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Top Pick Of The Week

November 28, 2006

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Fudge Bars
Two-ounce bars of John Kelly fudge are a divine daily treat (you can split them with a friend). Fudge gifts for everyone!
WHAT IT IS: Classic fudge made of top-quality ingredients, also certified kosher.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Ten flavors, with and without nuts, in regular or “coated”—enrobed in semisweet chocolate (we love it!). There are large logs to “slice your own” and 2-ounce “portion control” pieces.
WHY WE LOVE IT: A perfect balance of chocolate, sugar and cream: never too sweet or too rich. The naturally-flavored versions are impeccably rendered. All fudge should be like this! The 10-flavor sampler is a fudge-lover’s paradise, and a fudge gift is universally appreciated as a house gift or a present for “kids of all ages.”
WHERE TO BUY IT: Buy Online Here.


Oh Fudge!
John Kelly Gourmet Fudge Gifts

Fudge can be frustrating: a candy with such promise yet so often overdone and cloying...a disappointing temptress. Yet we forget the bad recipes and ingredients, and the next time a fudge beckons, we surrender and buy, often with the same result. Disappointment ended the moment we tasted the fudge from John Kelly Chocolates, a truly fine confection in ten flavors. All natural chocolate fudge in 10 flavors, each bite has a long finish—not of sugar, but of top-quality chocolate, as it should be. The fudge comes in two versions, one enrobed in semisweet chocolate, one unadorned. Even in the extra cloak of chocolate, John Kelly’s fudge is aces, balanced to perfection. Add it to your chocolate gift list, and be sure to put yourself on the list. Read the full review below.

Make Your Own Candies

The Ultimate Candy Book Truffles, Candies & Confections The 50 Best Fudge Recipes
The Ultimate Candy Book: More than 700 Quick and Easy, Soft and Chewy, Hard and Crunchy Sweets and Treats, by Bruce Weinstein. Recipes for all sorts of delectable favorites include the basic recipe plus variations on the theme. From Fudge-in-a-Minute to Turkish Taffy, this book will make you popular with family and friends. Click here for more information or to purchase. Truffles, Candies, and Confections: Techniques and Recipes for Candymaking, by Carole Bloom. With so simple you’ll-kick-yourself-for-not-doing-this-sooner instructions, you’ll be turning out batches of some of 90-plus treats like Orange Chocolate Truffles, Vanilla Cream Caramels, and Espresso Hazelnut Fudge in no time. Click here for more information or to purchase. The Best 50 Fudge Recipes, by Marcia Kriner. A collection of mouth-watering recipes for this classic American candy, including classic chocolate fudges, nut fudges, butterscotch fudges, along with modern variants like pistachio lemon fudge. Also find tips on cooking temperature, how to rescue failed fudge, and historical background. Click here for more information or to purchase.

Oh, Fudge: John Kelly Gourmet Fudge

INDEX

 

There are a lot of fudge makers in America: One can scarcely go on vacation without stumbling over a whole, sugary lot. It may seem ironic that John Kelly Chocolates is located in Hollywood, California—a tourist hot spot—but the fudge is far from touristy. It’s fabulous. We can’t wait to give fudge gifts to everyone.

 

The fudge is made in 10 delicious flavors that taste as if fudge were born in Orange, Raspberry and Cappuccino (don’t worry, purists: there’s plenty of Chocolate, Vanilla and Peanut Butter). The chocolate itself is complex, the result of the blending of different chocolates to match each particular flavor. All flavorings are natural, and the sugar, butter and walnuts are of the highest quality. You can tell from the consistency, before you even take a bite, that this is going to be really good fudge.

John Kelly makes fudge in two basic formats:

  • Gourmet Fudge, an 8-ounce bar, is made both plain or enrobed in semisweet chocolate. These bars are the way to go if you want to put out a “log” for guests to help themselves, or if you want to serve slices on a dessert platter.
  • Truffle Fudge comes in smaller sizes: 4-ounce and 2-ounce bars that are enrobed in chocolate. The 2-ounce size is perfect for snacking—in fact, you can cut it in half and share it with a friend. The website says that “the creamy center makes it similar to the truffles you’ve had in the past,” but that can be misleading. This is firm fudge, not a ganache truffle.*

*Ganache is made of chocolate and cream; butter can be added. Most chocolate fudge recipes use chocolate and butter plus condensed or evaporated milk. Ganache has a softer consistency.

Fudge Flavors

With John Kelly’s selection of flavors, you can be the kid in the candy store—or at least, the kid in the fudge store. John Kelly uses just enough sugar without crossing over the line. The proof of the pudding: after tasting the entire box, we felt just fine—indeed, elated. While that’s not an endorsement to eat an entire box of fudge, it shows what good fudge it is. Sugar, the less expensive ingredient, is not used as a filler; chocolate the more expensive ingredient, is packed into every piece.

If you have a broad palate, then all prospects are exciting. The flavors are clean and bright. Some are made only with walnuts, some are nut-free, and some offer both options. So many varieties, so little time?  Not really. The assorted gift boxes will let you explore and decide on your favorites. Then, the next time you order, if you like, you can choose single-flavor boxes.

Until then, have a virtual taste:

  • Cappuccino Fudge: The flavor of creamy coffee paired with fudge and walnuts. Not a gimmick: the real deal.
  • Caramel Fudge: A layer of creamy caramel on top of chocolate fudge, plus crunchy walnuts. A textural sensation.
  • Chocolate Fudge: The “classic” chocolate, available with and without walnuts.
  • Dark Chocolate Fudge: Bittersweet chocolate, with walnuts.
  • Hazelnut Fudge: A favorite combination of many, with hazelnuts.
  • Mint Fudge: A light flavor of fresh peppermint. No walnuts.
  • Orange Fudge: One of our favorite flavor combinations, beautifully executed here. No walnuts.
Fudge
An illustration of the different options: At left, fudge with chocolate coating and nuts; in the center, fudge with no coating and no nuts; at the right, fudge with nuts but no coating.

Caramel Fudge
Caramel Fudge, the richest flavor.

 

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  • Peanut Butter Fudge: A layer of crunchy peanut butter on top of chocolate fudge. A PB-lover’s delight. No walnuts.
  • Raspberry Fudge: Another classic pairing. No nuts.
  • Vanilla Fudge: A white chocolate base with added natural vanilla extract. With or without walnuts.

As we typically love the combinations of Orange, Raspberry and Peanut Butter with chocolate, we found those fudge flavors to be a special treat. We also love mint and chocolate fudge, but wish this Mint were even mintier (there’s something to be said for a light touch, though). The Cappuccino fudge was a delight. We don’t generally prefer hazelnut, but we loved this one. Caramel is the richest and sweetest. Vanilla is excellent. We didn’t find a huge difference between Chocolate and Dark Chocolate fudge—we’ll just have to go back and do more testing!


Storing Fudge

You can keep fudge at room temperature; but if you plan to keep it for an extended period, John Kelly recommends storing the fudge in the refrigerator in a heavy-duty sealed plastic bag to limit condensation. Remove it one hour before serving to bring it to room temperature. Sometimes, extreme variations in temperature can cause chocolate to “bloom”—it develops a white patina that is the cocoa butter in the chocolate migrating to the surface. It is completely harmless and does not affect the taste.

Shelf Life Uncoated Gourmet Fudge Coated Truffle Fudge
Room Temperature (70ºF) 4 Weeks 3-6 Months
Refrigerated (35ºF) 6-12 Months 6-12 Months
     

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Eating Fudge

You don’t need a special occasion to enjoy a piece of fudge. We recently queried the owner of one of the greatest international chocolate boutiques about how much of his product he eats per day. “Two pieces,” was the answer. That’s sage advice. Treat yourself to an ounce or so, but make it an ounce of the best. Fudge-lovers can do no better than to start right here, with John Kelly’s fudge.

—Karen Hochman
Updated November 2007

FORWARD THIS NIBBLE to anyone who loves fudge or needs holiday gifts or corporate gifts.

JOHN KELLY CHOCOLATES

Gourmet Fudge Bars in 10 Flavors

Certified Kosher by KSA
  • Gourmet Fudge (8-Ounce Bars)
    Coated or Uncoated
    1 Bar, $14.00
    2 Bars, $24.00
    3 Bars, $33.50
  • Truffle Fudge Bars (2-Ounce Size)
    4 Bars, $18.50
    8 Bars, $30.00
    12 Bars, $41.00
  • Other Sizes Available

Purchase online* here.

*Prices and flavor availability are verified at
publication but are subject to change.
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Box of Fudge
Attractive on the outside, even better on the inside,
Photo by Melody Lan.


Find reviews of our other favorite
products in these related sections
of THE NIBBLE:


Check out these reader favorites from our Candy Section:

 

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