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“Merezilla Magic Mud Fudge” • April 1, 2006

Just give me a shovel!!


First, this recipe isn’t from Merezilla but is dedicated to her.  As you may be aware, I’m one of the foremost chocolate aficionados on Earth!  (Sort of the Robert Parker of Chocolates!!) Let’s put it this way — if Heaven doesn’t have chocolate I’m not going!  But — even a true fan like me must stand in humble awe before Merezilla.  This gal REALLY loves chocolate!!  And she loves a LOT of chocolate.  I mean, I can consume my weight in chocolate in 24 hours, but how the dickens can I compete with a girl that stands 2,000 feet tall?? (And just for the record, I’m forgiven her and the California Chocolate Commission for cleaning out my stashes that horrible, horrible day.  With the help of the Life Flight helicopter and the cross country jet medical evacuation I made it to Hershey, Pennsylvania, still breathing — but just barely!!)

So — Merezilla — this one is dedicated to you.  Maybe we can lease the Meteor Crater in northern Arizona and make you a Merezilla size bowl of fudge.  (I’ll get the legal department busy on the arrangements.)

Not only is this yummy, yummy, yummy, but it is super easy!!  Particularly if you can find a suitable male to provide the manual labor — manual labor being their forte!!

This is a Meredith invention that happened quite serendipitously.  (Yeah — serendipitously — I keep telling you I’m a smart blond!)

It all started one day when I had a crazing, (that’s a lot worse than a craving,) for fresh brownies.  So I pulled out the box mix, dumped it into a bowl, then went to the fridge for eggs — and didn’t have any!  YIKES!!  It was a crummy cold rainy day and I didn’t feel like driving to the store for more.  Roger was over and I could have dispatched him but he was watching some sports thing on TV, so I dug through the pantry and inspiration hit me!!  I found a can of sweetened condensed milk!!  Woo-Hoo!!  All of my wicked little brain cells shifted into high gear!!!

Let’s just face facts — sweetened condensed milk will make cardboard a divine treat!!  (As you will learn, it is my favorite ingredient for wicked dessert delights!!) SO — I dumped the can into the brownie mix and tried to stir it up.  And then being a genius blond, I carried the bowl into the living room where dear Roger had his nose buried in some ballgame and had him do the mixing!!  (Those big strong male muscles do come in handy!!)

This mixing method did have one drawback.  I like cookie dough and cake batter as much as the next person, (probably a LOT more,) but I’m always hesitant because of the raw eggs.  BUT — the bowl of batter that Roger was so industriously whipping away at contained only a boxed brownie mix, (shelf life measured in eons and a can of sweetened condensed milk with a similar shelf life.) Hmmm — maybe I’ll get a spoon and try just a tiny little taste!!!  WOO-HOO!!!  Forget the spoon — give me a shovel!!!

OK — actually I got TWO shovels and Roger and I sat of the couch with the bowl, plopped our little trotters in the trough, and ate EVERY BIT OF IT!!!  YUM-YUM-YUM!!!!  (And I decided I was gonna have to jog to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, as soon as it stopped raining to work it all off!  And remember I live in Texas!!)

After getting a rubber spatula to polish off the last dregs, I took a moment to evaluate my little discovery.  It was really yummy, but had the promise of even greater things.  So a few days later I recruited Roger and his muscles again for a little Chez Meredith research kitchen experimenting!!!

SO — we took the basic mix, added some marshmallow cream, (standard fare for creamy fudge,) tossed in some pecans, and heated everything up in a double boiler to get rid of the graininess, poured it out into a fudge baking sheet with a one inch deep edge, refrigerated, and WOW did it make great fudge!!!

We also tried spooning a little into a microwave safe bowl and nuking it on low until it melted and then poured it over ice cream — WOW!!!

And then we tried it with walnuts instead of pecans, tried it with coconut, and tried pouring it into a graham cracker crust!  Then we tried it using a yellow cake mix, devil’s food cake mix, angel food cake mix, pound cake mix, and dry chocolate chip cookie mix instead of the brownie mix.  Everything was super yummy!!!

SO — here’s your chance to experiment with my invention.  Start with the basics and try your own variations!!!

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk, (I’ve used Eagle Brand and Kroger’s store brand — both worked well.  You can also use the fat free kind to cut the calories a little.  It doesn’t taste much different than the “real” one.)

1 20 ounce or so box of brownie, cake, or cookie mix, (I basically buy whatever is on sale)

1 7 ounce jar of marshmallow cream, (I’ve used Kraft and Kroger both with good results)

1 hot to trot labor providing male, (OPTIONAL, but HIGHLY recommended for this one!!)

1 cup, about 4 ounces, of pecans, walnuts, unsalted pecans, cashews, macadamias, etc. (OPTIONAL)

1 cup, about 4 ounces, of coconut (OPTIONAL)

1 cup, about 4 ounces, of chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, etc. (OPTIONAL)

1 cup, about 4 ounces, of broken up cookie pieces — Oreo’s are dynamite!  (OPTIONAL)

1 cup, about 4 ounces, of your favorite candy bar cut into chunks — try it with Snickers!! (OPTIONAL)

1/2 cup of chocolate, caramel, or butterscotch syrup to drizzle in after the fudge is cooked (OPTIONAL)

Icing for after it cools in the fridge — I’ll be giving you some killer icing recipes in other Chez Meredith columns (OPTIONAL)

Recruit a male to do the mixing.  Hot to trot boyfriends work very well.  Husbands may provide mixed results depending upon their hot to trot status.  Father’s are OK but watch them like a hawk or they’ll snitch too much!!  Younger brothers should be avoided as they will inhale everything and leave you none!!!  If no satisfactory male is available, you can of course mix it up yourself, but don’t let the guys know you can do it.  Otherwise, they may not be as willing the next time to come to the rescue of the “helpless” little gal.

The marshmallow cream is a pain to get out of the jar because it’s so thick.  Put the jar in a pan of warm water for a bit before and that’ll help get it out.  DO NOT try to nuke it in the microwave — it will explode and you’ll be scraping it off the microwaves walls forever!

Depending upon your box mix, you might need to add a quarter cup of water to get everything to mix properly.  Usually, this is not necessary if you put enough (male) elbow grease into the mixing.  Also, ignore all the directions on the box.  Do not add eggs, water, oil, or whatever.

If you don’t heat it up, it will be a little grainy no matter how much mixing you do.  To heat it, use a double boiler and stir continuously, (a perfect male task,) until everything has melted together.  You can try nuking it in a microwave safe bowl, but use low power and stop every minute or so and stir.  Otherwise it will boil out and make a royal mess!

After you’ve got it warmed and melted, mix in the nuts, coconut, chips, cookies, candies, syrups, etc, and pour it into a fudge pan.  After it cools, you can ice it, then cut it into slices, etc. — or just get a shovel and start eating on one end!

For a yummy treat and a fancy dessert for guests, buy some of the little yellow sponge cake dessert shells from the grocery store bakery — the ones with the depression in the top.  Place one cake on a salad size plate and nuke it for about 20 seconds.  Quickly add a scoop of vanilla ice cream (gotta be Blue Bell) on top in the depression, (males are great ice cream scoopers,) and then pour the hot fudge over the ice cream and cake!  WOO-HOO!!  Try sprinkling chopped nuts or coconut on top, too!!  Make sure that you pour enough melted fudge to make a “pool” around the cake.  You can swirl a little contrasting icing in this to really get fancy!!

Put your thinking caps on and experiment with this all you like.  It makes a really good fudge and fudge sauce and is a lot easier than messing with candy thermometers, etc.

Two words of caution —

One — BE CAREFUL with the hot fudge as it can burn the dickens out of you if it splashes out — and worse, it will STICK to you as it burns — SO BE CAREFUL!!!!!

And the second word of caution — if you mix some of this up and find that a two thousand foot tall naked blond is ripping off your roof to get to it — well — you’re own you own!!!

Love,

Meredith


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Last Updated: April 2006


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