It's Cinco de Mayo, and it's time for dessert! Well, actually, it might not really be time for dessert yet, depending on when you are reading this. But since I have already blogged about a starter, a beverage, and a main course this week, clearly at this point you need a little something sweet to wash it all down with!
So I made this wonderful Mexican Chocolate Pistachio Fudge. We're big fudge fans, the husband and I. But I usually stick to my tried-and-true fudge recipe, and rarely branch out from that. There have been some pretty interesting results the few times I have strayed from what I know works. A certain time I made bacon fudge comes to mind...
Anyway, this fudge is a snap to make. I did use my regular recipe as a base, but I expanded on it and I'm really happy with the results. I made the chocolate more "Mexican"-tasting by adding ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper. I thought pistachios would be great in there, so I mixed in a bunch and then scattered even more over the top. The fudge turned out creamy, rich-tasting, and so interesting with that little bit of spice and heat. You don't really taste the cayenne pepper, but you know it's there because you get a nice little burn at the back of your throat after you've eaten a piece. You could leave it out, and the fudge would still be great, but I think it's necessary in there. It's a fiesta in fudge form (sorry, I couldn't resist)!
Mexican Chocolate Pistachio Fudge
adapted from about.com
makes 36-40 squares, depending on the size you cut them
2 Tbsp. butter
2/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
12 oz. (1 bag) semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
6 oz. raw, shelled pistachios, divided
1. Line a square, 8x8 inch baking pan with nonstick foil, or regular foil that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Combine the marshmallows and chocolate chips in a bowl and set aside.
2. In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the butter, milk, sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Turn the heat to medium-high, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Allow the mixture to come up to a boil. Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
3. Stir in the marshmallows, chocolate chips, and vanilla, and continue mixing until the marshmallows and chips have almost completely melted. Throw in about 3/4 of the pistachios and continue mixing well. Note: you should work quickly here, because the fudge starts to harden around this point and it becomes harder and harder to stir.
4. Spread the fudge into the prepared pan and even it out, smoothing the top. Before it has a chance to set, sprinkle the remaining pistachios over the top of the fudge and press down lightly so the nuts will stick. Place the pan in the fridge to allow the fudge to set completely before removing and cutting into squares.