The Sweet Swap: Espresso Fudge

IMG_3266all packed up & ready to go!

A while back, Sara, of Belly Rumbles, and Amanda, of Chew Town, got in touch about a blogging project they were setting up called The Sweet Swap. For a small entry fee, which was donated to ChildFund Australia, each participating blogger was matched with three other bloggers. Once you had received your matches and chosen the sweet to make, you’d package it up and send it off, while waiting for your own sweet treats to arrive.

Now, you may have noticed that I am not, exactly, a confectioner. Apart from chocolate, I don’t really like sweets. So in this instance I knew I was not only going to have to choose something that would post well (a challenge in itself!) but most likely something I don’t like eating.

I had a practice run making marshmallow and thought that it might be fun to make rocky road (fun for Andy and our workmates – even with chocolate marshmallow is still going to be gross).

I’m really sorry if any of my matches would have preferred rocky road: just as I should have been in the kitchen making marshmallow my toddler decided it would be fun to have temperatures spiking 40°C for a few days and ended up in hospital. There needed to be some seriously quick revision of plans and, in what can only be blind panic (the deadline for posting had passed!) I chose to make fudge.

Now, I have never made fudge before and I couldn’t even claim to have eaten enough to call myself a connoisseur, so I was really winging it. I chose to make this espresso fudge because I like chocolate and coffee.

I wasn’t happy because the recipe was a bit vague (temperatures for the different stages would have made me happy) but I was out of time and there for nothing for it but to hit the stove.

My inability to focus on stirring turned out to be a blessing: if you over-stir fudge it turns out grainy, but this, my first effort was dense and creamy with a solid, but not overpowering, hit of coffee.

I probably sound really pleased with myself, and I am. But I’m sure it’s all beginner’s luck and I’ll never be happy with another batch of fudge ever again!

IMG_3271heart attack inducing size pieces of fudge

Espresso Fudge

Ingredients

  • 1 tin sweetened condensed milk (395g - the standard size in the shops)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp glucose syrup
  • 180g dark chocolate, broken up
  • 3 tsp instant coffee (strong will do, espresso if you have it)

Instructions

  1. Place the condensed milk, sugar and glucose syrup in a pan over a low heat and wait for the sugar to melt, stirring only occasionally. This takes quite a while so be patient.
  2. When the sugar has melted, turn up the heat (medium - high) and bring the mix to a simmer. Be a little more attentive with your stirring. In time the mixture will start to thicken and come away from the sides of the pan. If you are using a good non stick pan (and you really should) the mixture will come away from the sides quite quickly but you need to keep stirring until it thickens up.
  3. Take the mixture off the heat and mix in the chocolate and instant coffee. Mix until the chocolate has melted completely and then pour into a greased and lined baking dish (I used one that is approx 20cmx20cm). Allow to cool and then refrigerate. Overnight is best.
  4. Cut up: this is very rich so small squares is a good idea. For serving you may wish to dust with cocoa powder, but the fudge is so rich it doesn't need it. A cup of coffee on the side could be considered essential though!
http://eatingadelaide.com/sweet-swap-espresso-fudge/

I think there might have been a slight glitch in the Sweet Swap because I actually received FOUR sweets, not three.

From Gareth at Humble Crumble I received some black forest fudge – chocolate fudge studded with cherries. From Joanna at The Hangry Bitch sacher tortingtons – a quirky take on lamingtons, stuffed with a homemade orange marmalade, iced and decorated with flaked coconut, Aga at At Matter of Taste sent Polish biscuits that her grandmother used to make and Amy at Melbourne Food Snob sent chewy coconut caramels. Quite a little haul (and some of which is still being eaten, which is a massive win!).

My fudge went Aga, Billy and Leah. Aga quit sugar just before the Sweet Swap (really terrible timing) but I hope Billy and Leah enjoyed the fudge and my apologies for the delay.

Tempo Cafe

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date of visit: Saturday 15 December 2012

It’s not often that Andy and I find ourselves wandering around the western end of town looking for morning tea. In fact, I’d say it’s pretty close to never. However, we’d been lucky enough to stay in town after our work Christmas do (has anyone noticed how Mexican seems to be a corporate Christmas party theme this year?!) and, the next morning, we took the opportunity to check out some shower heads in a city showroom (quite rock and roll, but when your shower is held together with limescale a somewhat necessary exercise).

This meant we were wandering along Hindley Street looking for a spot of morning tea. Tempo was pretty much the first place we came across that was open. The café is in the foyer of the ASO‘s Grainger Studio and I daresay that during term time and performance time it does a raging business. At about midday on a Saturday it’s very quiet.

We just ducked in for coffee and cake. While iced coffee wasn’t on the drinks board it was available and I also had a melting moment.

The iced coffees were awesome. At just $4.50 each they came in big (imperial) pint glasses and were simple: coffee, milk, ice, and ice cream. Have you ever noticed that the more someone stuffs around with an iced coffee the less good it gets? That was not a problem here.

The melting moment did the job too – although it was less impressive and exciting than the iced coffee!

The staff (there were two men working – one working the coffee machine and one doing front of house duties) were both really friendly and made sure they took the time to say goodbye when we left.

While we hardly undertook a comprehensive survey of what Tempo has to offer, it’s somewhere I’d definitely go back to.

Cafe Tempo on Urbanspoon

Giveaway: Nescafe Gold Single Origin Colombian Blend

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Disclaimer: Nescafé sent me the above hamper of goodies, including a pack of the limited edition coffee.

Eating Adelaide has 5 packs of this limited edition coffee to give away … read on!

Even before I received my pack of goodies from Nescafé I was thinking about the fairest way to assess the new, limited edition, Nescafé Gold Single Origin Colombian coffee.

Andy said I should be making iced coffees but I’m not convinced that that’s how most instant coffee is used so I decided on a blind taste test. We have both ground and instant coffee at home so Andy was dispatched (despite complaining that it was almost 10pm and he didn’t really want a coffee) and I set about setting up the taste test.

I’ll resist my urge to detail the setting up of the test. We had three coffees: 2 the Nescafé and 1 our normal. Andy tasted entirely blind and I tasted knowing the combination but not knowing which was which.

Coffee Taste Test

The results?

Andy
Coffee 1: tastes like instant coffee
Coffee 2: significantly nicer, tastes like proper coffee
Coffee 3: also nicer than 1, but I think it’s instant

Alex
Coffee 1: smells like instant (it REALLY smells like instant), it doesn’t taste too bad – it does have some richness to it
Coffee 2: smells loads better and tastes better too, it has some nice lingering bitterness which isn’t overpowering
Coffee 3: [the duplicate coffee so I didn’t bother]

We lifted up the glasses to see which was which … and (thankfully!) the Nescafé was coffees 2 and 3. We were both in agreement that this was a much better instant coffee than our current one. I don’t drink a lot of instant coffee – mainly because of the instant coffee smell – and I was impressed. I’d be happy to make this for guests and it would be brilliant in cooking – not to mention iced coffees!

There are only 5000 packs available, and you need to order online ($9.99, free delivery). If you like coffee (and particularly if you are a coffee snob) this is definitely worth trying.

However, if you’re still sceptical I do have FIVE packs to give away. To enter, leave a comment below detailing your favourite coffee moment. You’ll get an extra entry if you like Eating Adelaide on Facebook – so make sure you use the same name that you use on Facebook!

The competition will close at 5pm (Adelaide time) on Monday 5 November. The draw will be random. Australian residents only.

Get commenting and good luck!