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15-Minute Chocolate Walnut Fudge

5 stars based on 9 votes

chocolate walnut fudge

My grandmother, or Nonny as I called her, was known for making the absolute best chocolate fudge — but I remember it was always a BIG to-do. That’s because traditional fudge is fickle: it must be heated and cooled to precise temperatures and then stirred “just so” to ensure success. For my Nonny, it was a team effort. After stirring all of the ingredients together and heating the fudge on the stovetop, she’d recruit my Papa to finish the job. He’d lift the big pot off the stove, place it in the sink over a cold water bath, and then tirelessly beat the fudge with a wooden spoon until the consistency was just right. Together, they’d pour the fudge into a pan and then we’d all wait eagerly for it to set. As much as I love the old-fashioned fudge my grandmother made, I usually opt for something much simpler. This 15-minute chocolate walnut fudge from Cook’s Illustrated is delicious and foolproof – and you don’t need strong arms or a burly assistant to stir it. My family goes crazy for this stuff. Sometimes easy wins, right?

ingredients

Before we get to the recipe, a few words about the ingredients. It’s important to use good quality chocolate, as it affects the flavor and texture of the fudge. Baking soda reacts with the acids in the chocolate to alter the pH, which makes the fudge drier and firmer.

To begin, chop the chocolate and toss it with the baking soda and salt in a medium heatproof bowl.

chocolate-baking-soda-and-salt

Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Then set the bowl over a 4-quart saucepan containing 2 cups of simmering water.

melting-chocolate-1

Stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is almost fully melted and only a few small pieces remain, 2 to 4 minutes. Make sure to remove the fudge from the double boiler before the chocolate is fully melted. If the chocolate stays in the double boiler too long, there is the possibility of the chocolate separating and producing a greasy fudge.

melting-chocolate-2

Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to stir until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.

adding-nuts

Stir in the walnuts.

mixed-fudge

Transfer the fudge to a greased, foil-lined pan and spread into an even layer.

ready-to-chill

Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Remove the fudge from the pan using the foil overhang and cut into squares.

slicing-fudge

Store the fudge, tightly wrapped in plastic, in a cool place for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for 3 months. If the fudge is frozen, allow ample time for it to reach room temperature before cutting. The fudge will change texture and become drier the longer it is stored. Enjoy!

Chocolate-Walnut-Fudge-1

15-Minute Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Servings: 2-1/2 pounds (36-64 squares, depending on how large you cut them)
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes, plus 2 hours to chill

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces semisweet chocolate, best quality such as Ghirardelli, chopped fine
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, best quality such as Ghirardelli, chopped fine
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with aluminum foil, pushing the foil neatly into the corners and up the sides of the pan, using two pieces if necessary to ensure that the foil overlaps all edges (the overhang will help removal from the pan). Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Toss the chocolates, baking soda, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl until baking soda is evenly distributed. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Set the bowl over a 4-quart saucepan containing 2 cups of simmering water. Stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is almost fully melted and just a few small pieces remain, 2 to 4 minutes. (Make sure to remove the fudge from the double boiler before the chocolate is fully melted. If the chocolate stays in the double boiler too long, there is the possibility of the chocolate separating and producing a greasy fudge.)
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to stir until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in the walnuts. Transfer the fudge to the prepared pan and spread into an even layer with the spatula. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Remove the fudge from the pan using the foil overhang and cut into squares. Store the fudge, tightly wrapped in plastic, in a cool place for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for 3 months. If frozen, allow ample time to let it reach room temperature before cutting. The fudge will change texture and become drier the longer it is stored.
  4. TO MAKE A DOUBLE BATCH: Line a 13 by 9-inch pan; double amounts of all the ingredients; and use a large heatproof bowl and Dutch oven containing 4 cups of simmering water for melting the fudge mixture.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (64 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 square
  • Calories: 72
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sodium: 23 mg
  • Cholesterol: 2 mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Wow Thank you Jennifer! I had a sweet tooth today and gave this a try. I cannot imagine any fudge tasting better than this! And for it to be so easy just amazes me! Im favorite part might be the texture…Love how there is no grit and how smooth this one is! Am so happy with this! You are the best! Luanne

    - Luanne on September 29, 2017 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Very Rich , more so than we thought…
    We could only eat a few..
    Like most of your easy recipes….
    Thanks for your sharing what you create…

    - Susan K on September 15, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was great! I had a surplus of condensed milk in my cabinet and thought I would try this! It’s just as good as the fudge you can buy at Disney world!

    - Steph on September 13, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This really does take 15 minutes. I did this the other night just for a treat. It keeps great in the refrig afterwards.
    I added the walnuts and it was great. Try this for a treat.

    - Susan Clayman on March 2, 2017 Reply
  • Could you use mini marshmallows either instead of or in addition to the nuts?

    - Alison Dorsky on February 23, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Alison, Yes definitely – Cook’s Illustrated actually has a similar “Rocky Road” recipe that calls for 1 cup salted peanuts, 1 cup mini marshmallows, and 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

      - Jenn on February 24, 2017 Reply
  • This looks easy and good. Thanks Jen

    - Corinne on February 19, 2017 Reply
  • Besides walnuts what are other alternative items we can substitute with? Any advice is much appreciated.

    - Jane on February 16, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Jane, any other nut will do. You could also try broken up pretzels or white chocolate chips. (Let the mixture cool a little bit before adding the chocolate chips, so they don’t melt.) Enjoy!

      - Jenn on February 17, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi dear, thank you for your wonderful recipes. I tried this and it was little dark for my taste ( my family loved it ) is there a way to do this with milk chocolate and caramel?
    thanks.
    Afsoun

    - Afsoun Khatibi on February 16, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Afsoun, I think you could get away with milk chocolate here, but it’s important to still include the 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate; if not I think the fudge would be too sweet (and think the addition of caramel might make it cloyingly sweet).

      - Jenn on February 16, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Although Valentine’s Day is over, I couldn’t resist making this fudge! This is so easy, even easier than my old Fanny Mae fudge recipe. I believe I have a new favorite fudge recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    - Marcia S. on February 16, 2017 Reply
  • Could I use coconut milk instead of condensed milk?

    - Leah on February 15, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Leah, Unfortunately sweetened condensed milk is a must here. Sorry!

      - Jenn on February 15, 2017 Reply
  • Hi Jen,

    What does the baking soda do in this recipe? I am just curious.

    - Lu on February 14, 2017 Reply
    • Good question– it’s kind of science-geek stuff, but it reacts with the pH of chocolate to make texture more firm and dry.

      - Jenn on February 15, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My identical recipe appeared in the Baltimore Sun newspaper in 2002. It is so simple to make and extremely delicious. Pecans can be substituted for the walnuts.

    - Susan Jackson on February 14, 2017 Reply
  • Hi I love your website and recipes, thank you!
    But considering our family has tree nut allergies can I just eliminate the walnuts? Would you suggest adding a different ingredient? Or just leaving plain fudge.

    - Janine on February 14, 2017 Reply
    • Thank you, Janine! The nuts give the fudge a really nice texture but I have made it without for my nut-averse daughter and it is still excellent – just a bit denser.

      - Jenn on February 14, 2017 Reply
  • Can I leave the nuts out and can I use butter instead of spray to grease the foil? Thanks

    - Deborah Klein on February 14, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Deborah, Cooks Illustrated recommends using the nuts to ensure the fudge has the right density, and I agree that they give the fudge good texture. That said, I have made the recipe without nuts for my daughter, and there were no complaints :). And I think a very light coating of butter would be fine.

      - Jenn on February 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    If you are having a middle of the night fudge craving and you only have milk chocolate chips, you will not be disappointed. Great recipe, Jen!

    - Karen Barlow on February 14, 2017 Reply
    • 5 stars

      Just remember that chocolate chips are made to not melt so you really have to stir like crazy to make sure it is smooth.

      - Karen Barlow on February 14, 2017 Reply
  • This looks like my kids would love to both make and eat it :)! Could I use chocolate chips? Or any tips for chopping the chocolate ? (I don’t have a food processor).

    - Innessa Manning on February 14, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Innessa, I recommend using bar chocolate if possible. You can just break it up with your hands or use a sharp knife.

      - Jenn on February 14, 2017 Reply

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