a cup of coffee is a win for me. Diana recommends sharing. But this fudge is almost too good to share! So, i recommend hoarding it all for yourself. But, if you’re actually a nice human being and not a troll like me, feel free to share. Your friends and family will love you. This stuff is seriously amazing. It’s definitely going down in my own recipe book and has officially entrenched itself in my Christmas baking list.

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