Our Paleo Family

Chocolate Orange Fudge (gluten and dairy free)

“This is a million dollar recipe,” exclaimed my husband when he tasted this fudge. Now, I wouldn’t go quite that far, but fudge isn’t my favorite treat under the best of circumstances. I am glad he liked this one because he requested it. And I slaved over a hot stove for hours. 🙂
Ok, so no slaving over a hot stove, but I did go through a couple colossal failures on the way to fudge perfection. Last year, I made some fudge with dates and unsweetened chocolate that turned out pretty well, but I didn’t think it was quite good enough to post. For the chocolate part of this fudge, I picked up where I left off on that recipe and the results were just disastrous.

This is seized chocolate. Something happens (usually water) that makes the solids separate from the fats in the chocolate. There are things you can do to remedy the situation, like add more fat and whisk your little arm off. But I tasted that clumpy mess and it didn’t taste good enough to mess with. So in the trash can it went. Sigh.

No matter how much you cook, no matter how much experience you have in the kitchen or how much Food Network you watch, we are all susceptible to major fails in the kitchen. And it’s ok. Yes, it’s a bummer to waste those precious ingredients, but it’s not the end of the world.

Luckily for you, I did all the failing on this recipe. What’s left for you is a recipe that will most certainly work (if you follow the instructions). And it is pretty good, for fudge, that is. It has that creamy, smooth texture that is a must for fudge. And the white chocolate/orange layer is a nice contrast to the dark chocolate. If your family needs fudge and you’re looking for something a little different (and that doesn’t involve that tub of marshmallow fluff) then give this one a try.

There is a lot of debate about what is paleo and what is not, but the definition I follow includes good quality chocolate like I used here (Enjoy Life) because there is no soy or dairy or gluten in the chocolate. Yes, there is sugar, but it is a small amount, which makes this a perfect, splurge-worthy treat.

If you’d like a fudge recipe that sticks to these chocolate-inclusive paleo guidelines (and who wouldn’t?), then leave out the white chocolate layer. I have searched high and low for a white chocolate that doesn’t contain soy and refined sugars and I just can’t find one. I did find a recipe you could use to try to make your own white chocolate here. I haven’t tried it though so I can’t speak to it’s credibility.

If you want to leave out the white chocolate, you could double the fudge layer. You could add the orange zest and orange extract to the fudge layer as well if you’d like to keep that chocolate orange thing going. You make it your recipe!

All in all, this is an easy fudge recipe that yields great results every time. Don’t waste your time steeping dates and melting chocolate to a precise temperature. This recipe is super easy and delicious! Did I really say fudge was delicious? Ok, maybe I’ve been converted to a fudge lover!

Chocolate Orange Fudge
Print Recipe
Everything fudge should be, with the addition of a creamy orange layer. Yum!
Servings
81 pieces
Cook Time
1 1/2 hrs. If you make your own condensed coconut milk
Servings
81 pieces
Cook Time
1 1/2 hrs. If you make your own condensed coconut milk
Chocolate Orange Fudge
Print Recipe
Everything fudge should be, with the addition of a creamy orange layer. Yum!
Servings
81 pieces
Cook Time
1 1/2 hrs. If you make your own condensed coconut milk
Servings
81 pieces
Cook Time
1 1/2 hrs. If you make your own condensed coconut milk
Ingredients
Fudge Layer
Orange Layer
Servings: pieces
Instructions
  1. To begin, you need to make sweetened condensed coconut milk. There is a new product on the market (see notes) that you can use instead of making your own. It does contain cane sugar, but works well. I think the taste of the homemade condensed milk is superior.
  2. To make condensed milk (you need two cups for this recipe so do this twice - same process, same ingredients, two pans): empty one can of full fat coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup and stir. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until it reduces to about 1 cup. This takes about an hour. You can do this step ahead of time and store in the refrigerator if you'd like. This is what it should look like when it's done.
  3. Line a 9x9 or 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper. I line the pan so the paper extends up over two ends that I can later use as handles. This leaves two edges of the pan bare. I grease them with coconut oil. Set aside.
  4. Make fudge by heating chocolate chips in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Add coconut oil and salt and stir frequently until thoroughly melted and combined. Add 1 cup condensed coconut milk and stir until well combined. It should be smooth and shiny.
  5. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and nuts if using. Mix well and pour into prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula, smooth evenly in pan.
  6. Make orange layer by melting white chocolate chips in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Add 1 cup condensed milk, salt, vanilla, orange extract and orange zest. Stir until thoroughly melted and combined. Pour over chocolate layer.
  7. Carefully, smooth orange layer to edges, then if you like the swirled look, using the tip of a knife, draw a line in the fudge extending down into the chocolate layer. Zig zag back and forth over the whole pan.
  8. Now turn the pan 1/4 turn and zig zag in the opposing direction. Continue in this fashion until the fudge looks how you like it. Refrigerate until firm, several hours.
  9. Remove from refrigerator and loosen fudge around edges of pan and, using the parchment "flaps," remove fudge to a cutting board. Cut into desired sized pieces. I like about 1 inch square. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

If you don't want to bother with making your own sweetened condensed coconut milk, you can purchase this one from Thrive Market. The can is 7.4 ounces, which is close to the one cup I call for in the recipe. If you decide to go the route of the purchased milk, don't worry about it being a little less than one cup. The recipe will turn out just fine.

If you don't have an account with Thrive Market but would like to give it a try, click on the link in the sidebar, or bottom of your screen if using a phone, and that will take you to the main page where you can sign up for a free one month trial.

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