Christine DeSmet, author of the Fudge Shop Mystery Series
“Cinderella Pink Fairy-Tale Fudge”
As a Belgian who loves chocolate, I’m thrilled to be a guest at this chocolate-lovers blog. Belgian chocolate fudge is at the heart of my Fudge Shop Mystery series.
Belgium produces 220,000 tons of chocolate each year. I try my best to turn a good portion of that into fudge.
In my new cozy mystery series, Belgian American Ava Oosterling and her Grandpa Gil operate Oosterlings’ Live Bait, Bobbers & Belgian Fudge & Beer in fictional Fishers’ Harbor, which is in the real Door County, Wisconsin.
Ava specializes in a Fairy Tale line of flavors, starting with “Cinderella Pink Fudge,” a yummy cherry-vanilla flavor. Door County is a leading producer of cherries in the United States.
Each book adds new original recipes and flavors to the Fairy Tale Fudge line. The latest book, Hot Fudge Frame-Up, includes a recipe for Rapunzel Raspberry Rapture Fudge.
I created the series to celebrate fudge—with a bit of felonious, fun activity with each luscious bite.
Door County is a great place to find fudge. It’s that thumb of land in Lake Michigan surrounded by almost 300 miles of coastline, and with 11 lighthouses—the most of any county in the United States. The county is known as the Cape Cod of the Midwest because of its natural beauty and artistic bent. It’s a quaint place that has banned fast food chain restaurants in its upper half and keeps the roads there to two lanes wind through breathtaking scenery.
The lower half of the county is where you’ll find the concentration of Belgians and the best pies and chocolate desserts ever. And fudge. I just attended a fall kermis—a Belgian harvest festival—and the array of pies was amazing. In the “old country,” Belgian pie plates are 12 inches or more in diameter. They don’t mess around when it comes to pie!
The Belgian heritage—with their delicious chocolate desserts—is strong in Door County because our government courted the Belgians in the 1850s with land for sale at $1.25 an acre. As a result, over 15,000 Belgians came to the area that includes the counties of Door, Kewaunee, and Brown (home of the Green Bay Packers, started by a Belgian). The area is said to have the largest rural population of Belgians in the United States.
I bring fudge to all my book signings. Join me at the Author Slam, Sat., Nov. 8, and a holiday giveaway event, Sun., Dec. 7, both held at the Mystery to Me bookstore in Madison, Wis. I’m also teaching at the “Weekend with Your Novel” event in Madison Nov. 14-16.
The following recipe is from the debut book in my series, First-Degree Fudge. I hope you enjoy this pretty pink fudge.
Cinderella Pink Fairy Tale Fudge (with Diamonds) Recipe
This easy, microwave recipe for a cherry-vanilla fudge is a favorite with my friends and coworkers. They like the “diamonds” they find in the fudge. (Leave out the diamonds if you don’t like the crunchy texture.)
This recipe can be made on the stovetop in a heavy pan if you prefer. Medium heat.
Before you cook:
Prepare an 8x8-inch pan by lining it with wax paper so that the wax paper comes over the edges. Spray the paper lightly with nonstick vegetable cooking spray.
3 cups white chocolate chips (Use 2 cups if you like softer fudge.)
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dried cherries (or can used canned whole tart cherries, chopped)
Red food coloring
½ cup edible white or clear glitter (large size) for “diamonds” (optional)
Pink or white luster dust (optional, too, but I always add it on top)
Mix the chips and milk together and melt at medium power in the microwave for about 5 minutes. Stir and return to the microwave until fully melted. Stir in the vanilla and four or five (or more) drops of red food coloring to turn it pink. Just before pouring it into the pan, blend in ¼ cup of the glitter if you want diamonds inside the fudge. Then pour it into the pan. Sprinkle the top of the fudge with the rest of the “diamond” glitter.
Optional: Before you sprinkle on the diamond glitter, first brush on luster dust, which is a very fine glittery edible powder you can buy in various colors. It’s best to apply luster dust with a small artist’s brush so that you don’t waste it; don’t try to shake it directly from its container onto your fudge or use your fingers. Sprinkle the rest of the “diamond” glitter on top of the luster dust.
Let your fudge sit for a few hours or overnight. When ready to cut, transfer it from its pan to a cutting board. Peel off the wax paper completely. Use a knife with a smooth blade or a fudge cutter. Cut into one-inch squares or any size you prefer.
Fudge photo credit: Laura Kahl