Dad’s Chocolate Covered Cherry Fudge Recipe
Growing up, I idolized my father. He was kind, gentle, loving, and dependable.
I always knew that Dad had my back. If I was hurt, in trouble, or sad, I could go to him and he would somehow make it all better.
Both Dad and I are middle children. He understood the feeling of being left out or overlooked and did his best to make sure I didn’t feel that way. We had special things we did, just the two of us – playing catch, eating doughnut holes (the rest of the family ate the doughnuts, the holes were just for us) and fishing for crawdaddies (crawfish). He also showed me that I could laugh at myself when I was feeling the middle-child-blues – he bought me a shirt that said “Nobody Loves Me”. The irony of that made me giggle.
Dad taught me how to make a bed (hospital corners and so taut you could bounce a quarter on it), drive a stick shift, and play Black Jack. He tried to teach me to always keep my car filled with gas, do my own taxes, and to turn off the lights when I left a room. It’s not his fault the lessons didn’t take.
The year I turned 8 two significant things in my life happened, my father went off to war and I got my first cookbook. These events are linked in my mind for the simple reason that I realized there was something I could do to demonstrate my love for someone – I could cook for them.
When my Dad returned home after a year, I made him a pie from the cookbook, all by myself. It was my way of showing him how happy I was that he was back home safe and sound and how much I loved and appreciated him. I shared my love with him and he shared his pie with me.
Today my father is 90 years old and lives with us. He is no longer the straight backed pillar of strength he once was. Our roles have shifted, he depends on me now rather than the other way around.
But some things will never change. I can still show my love to him with what I create in the kitchen.
Dad has acquired a wicked sweet tooth in his old age and has a particular fondness for chocolate and cherries. He also happens to really love fudge – yet another thing we share.
This fudge is for you Daddy. Thanks for everything you have given me in my life.
Recipe Notes: I made this fudge dairy free as Dad shouldn’t have lactose. If dairy is not an issue, regular chocolate can be substituted. If you can’t have eggs and dairy is not a problem, you can substitute the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt with 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk. I use natural maraschino cherries in my recipes, you can use any type you like.
- 20 maraschino cherries with stems
- Gluten free non-stick cooking spray or vegetable oil
- 12 ounces dairy free semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 ounces dairy free dark chocolate chopped (or bittersweet chocolate chips)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons corn or tapioca starch or gluten free flour blend
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
- 1 cup walnuts chopped
Pat the cherries dry with paper towels and set aside.
Generously spray a 8 inch by 8 inch baking pan with cooking spray or brush with oil.
In a small saucepan, combine the chocolates and cook over low heat until most of the chocolate is melted, Stir until the all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, starch or flour, baking powder, salt, and maraschino cherry juice. Add the melted chocolate and stir vigorously until the mixture is smooth and starts to thicken. Sir in the walnuts.
Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and press the cherries into the top leaving the tops of the cherries and the stems showing. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until hard. Cut into 20 squares.
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