There is no way to know how many pounds of chocolate chips I have baked with over the years, but I know it is many…very many. Until recently, I used the leading national brand of chocolate chips without a second thought. Cook’s Illustrated is a valuable resource in understanding the science behind good cooking, and their product reviews are great for choosing the best tools and ingredients. I was more than a little surprised to learn the chocolate chips I had always relied on were on their “not recommended” list. Since Cook’s Illustrated did recommend Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips, and I was already a huge fan of Ghirardelli’s brownie mixes, it was a no brainer to give them a try.
In a chip-to-chip visual comparison, Ghirardelli’s chips looked like better, darker chocolate than the national brand. The taste test also proved Ghirardelli the better chip with smooth, clean taste compared to the slightly waxy, more artificial taste of the competitor. I could hardly believe the difference, and couldn’t wait to try Ghirardelli’s chips in a recipe for Cappuccino Fudge I had seen on Annie’s Eats, a blog that Karen and I both follow. I was interested in this recipe for several reasons. My mom makes fantastic fudge that her grandchildren would probably fight over had not their parents taught them it was not nice to take fudge from a cousin’s hand, but I like fudge a little creamier than her recipe. I like the consistency of marshmallow fudge, but the popular “Fantasy Fudge” recipe calls for 3 cups of sugar plus super-sweet marshmallow cream. Really? I also thought the Cappuccino Fudge recipe’s mocha and cinnamon flavors would add some depth to the chocolate.
- 1 7-oz jar marshmallow cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 12-oz package Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips
Line an 8” square baking pan with aluminum foil; set aside. In a 2 qt. saucepan, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, cream, butter, coffee powder, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Place on cutting board and cut into 36 squares.
I was thrilled with the results. The fudge was quickly prepared and popped into the fridge, with no candy thermometer madness (thank you!). The heavy cream and marshmallow cream yielded a very satisfying creaminess factor, and with 1/6 the sugar of the Fantasy Fudge recipe, chocolate was the flavor star of the show.
This fudge probably would have been good if made with another brand of chocolate chips, but with Ghirardelli chips, it was great. Yes, the Ghirardelli chips are more expensive, but if I’m going to invest my time to make homemade treats, why not use the best ingredients? I’ll definitely be buying Ghirardelli chocolate chips from now on, and I’ve also found my go-to fudge recipe!