Cardamom Cashew Fudge

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Cardamom Cashew Fudge
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
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.

Comments

  1. says

    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.

  2. says

    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

  3. says

    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 :)

    • says

      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!

      • Pat says

        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!

        • says

          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. :)

  4. says

    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?

    • says

      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

  5. Sussie says

    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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