Sweet, Dark n’ Nutty-Gritty Fudge

Servings: 12 Prep: 5 mins Cook: 20 mins Total: 6 hrs

When I was a kid, we would travel into Gold Rush territory and visit a historic old town called “Columbia“, in California. Aside from the crazy rock gardens formed by mining methods and the local “Moaning Caverns”, one of my favorite things to do was drink Sarsaparilla and eat handmade fudge. YUM!

This fudge recipe is interesting. It’s actually made in a manner very similar as most fudges. It is heated to a “soft ball” stage, and then cooled, where it hardens to the texture of fudge! The only fudge I’ve ever had had a somewhat grainy effect, from the crystallized sugar. THIS fudge is no different. The erythritol re-crystallizes and creates a grainy/gritty texture. It’s not at all unpleasant, but it’s not a “smooth” fudge. Also, for anyone familiar with large quantities of erythritol, there is a very mild “cooling” sensation that occurs, when eating it. I’ve never really noticed it before, but it’s noticeable in this recipe. To be perfectly honest … I kind of like it! It’s like an air conditioner … in my mouth!

Finally, this fudge was INCREDIBLY sweet. Sickeningly sweet. This is part of the allure of fudge for a kid, but as a grown-up, it was too much. In retrospect, I would’ve thrown a cup or two of chopped walnuts into it, prior to cut the sweet. (included in the recipe, as I feel it’s somewhat necessary)

Note: I used a sugar equivalent called “Swerve” for this. It did work, but … it also re-crystallized. I suspect this wouldn’t work with something like Splenda. It also wouldn’t work with liquid sweeteners or pure stevia.

Sweet, Dark n' Nutty-Gritty Fudge
Ingredient
Calories
Fat
Protein
Carbs
SA’s
Fiber
Net Carbs
1 1/2 cup (300g) ‘Swerve’ or other sugar replacement
0
0
0
300
300
0
0
1/3 cup (28.67g) unsweetened cocoa powder
65.3
6
5.7
16.7
0
9.7
7
1/4 cup (59.5g) cream, heavy whipping
205.3
22
1.3
1.8
0
0
1.8
1/2 cup (120g) almond milk, unsweetened
22.5
1.8
1
1.5
0
0.5
1
1 dash (1g) salt
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2 tbsp (28g) butter
200
22
0
0
0
0
0
1 tsp (4g) vanilla extract
11.5
0
0
0.5
0
0
0.5
1 1/2 cup (150g) walnuts, chopped
981
97.5
22.5
21
0
10.5
10.5
Grand Totals (of 12 servings):
1485.6
149.3
30.4
341.4
300
20.7
20.8
Totals Per Serving:
123.8
12.4
2.5
28.5
25
1.7
1.7 g
47.5%
Fat
4.3%
Protein
48.2%
Carbs

Sweet, Dark n' Nutty-Gritty Fudge

Sweet, Dark n' Nutty-Gritty Fudge

5 from 17 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours
Servings: 12 Servings
Author: DJ Foodie

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Line a baking pan (I used an 8-inch cake pan) with parchment paper and grease it up, a bit.
  • Add the sugar equivalent, cocoa powder, cream, almond milk and a dash of salt to a medium-to-large sized sauce pot, over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  • Turn the heat down low and allow the mixture to slowly simmer and roll, until the temperature rises to 240 F (you will need an accurate thermometer). Please be VERY careful with this hot mixture. Some of the worse burns I know of were caused by hot molten sugar.
  • Add the fresh butter, walnuts and vanilla. Mix well. The overall mixture should be smooth looking (and not gritty), short of the new walnuts.
  • Pour your mixture into your prepared pan and set it on a cooling rack. Allow to fully cool (about 5 to 6 hours).
  • Remove from the pan and slice into portions!

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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition …

32 thoughts on “Sweet, Dark n’ Nutty-Gritty Fudge”

  1. I made this a tweaked it a little bit. Instead of sugar I used 1/4 c honey, and coconut milk in place of the heavy cream. Worked nicely, good recipe! Don’t ever use splenda please!

    Reply
  2. Hi Krystal. Thanks for the comments! Yep, honey or really any variation of sugar would work. The coconut milk in place of the cream would also work (replacing fat with fat). Because the goal is to get to a softball stage with the "sugar" a "sugar" that can melt and achieve high temperatures like sugar is needed. I don’t know what would happen with Splenda, but … I have a sneaking suspicion it would be a big weird mess.

    Reply
  3. Now this one excites me cause I grew up with cocoa fudge and it’s always been my favorite and the hardest to make. I never could beat it enough to get it to firm up after the first time………….lol…………..thanks.

    Reply
  4. I’m not a huge fan of nuts, especially in my fudge. Would it be too weird to leave out the walnuts, there being a whopping 1 1/2 cups of them? Or would it just be a much smaller batch of fudge? Thanks! It looks delish:)

    Reply
  5. Hi Michelle, maybe try a different nut, or are ALL nuts right out? What about coconut? The reason I say this is because … without nuts, this is sweet. Like … SICKENINGLY sweet, in my opinion. The walnuts are there to cut and dilute the overwhelming sweet (at least to my tastes). It’s still going to be tasty without the nuts, but … lemme tell ya … IT’S SWEET! :-O

    Reply
  6. Okay, want to try this recipe. I have tried a few others, no satisfaction. I love chocolate fudge, especially during the holidays! The photo you posted did not reflect the portion size indicated. I almost passed it by thinking your pic represented portions at 1.73g/carb, but I read further to see 1/12th of an eight inch pie pan is the serving size. Why not post a true representation of portioning?

    Reply
  7. Hi Shelly, I’m confused by your question. You were able to determine the serving size and the photo shows the entire recipe. I cut them into small cubes, because this is how I would cut fudge and serve it to friends, not in large 1/12th sized wedges. Are you asking why I didn’t set the serving size at roughly the size of one of the small cubes? Or, are you asking why I didn’t cut 12 portions, rather than several? In all cases, the information is there. The presentation is merely personal preference and is in no way intended to confuse or hide anything. I’m sorry if we’re in the midst of a miscommunication. Please let me know more about your question and I’ll do my best to address it! Thank you! 🙂

    Reply
  8. Hi Pam. Welcome! Unfortunately, this is essentially making candy and bringing the sweetener to the soft ball stage and … splenda doesn’t behave in the same way when it’s heated. I’m sorry!

    Reply
  9. Hi DJ, thanks for your site and all the great recipes! I haven’t tried the fudge yet but in my high carb life made fudge every Christmas. To prevent the fudge from being grainy, never, never scrape the sides of the pan while cooking or pouring the boiling syrup, because that’s where the crystals are formed which cause that graininess. Not having tried swerve yet, I can’t be certain that’s what is happening but it’s possible if the swerve is crystallizing the way table sugar does. I wish you continued success and thanks again for all the encouragement and recipes for those of us who are sugar challenged!

    Reply
  10. Hiya, Georgia Girl! It’s actually more related to the erythritol. No matter what you do, if it’s overly concentrated, it’s going to crystallize. It’s a very different animal from sugar. It’s not terrible, but … it is a bit sandy. I should tinker with this one a bit more … and try and get rid of the grit. I personally don’t much mind it, but some people really loathe it. Really, it needs another sweetener with bulk, to help pad it out. I’ll find it … some day! 😉

    Reply
  11. Do you think this recipe would still work if the amount of Swerve is reduced, thus cutting down on the sweetness? Would the fudge still harden properly with less Swerve? If you think I could make it with less, what amount would you suggest? I plan on using the confectioner’s style Swerve. Thank you for this and all your great recipes!

    Reply
  12. You could try melting the butter with the cream and Swerve. Then, when the Swerve is dissolved, add the rest of the ingredients. Erythritol seems to like dissolving in fat. I used that technique for a fat bomb recipe and it worked really well. But, I didn’t heat it as much as you need to do for fudge, so no guarantees that it will work. It’s worth a shot, though.

    Reply
  13. Christie and Linda ? the crystallization happens because the erythritol is in very high concentration. It wouldn?t matter if you used powdered swerve, or mixed it with butter. As it heats, it COMPLETELY melts and dissolves. There?s zero grit or crystal in it, as its being made. It?s when it cools that the crystals form. I?ll go back to the drawing board and try and remake this one, but by bulking out the erythritol with other ingredients. There?s bound to be a better configuration than this, for the texture. It?s just a matter of finding it. <br /><br />

    Tyf, there?s bound to be a way to use less erythritol, but ? it will change the behavior of the recipe. I don?t know what tweaks will do for it. If you try it ? let us know what you find out (positively or negatively) ? so we can learn together! I do think that this recipe can work with something like inulin or polydextrose added to it, to dilute the erythritol. It may need something else to pick up the slack, though ? like sucralose, perhaps. Stevia? I?m really not sure. Most fudges I?ve seen actually just seem to be chocolate flavored cream cheese with some sweetener. They?ll certainly fit the bill, but they?re not a true ?fudge? in my mind ?<br /><br />

    Jeanna ? I LOVE that idea! Perfect! <br /><br />

    Unknown .. yep, that should work. Thanks for the idea!

    Reply
  14. would monk fruit work for the sweetner? I have found it is very versatile. Can be used in hot things. I used it in all my canning of fruit this year.

    Reply
  15. Hi Jnona … it really depends on the product. Some are better than others. Because the actual monk fruit sweetener is so concentrated, most of the monk fruit products are blends of other ingredients. Something like Monk Fruit in the Raw probably wouldn’t work, but something like Lakanto probably would! Does this make sense?

    Reply
  16. Because I can’t leave good alone 😉
    I tweaked the sweeteners.. not a perfect experiment because I tried a bunch at one time. 3/4 Swerve, 1/4 C Tagatose, 1/4 C xylitol, 1/4 C. Sin Free. This is good stuff! Ok… so couldn’t heat it to 240. At ~220-225 it started to scorch.. think it’s the Tagatose. I left it until 230. Mixed in the rest of the stuff and put it into pan in fridge. I also melted all the sweeteners before adding anything to the pan.

    It’s lovely.. a slightly burnt caramel taste but absolutely delicious! Next time I’ll leave out the tagatose….
    Thanks for a great recipe!!

    Reply
  17. Faye, yep! The tagatose has a tendency to brown quickly. That said ? with this blend of sweeteners, I?m curious ? did it stay smooth, once it cooled, or did it crystallize? Inquiring minds want to know!

    Reply
  18. I’m very curious about this recipe and want to try it.  Every year I make old fashioned cooked and creamed fudge.  Have you ever tried creaming this fudge on a marble slab?  I’m wondering if that would help with the crystallization but it sounds like that is a thing with erythritol.  I’m very new to low-carb cooking; would something like a little xantham gum help prevent the re-crystallization?  I’m new to this whole process so I’m not exactly sure what xanthem gum does.

    Reply
  19.  Granny used to add some salt to her fudge that may cut the sweet a bit, also for a nice flavor some Almond extract!A little goes a long way,but oh so good!!

    Reply
  20. I have a recipe for regular fudge, one that is pretty much like the one that was on the Hershey’s Cocoa can for years. In this recipe, after the fudge has reached the soft boil stage, you add 3 oz cream cheese. You let the fudge cool down some and then beat it. You could probably do the same with this low carb fudge recipe. The cream cheese would give it a smoother texture and cut the sweetness some.

    Reply
  21. I’m thinking that a bit of cornstarch might help with the crystallization, or possibly first creating a sugar syrup. I’ll give this recipe a go this week. 

    Reply
  22. Add peanut butter.
    —Reply posted by DJ on 4/3/2017
    Does that work? I’m assuming it does, is probably delicious and MAY even help the grittiness. Just curious if you’ve tried it in this recipe. If so, how was it? How much did you add? Thanks! 😀

    Reply
  23. I’ve been looking for a fudge recipe that uses erythritol because maltitol is hell on my guts, and from what I understand, crystallization is fundamental to what makes fudge, fudge. That means using a crystalline sweetener. The trick is to minimize the size of the crystals.

    I found a video on the Food Network of Alton Brown making chocolate fudge (with sugar), and after the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, he lets it cool to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Then he starts beating it with a wooden spoon. The idea is to control the size of the crystals. It might take some experimentation find the optimal temperature to start working  on erythritol fudge.

    Apparently, something to interfere with crystal formation also helps. Brown uses corn syrup, but I’m wondering if stevia glycerite might serve the same role.  I’d like tol experiment and get back you

    Reply
  24. This is appalling! @OP: it was “sickeningly sweet” because you used sugar substitute (which often tastes sickeningly sweet). Try the old fashioned Hershey’s fudge recipe (which requires no less than 3 cups of sugar) and you will see that real fudge made with a truckload of real sugar is not at all sickening (it’s delicious no matter what your age).  I make it every xmas but limit my own consumption by giving it away. You can also put it in the freezer and slowly whittle away at it. Seriously, there’s no point in making fudge with sugar substitute unless you’re diabetic or something…. Plus, real fudge is delicious and satisfying so I couldn’t imagine ever having to eat it in giant 1/12 serving sizes. This much sugar substitute is likely worse for you than real sugar anyways.
    —Reply posted by DJ on 2/22/2018
    Lainy, you’ve clearly missed the entire point of this recipe. A LOT of my readers are, indeed, diabetic. They may also have other blood sugar related issues. Beyond that, I completely disagree with you that subbing 3 cups of sugar for 3 cups of a non-glycemic sweetener is not pointless … almost right across the board. You’re free to feel and say what you’d like, but it might behoove you to know where you’re saying it, in the future. Context can make a big difference!

    Reply
  25. Making fudge is relatively new for me –  since my hubby went low carb and we’ve tried to embrace a sugar free lifestyle.  Since that lifestyle change, I’ve made the barely cook, no thermometer type candy.  But my hubby has a lot of great memories of his Mom making fudge with the candy thermometer – successfully and unsuccessfully.  So, I found this recipe –  the only one I’ve ever seen using the thermometer – and had to try it.  I’m not sure how well it came out, but it did set and become solid, which in itself feels good!  Tried using dark cocoa and it is really dark!  It is sweet, but in a wonderfully addictive fun kinda way.  I’d love to see updates on suggestions people made.  (The only “possible” issue for us is that one family member does not really like the Swerve taste – but I don’t see it as a major issue.)
    —Reply posted by DJ on 2/22/2018
    Hi ALilDuckling! Sorry I missed your first comment! In any event, you could increase the nuts to stunt the sweetness. You can also add a little bit of salt, that will help counter some of the sweetness. You can also fold some warm cream cheese or mascarpone cheese into it, as it cools. If you do this, you’ll likely need to refrigerate it, but … it helps with the taste and texture! I hope this helps!
    —Reply posted by alilduckling on 2/22/2018
    After some time to think, I have decided that the killer sweet part of this fudge isn’t really working for long term goals,.

    Reply
  26. 5 stars
    Hi! Thanks for the fudge recipe! It’s nice that you take the time to respond to people also so thanks for that too! I was curious though, can you use all whipping cream and eliminate the almond milk?

    Reply
    • Hi Annie, I’m sorry for the delay. I’ve been in the middle of a move.

      In any event … no. I mean … yes, but no. You can swap out another product with an equivalent amount of water to fat ratio, but heavy cream has more fat and less water. This means that there’s a chance the entire thing may break, resulting in chocolate flavored sand floating in butter fat. There’s also an increased certainty that the sweetener will stay coarse and sandy. The erythritol needs water to dissolve (not fat). Less water means even less will dissolve. It really won’t work. If you’re not a fan of almonds, another nut or seed milk could work, as well as actual milk, but I wouldn’t use more cream. I think that would be disastrous.

      $.02

      Reply
  27. 5 stars
    Hello, thank you so much for this recipe! I actually wasn’t specifically looking for a recipe I wanted to know if I could substitute monk fruit sweetener in my family’s fudge recipe which is pretty much of this exact recipe! This is the fudge I grew up on oh, I can’t even eat creamy fudge. In my world fudge is dark and gritty and sugary and I am so excited to try out this recipe because according to my memory I’m pretty sure this is exactly the same recipe my grandma used albeit with 3 cups of sugar rather than a natural sweetener. I’m going to try this with the monk fruit because that’s all I have right now and I ran out of the swerve granular, but if it doesn’t work I’ll try it again with that erythritol. Again thank you. The comments were a little annoying. It’s surprising to me how many people are determined to get it smooth and creamy … don’t they know that really isn’t the point?

    Reply

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