Marshmallows Add Oomph to this Easy Microwave Fudge
Making fudge in the microwave takes most of the work — and worry — out of the process.
Heating the ingredients until they reach the elusive “soft-ball” stage? A thing of the past. Cooling, then stirring (continuously!) until the fudge sets up properly? No longer an issue. Great taste that has you coming back for seconds and thirds? Very definitely!
Microwave fudge delivers superb flavor and texture in less time (and with much less fuss) than traditional stove-top recipes, as discussed in our post on Microwave Peanut Butter Fudge.
But hey, what about chocolate? Isn’t that what most people think when you say “fudge”?
Well, this recipe has you covered. It combines chocolate with Nutella, the European hazelnut spread that has taken the US (and most of the world) by storm. And it adds some mini marshmallows for interest.
Make this fudge and share it, and you may have a new BFFL (or several).
Recipe: Chocolate Fudge with Nutella
As was the case with our Microwave Peanut Butter Fudge, this isn’t a traditional recipe. Making fudge the old-fashioned way requires you to combine sugar, butter, milk, and usually additional ingredients. You heat the sugar mixture on top of the stove, and then mix in the butter by hand. The microwave greatly streamlines this process. Rather than rehash the hows and whys of the microwave method, we’ll just direct you to our post on peanut butter fudge.
Most of us have a weakness for chocolate. And fudge is one of the dishes that best showcase its deep, luscious flavor (the other, IMO, is Chocolate Brownies).
Mrs. Kitchen Riffs is the dessert maven in our house, and this recipe is hers. She adapted it from several recipes she discovered online. (For the record, there are dozens of microwave chocolate fudge recipes on the Internet. And Mrs K R seems determined to try — and tweak — them all.)
This recipe takes about 10 minutes or so of active time. Then you need to cool the fudge in the refrigerator (so it can solidify) before you cut it. Figure on about two hours for that (you can speed things up a bit by putting it in the freezer for a few minutes; see Notes).
Yield depends on how large you cut the pieces, but figure about five dozen 1-inch pieces. Leftovers keep in an airtight container for a week or so (store at room temperature). As if you’ll have any leftovers.
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ~ 10 ounces Nutella
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional; we didn’t use them in today’s batch of fudge, but often include them)
- 1 cup mini-marshmallows (optional)
- Butter an 8 by 8-inch pan and line it with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper.
- Combine the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a large microwave-safe bowl (a 2-quart Pyrex container with lid is perfect). Cover with plastic wrap if you don’t have a lid for your container and you’re worried about “explosions” (optional, but not a bad thing to do). Microwave for 2 minutes on high.
- Stir, and then microwave on high for another minute or two, until the mixture is fully melted (microwave times vary). Caution: Mixture will be very hot when you remove it from the microwave.
- Add the vanilla to the melted mixture and stir in. Then add the Nutella and stir to combine, using a wooden spoon or spatula. Heat in the microwave for a few seconds as the mixture becomes too stiff to stir.
- Add the chopped walnuts (if using), and stir to combine.
- Allow mixture to cool to near room temperature before mixing in marshmallows (if using). If you don’t allow the mixture to cool, the marshmallows usually melt into the hot fudge and disappear — still tasty, but you don’t get the “chunky” effect.
- Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Cover the surface of the fudge with additional parchment paper. Refrigerate until chilled and firm (you can cut it after an hour, although it will be gooey; chilling about 2 hours is better).
- Turn chilled fudge onto a cutting board and cut into pieces of about 1-inch or so each.
- There’s no added sugar in this recipe. Between the chocolate chips, condensed milk, Nutella, and marshmallows, there is already plenty of sweetness.
- Nutella is a hazelnut-and-chocolate spread that was introduced in 1963 by the Italian company Ferrero. In many countries, it’s marketed as “hazelnut cream” because it doesn’t contain sufficient cocoa to be labeled “chocolate” cream.
- The exact quantity of Nutella isn’t critical in this recipe. We’ve used amounts ranging from 8 to 13 ounces, always with good results.
- Condensed milk was first developed in France in 1820, but was subsequently “reinvented” in the US by Gail Borden, Jr. in 1853. Borden produced one of the first commercial brands of condensed milk in the US.
- The Borden company underwent a leveraged buyout in the 1990s and the company was eventually dissolved. Today Eagle brand is probably the most commonly found condensed milk in the US, but all brands are more or less the same.
- You should use high quality (pure) vanilla extract in this recipe. Its flavor is so much better than the imitation kind.
- Pure vanilla extract is made by soaking vanilla beans in a mixture of water and alcohol for several months. BTW, the FDA requires that pure vanilla extract contain at least 35% alcohol. If the label doesn’t say “pure,” that means it’s made from synthetic vanilla. The artificial kind is usually derived from the sapwood of several species of conifers — or from coal extracts! How appetizing (not).
- The flavor of some imitation vanillas can be nasty. You don’t have to spend a fortune on pure vanilla extract, but getting decent quality does mean spending a bit more for something that’s not loaded with sugar or imitation flavoring. Do yourself a favor and get the real stuff.
- If you’re really in a hurry to eat this and can’t wait for the fudge to chill in the refrigerator, you can stick it in the freezer for half an hour or so (ask us how we know this). Results are OK, but the texture is better if you refrigerate.
Turning the Chocolate Up to 11
“Interesting,” I said as I sampled my second piece of fudge. “This has a very chocolate-forward flavor. I do notice some hazelnut, but it’s an undertone.”
“Yeah, that surprised me,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “I thought the Nutella would dominate more. Instead, it just deepens and enriches the flavor of the chocolate.”
“Which is OK by me,” I said. “I like Nutella, but it’s way too sweet to use as a spread. In a dessert like this, though? Perfect!”
“I’ll take peanut butter over Nutella in a sandwich too,” Mrs K R agreed. “And peanut butter makes a mean fudge or cookie. But in this recipe, the Nutella definitely works.”
“It sure does!” I said enthusiastically, reaching for my third piece of fudge.
Looks like I picked a bad day to start watching portion sizes.
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