Cardamom Cashew Fudge

November 18, 2011

in Nut Butter, Other Desserts

cashew_fudge

During my years as an ice cream scooper back in high school, I indulged in a lot of ridiculously awesome frozen treats. Hot fudge sundaes with real vanilla bean ice cream, waffle cones dipped in chocolate and covered in fun rainbow sprinkles, and my favorite – unlimited access to maraschino cherries. Yes, the color of those cherries is slightly scary. And yes, my metabolism was faster back then.

cashew_fudge_ingredients

In addition to ice creams and toppings galore, we also sold the most heavenly homemade fudge. I was never privy to the exact recipe, but I can assure you it contained an obscene amount of butter and sugar.

cashews

We sold only a handful of classic flavors, including plain chocolate, penuche (a delicious brown sugar), and chocolate peanut butter. This was literally chocolate fudge with a good two inches of straight up creamy peanut butter spread on top. Insane.

cashews_sugar

I certainly wouldn’t turn down a piece of that fudge if someone offered it to me today, but my taste preferences (and metabolism) have changed quite a bit since my days as an ice cream scooper. I still have a killer sweet tooth, but now I try to enjoy desserts that have more wholesome ingredients and leave me feeling energized, while still satisfying my sugar cravings.

ground_cashews

I stumbled upon a cashew fudge in Whole Foods recently, and was immediately intrigued by the short ingredient list: raw cashews, butter, water, and sugar. This seemed simple enough, and I knew I could easily sub the butter for a vegan buttery spread.

simple_sugar

I initially considered adding cinnamon as well, but then found an almost-full jar of cardamom tucked away on my spice rack. The cardamom could be traded for another spice, or no spice at all, but I like  that it adds an Indian twist to accompany the rich cashew base.

fudge

It’s definitely not the super indulgent fudge I used to eat, but it’s perfectly satisfying, and all without a sugar hangover.

cashew_fudge_pieces

Cardamom Cashew Fudge
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Ingredients
  • 2 C. Raw Cashews
  • ½ C. Granulated Sugar, plus 2 Tbs.
  • 2 Tbs. Earth Balance
  • ⅔ C. Water
  • ½ Tsp. Ground Cardamom
Instructions
  1. Begin by coating 2 large sheets of parchment paper with Earth Balance or cooking spray. This will be used to roll out the fudge.
  2. Grind cashews and 2 Tbs. sugar in a food processor until very finely ground. Be careful not to over-process, or you will end up with cashew butter.
  3. Combine water and ½ C. sugar in a large saute pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently for 12-15 mins, until syrup begins to thicken.
  4. Slowly add the ground cashews, stirring until no lumps remain.
  5. Add Earth Balance and cardamom. Continue stirring for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture resembles a thick paste.
  6. Transfer dough onto 1 sheet of parchment paper, place the 2nd sheet on top, and roll to ¼ inch (or desired) thickness.
  7. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
  8. Store in a tupperware in your fridge for up to 1 week.
Notes
This makes approximately 30 1-inch pieces of fudge. As I've mentioned before, I have a heavy hand when it comes to spices, but I recommend going easy on the cardamom. Like nutmeg, a little goes a long way!

What’s your favorite sweet indulgence? Is there a particular dessert you’re most looking forward to this Thanksgiving?

Although I basically ate an entire pumpkin pie by myself last weekend (oops), I’m still looking forward to a slice on Thursday. Similar to my love of ice cream, pumpkin pie just never seems to get old.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

HRCK November 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Love how simple that recipe is!

Favorite sweet indulgence is a cupcake with a cake to icing ration of about 1:3.

Dessert I’m most looking forward to next week is my mom’s cranberry upside down cake.

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Amanda November 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Completely agree with your cake to icing ratio!

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Kim November 18, 2011 at 7:53 pm

This recipe is so intriguing to me! And I’m w/ you on the pumpkin pie, I’ve had two slices at work today, whoops. I love pecan and pumpkin pies, but I definitely limit myself to having them only for thanksgiving. clearly, I’ve started a little early this year. Tis the season, right? haha

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Haley @ Health Freak College Girl November 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm

ahh this recipe sounds so good! and totally easy. love it :)

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Amanda November 19, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Thanks, Haley! It’s so easy and really delicious. :)

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga November 19, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Oh this looks sooo good! I love the simplicity of it…as well as the caveat “Be careful not to over-process, or you will end up with cashew butter.” <— I have done that when making raw desserts a few times. Go from cashew flour to cashew butter in precisely 5 extra seconds in the Vita. Whoops :)

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Amanda November 20, 2011 at 1:21 am

haha I came very close when I was making this. Although I suppose cashew butter wouldn’t be the end of the world. Still delicious! :)

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Pat February 10, 2013 at 10:52 pm

I tried, but this didn’t set up – any pointers?

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Amanda February 11, 2013 at 9:42 am

Did the mixture resemble a thick paste after you mixed everything together (mine was borderline difficult to stir)? I can’t say for sure, but I think it’s likely that the syrup may have needed some more time to reduce…
I’m sorry you had trouble with the recipe!

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Pat February 11, 2013 at 12:44 pm

It actually did set up overnight but is very soft. I think you are right – it was kind of “loose” when mixing it together. Next time I’ll reduce it more. Thanks so much! By the way – even the kids LOVE this and say it is one of the best things they’ve ever tasted. I did modify one thing – I used 1/4 t cinnamon and 1/4 t cardamom (just because I’m not a huge cardamom fan). Thanks so much for the recipe!

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Amanda February 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I’m so glad your kids like the recipe! I hear you on reducing the cardamom though. It’s a very strong flavor! I’m going to keep your modification in mind the next time I make this. :)

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J/*sparklingly February 12, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Hiya! I followed over from the link in your post today because I am obsessed with both cardamom and cashews. Question for you: what would happen if I didn’t use sugar? From Pat’s comment about it not holding together, wondering if the thick sugar water is what makes it all happen. Thoughts?

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Amanda February 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Hmmm. The simple syrup is what holds it together, so you would need something with a similar texture. Honey or agave might work, but you don’t do any kind of refined sugar, right? I wonder if you could do something with a date paste…I have no idea if that would work, but maybe if you froze it too. Now I’m curious. haha

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J/*sparklingly February 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Hmm, I do stay away from any sugar product if I can, but for something as amazing as this, may have to find a way around it. :).

Will let you know if I’m able to experiment and come up with something!
J.

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Amanda February 12, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Coconut sugar should work and it would at least be lower glycemic. Let me know if you come up with something!

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Sussie February 14, 2013 at 4:54 am

This looks and sounds amazing! Just a question though, what is Earth Balance? I’m european and I don’t think we have it here. I tried googling it, but it seems to be a brand and not a product. Thanks!

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Amanda February 14, 2013 at 8:21 am

It’s a vegan butter substitute. :)

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