|Baked butternut squash|
So my intrigue was enough to get me involved with The Hungry Hinny's pumpkin and chocolate challenge. Originally started by Chele and Choclette, We Should Cocoa is a monthly celebration of chocolate that has been keeping chocolate-minded bloggers entertained for more than two years, but this is only my third time playing.
I thought about adding some chocolate chips to Lady Flo's scones. I thought about making pumpkin in a mole sauce, or a warm pumpkin salad with chocolate balsamic (although I've already done chocolate balsamic for WSC!). And then I decided to take the flavours of pumpkin pie to fudge.
|White chocolate and butternut puree - looks disconcertingly like tandoori paste|
I used my basic traditional fudge recipe, beating in white chocolate, sieved baked butternut and spices. I also added some food colouring to make it more of a "pumpkin" colour, but if you prefer a more subtle effect you could leave that out.
|Beating the chocolate and butternut into the fudge base|
The chocolate makes the fudge creamier - I have a feeling that the extra fat and sugar in it breaks up the sugar crystals or something - and a softer set. And as I beat it I was overcome by kitsch and decided that what I needed to do was to turn my fudge into little Halloween pumpkins and jack o' lanterns.
When the fudge was cool enough to handle, I rolled it into balls. Some I flattened out a bit and some I left quite spherical. I pressed a toothpick around the sides of the spherical ones to give them more of a pumpkin segment shape, and I decorated them with writing fudge - faces on the flat ones and little stems on the pumpkins.
They are really quite spicy, so make some very small pumpkins so people who aren't sure about pumpkin pie don't waste too much! And maybe just use a teaspoon of the spice mix if you are making these for children. I'd still use the booze though - it's such a small amount but I think it adds an important, although subtle flavour.
An unexpectedly good flavour pairing was a piece of fudge with a glass of amontillado sherry.
|That ray of autumn sun buggered up my photography|
Pumpkin Pie Fudge Pumpkins
300ml whole milk
350g caster sugar
100g salted butter (I think it gives a better flavour)
1tsp vanilla extract
1tbs rum, bourbon or brandy
100ml pumpkin puree
120g chopped white chocolate
1tbs pumpkin pie spice (I used this blend, omitting the allspice because I have realised I prefer allspice in savoury dishes)
orange food colouring paste (optional)
Chocolate writing fudge
Mix the pumpkin puree with the rum, vanilla, spice and food colouring (I wanted to make it easier to blend into the fudge, add the chopped white chocolate and set it aside.
Make the fudge according to this recipe, and when it comes off the heat add the spiced pumpkin puree and white chocolate. When it thickens, you can either pour it into a baking-paper lined tin to cool, and then cut it into squares, or you can leave it in the pan until it's cool enough to handle, then roll teaspoonfuls of mixture between your palms into balls. Either flatten and draw faces on them with writing fudge, or press a toothpick into the sides to mark into segments, flatten the top slightly and pipe a little "stem" on top with the writing fudge. Allow to cool completely before eating.
|Cute and autumnal - but you could just set it in a tray and mark it into cubes|