My grandmother’s house is a little further away than over the hill and through the woods. In fact, it’s about six hours, a few mountain passes and two states from my hometown. Despite the distance, a good deal of my childhood was spent in her and my papa’s tiny, turn of the century house.
Though the journey was long, our arrival was always the best part. My sweet grandma was always awake, no matter the hour, with a fridge full of her legendary dishes. She’d greet us at the door- red hair in curlers and tiny feet in knit slippers- kiss and hug us, and usher us straight into the kitchen. Before you knew it, your plate was piled high with fried chicken, all kinds of cookies, homemade donuts, a slice of cherry pie and the very best treat in all the world- her home-made hot fudge.
I started making her fudge soon after Taylor and I were married. Eventually I put my own spin on the recipe to make it a bit more natural. I substituted honey for corn syrup and vanilla bean for extract. I’ve yet to try a nut butter besides peanut, but I can imagine that either almond or hazelnut butter would be fantastic.
This fudge is truly the most decadent, comforting sort of goodness, and the best way to eat it is over home-made ice cream. We invested in an ice cream maker a few years ago, and hardly go a week without making a batch. I also “naturalized” the ice cream recipe, replacing sugar with honey and extract with vanilla bean.
Sprinkle a few peanuts over top of this deadly combo, and try not to smile from ear to ear. The only thing sweeter might be the love of a curler clad, red-haired grandmother.
- [b]Ice Cream:[/b]
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup honey
- 3 cups cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- [b]Hot Fudge:[/b]
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 3/4 cup natural cane sugar (or agave)
- 2/3 cup cream
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter
- pinch of salt
- Mix milk and honey until dissolved.
- Stir in heavy cream and vanilla bean.
- Turn ice cream maker on, pour mixture in freezer bowl and mix until thickened, 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from freezer bowl and store in freezer. Makes just over a quart.
- Combine cocoa, sugar, cream and honey in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir constantly until mixture boils. Boil 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and add butter, vanilla bean, peanut butter and salt.
- Stir, cool slightly, serve.