Thursday 10 November 2011

Vegan nutella fudge for eat.drink.picnic

Bloggers picnics!  Expect the unexpected!  I procrastinated about making soy condensed milk and nutella fudge until the night before.  Unexpectedly it worked.  The problem was at the picnic where half the fudge fell into a bowl of caesar salad.  Yet I refused to throw it out.  Cindy validated my stubbornness.  She said it tasted excellent even with a dab of mayo.  Now that is some fudge!

When I had decided to try out soy condensed milk, that was a challenge.  I wasn't sure how I would go.  A simple recipe was needed to test it.  Many years ago I made an amazing fudge with condensed milk, chocolate and maybe some butter.  This fudge was surpassed earlier this year when I made nutella fudge.  I decided that a jar of hazelnut butter from the Vic Market would turn this chocolate fudge into a gluten free vegan fudge.  Easy.

It was not quite as smooth as my previous version but equally delicious.  After I made the fudge, I looked at the ingredients in nutella.  I was shocked to discover that not only is the first (and hence biggest) ingredient sugar but that hazelnuts make up only 13% of the ingredients.  I could have possibly made some vegan nutella to use if I had had time, or added extra vegan butter and sugar.  However, as I didn't, the sugar in the fudge was far less sweet than in my other nutella fudge.  I liked the slightly bitter edge and slight crunch in this creamy rich fudge. 

My other contribution was this vegan queso dip (see below photo) that I am very fond of.  The only changes I made were to use rice flakes rather than oat flakes and to add an extra tablespoon of white miso.  It seemed lovely until I arrived at the Edinburgh Gardens for the eat.drink.picnic and dropped the tub of dip in a plastic bag.  The lid fell off and about half the dip spilt.  Such a terrible waste.  I cleaned up the rest that remained so that we were able to enjoy some of it.  I also took some vegie sticks and rice crackers.

Eat.Drink.Picnic was organised by AOF of Confessions of a Food Nazi as an alternative to the Eat.Drink.Blog Conference in Sydney this weekend. No fancy presentations here.  Just some food bloggers in the park.  Rugs thrown on the grass.  A fine spread of good food.  Thirty degrees celcius of sunshine.  Perfect in the shade.  Even a lack of cups and bowls or some fudge in a bowl of salad couldn't spoil the good feelings.

Blogger potlucks are a chance to taste amazing food - some that I have already read about and others that I look forward to being posted.  We started with AOF's Cauliflower Hummus, K's Red Pepper and Basil Dip, Michael's Caesar Salad with amazing GF bread croutons and Cindy's Asparagus with Walnut Dressing. Kenny arrived with Courgette Fritters (check out his lovely photos) and Carla brought along her Lentil Walnut Pate with Tofu Sour Cream and Risotto Balls.  But by the time Ed's beetroot, walnut and feta salad came along, I was onto sweet food. 

Not only were we lacking in cups for AOF's lemon drink (though Sylvia drank some out of a bowl because she was desperate), but there were hardly any bowls for Kristy's Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream.  It tasted excellent anyway.  As did Lisa's Chocolate Brownies with gingernuts and Cindy's Apple Peanut Butter Crumble Slice.  I always leave these picnics realising I have missed tasting something and in this case it was AOF's Watermelon Date and Pistachio Salad.

Finally, Claire brought along seafood that didn't interest me, but the music on her little stereo sparked some conversation about 1980s New Zealand music.  Ironically this got me to dig out my Straightjacket Fits CD to listen to while we ate leftover dip, crackers and crudites that evening.  It took me full circle to remember living in a student household where my housemates talked about an AOF who had moved out shortly before me.  If you had told me that I would be sharing a picnic with her many years later I wouldn't have believed it.  But I am glad I did.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe
This time last year: Rice paper rolls and brown rice salad
This time two years ago: The Wall, Rose Petals and Biscuits
This time three years ago: GYO Spiced yoghurt rice with nectarines and mint
This time four years ago: Novelty Cakes from the Archives

Vegan Nutella Fudge
adapted from this recipe
makes about 40 small squares

I batch of soy condensed milk
250g (1 jar) hazelnut butter
200g of 70% dark chocolate
50g margarine

Gently melt and mix all ingredients in a saucepan on the stovetop.  I found it quite a stodgy mixture.  Spread into a lined 20cm square tin.  Cool to room temperature and chill in the fridge.  Cut into small squares.  Store in the fridge for at least a week.

On the stereo:
Melt: Straightjacket Fits


  1. Sounds like a fun picnic. :) I've always wanted to try vegan queso dip but I'm not sure I'd like all the nutritional yeast in it. Great idea to use hazelnut butter instead of nutella. I can't believe the commercials for nutella try to show it as a healthy choice with lots of skim milk and hazelnuts.

  2. Wow you really can veganify anything can't you Johanna! Great job! :D

  3. what a wonderful contribution to the picnic! And what fun!

  4. With all our moving around, chasing the shade, I struggled to try everything this time too! But thankfully I got my hands on that fudge. :-)

  5. What a great recipe! I am always so inspired by your cooking/baking.

  6. That sounds like a fantastic way to spend the day! You've won my heart with that nutella fudge, I'm going to have to save that one for another day.

  7. This sounds like a really fun event - and obviously lots and lots of great food. Your fudge included, which definitely appeals to me all the more for being higher in hazelnuts and lower in sugar :)

  8. Booking this right now. The thought of Nutella Fudge just sounds too good to be true.

  9. Johanna, you're so creative! Oh how I love your sweets :)

  10. Sounds like a fun afternoon with lots of great people and food. I had a good laugh at the fudge and mayo comment!

  11. Lucky you Johanna. Bet that picnic was great fun and all that lovely food too. I think I might try to make this unvegan. I know, I know, but I have the ingredients for that.

  12. 1980s New Zealand music? ha ha - I'm more your Larry's Rebels, Lee Grant, Maria Dallas, The Avengers, Blerta, Rough Justice kinda guy! Though I was around to be part of the genesis of the Flying Nun thing courtesy of Toy Love.

  13. I love reading about your blogger picnics! There is always such good food (sorry that the dip spilled--and the fudge in the salad almost made me cry! Glad it all turned out in the end. :)

  14. Quite envious of your blogger meet ups and pot luck picnics - it sounds fun. There's a limit to how much my friends want to talk food. Glad you had a good time and your fudge looks delicious.

  15. Thanks Ashley - I find nutritional yeast too strong by itself but when balanced with other flavours (like lemon juice, white miso or tahini) I quite liked it. It is so easy to get sucked in by the nutella marketing but it doesn't seem based on fact!

    Thanks Lorraine - some things are easier to veganify or veganise than others - and some things are more satisfying than others too

    Thanks Lisa - you can't go wrong with chocolate

    Thanks Cindy - chasing the shade with a challenge and made it hard to keep food from getting in the sun but at least when the fudge got warm it still tasted good.

    Thanks Anh - very kind

    Thanks Maggie - hope you enjoy the fudge - it is wonderful

    Thanks Kari - I think the higher hazelnuts and lower sugar altered the fudge considerably but all for the better

    Thanks Em - it really is amazing - hope you enjoy

    Thanks Hannah - I know you would love this - esp given that I got the fudge from you in the first place

    Thanks Mel - mayo and fudge is a great combination :-) maybe you will come along to another of these potlucks

    Thanks Jacqueline - I am fine with this fudge as vegan or unvegan, given that I have tried it both ways and if you have the ingredients on hand what is stopping you!

    Thanks Kenny - I was a fan of flying nun but don't know the ones you are referring to - will have to look out for them

    Thanks Ricki - blogger picnics are great - esp now that the weather is warming up (mostly - still rained on and off today)

    Thanks Choclette - I am glad I have blogging for foodie discussions - though fortunately I have a few around who will indulge in offline food talks with me


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