Baker’s Hours

December 11, 2008

"Live Fudge" Q&A

Lorelle (aka Lorelleonwp on Twitter, aka my Fairy Blog Mother) left this reply here on Baker’s Hours:

I just tried the Live Fudge at Blossoming Lotus Cafe in Portland (review) and I’m searching everywhere for the recipe. Oh, my chocolate loving friend, this Live Fudge was orgasmic. I know it requires a major blender to get it so smooth. It’s cocoa nibs (mini rocks!), cocoa powder, coconut oil, and who knows what other goodies in its dreamy secret sauce.

To be able to blend nuts and nibs to a smooth consistency is a dream of mine. Most say the Vita-Mix is the only way as a normal blender or food processor won’t work. What say you, oh, great master chef?

I’ll gladly admit to not knowing anything about Raw Cooking, so I want to start out by saying that I am in no way any kind of expert in this area of cooking. However, I might know enough about cooking to be able to puzzle it out for you.

After a quick google search, here are a few basic facts that I found out about Raw Cooking.

1. Raw Cooking consists of raw plant foods that have not been heated above 115º F.

Okay, my first obstacle, making fudge without heating it. However, I can work with the 115º limit. From your description, it sounds to me that this “fudge” is similar to a praline (nut paste). So, to start this out, I would heat the cocoa nibs to 115º. This should cause some of the oils in the nibs to come out, and aid in breaking them down. I would then add them to a kitchen aid mixer with the cocoa powder and coconut oil, and then mix on low with a paddle attachment. The reason I would choose to go with a kitchen aid over a vitamix is because cocoa nibs are pretty abrasive stuff, and I would be afraid of either nicking the blade or burning out the motor all together.

The kitchen aid motor, on the other hand, has more power and would easily be up to the job. Also, this procedure is very similar to conching, which is the process in chocolate making that gives chocolate it’s smooth texture by breaking down the particles via friction. This is the same thing we are doing in the kitchen aid. The friction from the mixing action will break down the cocoa nibs. The longer you mix it, the smoother it will get, but I wouldn’t let it go for more than an hour at a time. Even a kitchen aid motor has it’s limits. 

The “not heating above 115º” rule brings on another problem. As part of the cooking process of fudge, the sugar in it has to be cooked to soft ball (234º-240º F). Aside from adding sweetness (more on this later), cooking the sugar helps to stabilize the fudge and gives it that distinct chewy texture. Without cooking the sugar to soft ball stage, we must find a suitable replacement, which I have found to be dates. Dates are high in pectin which I have found in many online Raw Cooking recipes. 

2. Veganism is a diet that excludes meat and meat by-products including dairy and eggs.

Yipes! No dairy? This one is tuff because one of the main ingredients in fudge is butter. However, butter is just a form of fat, and there are many vegetable based fats to choose from. One easily accessible form of vegetable fat that I have found to be very popular in a lot of Raw Cooking recipes I have found online are nuts. Aside from adding the fat necessary for flavor, and mouth feel, the nuts will also serve as a binding agent for the fudge. From what I have seen, pretty much any fatty nut can be used. I’ve found recipes that use macadamias, cashews (which are not really nuts, but that’s for another post), or almonds.  At this point, it’s pretty much personal preference. Allergic to nuts? Well, another source of vegetable fat that I have found is also popular in Raw Cooking are Avocados.  

3. Raw Cooking does not use processed foods.

Okay, another problem. A lot of fudge recipes use processed inverted sugars like Trimoline. You can’t just add sugar because granulated sugar is hydrophilic which means that it loves moisture, and it will absorb it from anywhere it can get it. One of two things will happen. Either the sugar absorbs moisture from the surrounding air which will cause your fudge to separate, or it will absorb moisture from the fudge itself giving your fudge an undesirable mealy texture. If you can’t use processed sugars, and you can’t cook your sugar to soft ball, then how are you going to add sweetness to your fudge? Luckily, nature has provided us with natural inverted sugars like honey or agave nectar.

Conclusion

So, after all of that rambling that I have just written, how do we make Live Fudge? Again, this is all just speculation on my part.

Take the cocoa nibs mixture from your kitchen aid, and add it to your food processor along with your dates, nuts of choice, and honey or agave nectar. Process until smooth, and refrigerate until set. Scoop and shape into balls. There are many ways that you could dress up your fudge balls like rolling them in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, nuts, or coconut.  

I’m not sure how helpful this post post will be, or how accurate my logic is on a topic I admittedly know nothing about. Still, I believe that my logic is sound, and I found this exercise challenging, and even a bit fun. I shall keep an eye out for this elusive “Live Fudge” recipe, and will gladly share it here on my blog assuming that no copyright laws apply.

 

Song stuck in my head at the time of this post: How Do You Talk To An Angel? by the Heights

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3 Comments »

  1. OMG, this is amazing.

    I’m still hunting the web for a recipe, but but sounds really close to “right.” The Live Fudge from Blossoming Lotus Cafe is round, moist and not dried or with any solid inner stuff. Just like a very thick and smooth frosting ball, but not sticky-to-fingers consistency. The blending at low temps must be part of the process, from your description of the chemistry in the process, to make it so smooth. Wow.

    Raw fooders with nut allergies have huge problems, for sure, though I have heard stories of people on raw food without nuts for one to two years overcoming their allergy. Raw food does incredible things to your body, all of it incredibly beneficial.

    I’m anxious to try this. Thank you so much for breaking this down so I understand how it works so much better. You are incredible. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

    Comment by Lorelle — December 12, 2008 @ 9:33 am

  2. I asked my friend Tiffany who used to work for Whole Foods about Live Fudge. She read up about it a little like I did, and found this recipe. Looks pretty close to what you described. If I get a chance, I’ll give it a try. Looks tasty.

    Oh, and if you are interested, I have a vegan fruit mousse recipe that I developed while working at the Greenbrier.

    Comment by NctrnlBst — December 12, 2008 @ 10:37 pm

  3. ARGH, the link didn’t go through. Can we try it again. And I’d love a fruit mousse recipe. Wow! I like that.

    Comment by Lorelle — December 15, 2008 @ 2:25 pm


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