Thursday, March 11, 2010

Making friends at work with little effort

Swedish chef agrees

I enjoy cooking and, as of late, baking. The fruits of my labor have been enjoyed by my co-workers on occasion - with the exception of my failed attempt at rye pretzels. Rugelach took hours came out a little lopsided. Cinnamon buns took even longer and required me waking up ridiculously early. Then Julia Moskin came to the rescue. Previously, I only bestowed demigod status on Mark Bittman and his minimalist column, but Ms. Moskin set me up for life. Her article in the Times last Wednesday, "Milk in a Can Goes Glam," focused on the use of sweetened condensed milk. One of the accompanying recipes was for Absurdly Easy Chocolate Fudge. How could I now try making something that is absurdly easy?

First, let me say this. There are 3-5 ingredients depending on whether you add the optional salt or walnuts. No flour, no eggs, no mess. I went out and picked up a pound of Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate, which is sold in large chucks at Fairway, and a can of condensed milk. With my recent surge in baking activity, there is no shortage of butter in my fridge. Since I have four varieties (table, rock, kosher, sea), I decided to add the minimal amount of salt as well. I set up a ghetto double boiler (medium pot inside large pot with some water), set a very low flame, threw all of the ingredients in and walked away. Once the chocolate and butter melted, and everything came together, the fudge went into a greased and parchment paper-lined dish to cool. The next morning I chopped it up, brought most of it to work and made nice with everyone.

The fudge has been universally loved. Nobody believes how easy it is, so I get way more credit than is deserved. Four ingredients! And I watched a basketball game while it was coming together. Bless the Times and their Wednesday Dining section.

Check out the recipe.

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