Almond Nutella fudge

Don't be afraid of fudge! Homemade fudge with Nutella and almonds, or peanut butter, makes a great addition to the Christmas cookie plate.

The Pastry Chef's Baking
Nutella adds an extra creaminess to this fudge. Add toasted almonds for extra flavor and texture.

Remember my epic fudge fail? I told myself I would try that recipe again and make it right but it's been two years and the trauma hasn't faded so I never did give it another shot. Truth be told, I don't think I've even made any kind of fudge since then. Not sure if I was really that traumatized or just risk averse and wanted to make other things that had a higher chance of success.

But I got this recipe from one of the ladies on my online fitness board who's also a baker so I was willing to give making fudge from scratch another chance. I modified her original recipe which called for peanut butter and instead substituted in the same amount of Nutella. I also added whole toasted almonds for additional flavor and texture.

Thankfully, my fudge curse may have been broken, as I thought this turned out really well. There was a hold-my-breath moment when it seemed like the fudge was going to be dry and not creamy once it had lost its initial gloss after I melted and beat in the chocolate chips and Nutella, but the moment passed and I could exhale.

The fudge was a trifle more firm than creamy but it wasn't dry or crumbly. I think the firmness might have been due to the Nutella substitution as it was also cold in my kitchen when I was making this (I'm notoriously cheap about not turning on my heater until I'm practically blue from frostbite) so the fudge mixture cooled more quickly than I anticipated before I was able to get the chips fully melted and the Nutella incorporated.

Despite the marshmallow creme, this wasn't too sweet. You can't really taste the Nutella too much so I think it served the purpose more to add creaminess than flavor to the fudge. I will have to try the peanut butter version shortly and see how the flavor turns out. Plus, I need more fudge for my holiday gifts as I took this batch of fudge into work today and it's all gone. This also freezes well so it's a good do-ahead recipe and definitely a keeper.

Almond Nutella fudge

1 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup Nutella

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup whole almonds, toasted, optional

1. Line an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with foil and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow creme, sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt. Bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Remove from heat and pour in the chocolate chips and Nutella. Stir until the chocolate is melted, the Nutella is combined and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Add toasted almonds if desired. Pour into prepared pan and smooth. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours or until firm.

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