Healthy Chocolate Fudgie (Fudge/Brownie)

I named this recipe “Fudgie” because it is a cross between fudge and a brownie.  I couldn’t decide how to classify this recipe so I combined the two words and came up with “Fudgie”.  This fudgie recipe is moist, chocolaty, decadent and surprisingly healthy.  It doesn’t have flour, of any sort, so it is both gluten and Paleo diet friendly.

I have a big sweet tooth and sometimes my craving for chocolate is off the charts.  Because the level of chocolate flavor in classic fudge is quite high, fudge is one of those desserts that quickly satisfies the unwavering chocolate craving.  Traditional fudge by no means is healthy and it is something that should be considered a limited treat (for me at least).  Since I feel the need to satisfy my chocolate craving frequently I wanted to create a fudge that was healthier to consume on more than a limited bases.

Traditional fudge is made using three ingredients; butter, chocolate and sweetened condensed milk. I am a fan of only one of these ingredients, chocolate.  Butter is not necessary bad for you (depending on what you read) but I try to limit my intake of it.  For my fudge recipe I needed to find a butter replacement.   As you may have noticed in a lot of my recipes I use sweet potatoes as a healthy butter replacement.  I use sweet potatoes in my “Out of this World Healthy Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting“.  I figured I would apply my sweet potato replacement idea to my healthy fudge recipe and see if it would work.

For the sweet potato part of the recipe, you can either use fresh sweet potatoes (cooking instructions below) or you can purchase the canned sweet potato puree which is available at most grocery stores.  Without a doubt the canned sweet potato puree is certainly easier to use and in most cases cheaper to buy. I also like canned sweet potato puree because, typically, it is just sweet potatoes, there are no added ingredients. Canned sweet potato puree is offered year round and can be found in most (if not all) grocery stores. Just as an FYI, Whole Foods offers a nice organic canned sweet potato puree.

The next ingredient for me to tackle was the sweetened condensed milk.  Sweetened condensed milk is used in a lot of dessert recipes. I understand its purpose and why it is used. It is a great ingredient binder, adds a level of unwavering creaminess and provides that unmistakable sweet note.  However, if you have ever looked at the back of a can of sweetened condensed milk you would be shocked at what is in it and the nutritional value it provides (or doesn’t rather).  Sweetened condensed milk is basically boiled down whole milk and contains about 45% sugar.  For my fudge recipe I needed to find a healthy sweetened condensed milk replacement.   Since the sweet potato already provides a nice level of creaminess, I figured I would just need something to hit the dairy note.  For my healthy chocolate fudge recipe I chose to replace the sweetened condensed milk with powdered milk.

To make my fudge into bite sized portions I decided to use a 24 cup mini muffin pan.  A mini muffin pan is a great baking tool to have in your kitchen.  You can purchase a mini muffin pan at most department stores and some grocery stores.  A non-stick mini muffin pan works best and you do not need muffin liners.

The recipe listed below makes about 15 mini fudge bites.  You can cut the recipe in half or double the recipe to fit your particular needs.  The finished fudge can be eaten plain or topped with a healthy vanilla icing.  I have included my recipe for healthy vanilla icing at the bottom of this recipe page.

Healthy Chocolate Fudgie Recipe

2 cups sweet potato puree (homemade – see recipe below or 15 ounce canned pumpkin puree)

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon pure Stevia extract (or 4 tablespoons cane sugar or coconut sugar)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup powdered milk (I prefer the no fat kind, but any kind will work – for a vegan option you can use powdered coconut or almond milk)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients until well combined.  Lightly spray a mini muffin pan with oil (I prefer spray coconut oil).  Fill the mini muffin cups with the sweet potato mixture and press down slightly, with the back of a spoon, to ensure a good fit.  Bake in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until the tops look somewhat like crackled brownie tops. This may seem like a long time to bake the fudge but I have found the best fudge results come from a low and slow bake (traditional fudge is not baked so this again is where this recipe crosses the line into the brownie territory).  The baking time needs to be long enough to evaporate some of the water out of the sweet potato.  Baking the water out of the sweet potato ensures a nice, stable fudge piece.  Cool the fudge bites on a cooling rack.  Once they have cooled they should easily pop out of the mini muffin cups.  You may need to help them out with the use of a butter knife.  

Cooled fudge can be served plain or topped with my healthy vanilla icing (recipe listed below).  Leftover fudge can be stored in an airtight container for about a day or it can be kept longer in the refrigerator.   Since I like to have my fudge at the ready, I keep them in a freezer safe container in the freezer.  Whenever I have a chocolate craving I pop one out of the freezer, allow to defrost for a couple minutes, and it is fresh as the day I made it.  

Fudge Mix In Ideas

The basic chocolate fudge recipe above is by far my favorite flavor.  However, should you wish to mix things up, below are some amazing mix in ideas.

Nut Fudge – Any type of nut could be used in the basic chocolate fudge recipe to give it added texture and flavor.  Simply crush some nuts of your choice and add it to the batter before baking.  

White Chocolate Fudge – If you prefer white chocolate over regular chocolate than a quick substitution can be made to the above recipe.  Simply replace the cocoa powder with melted white chocolate morsels.  You made need to cook the fudge for a little bit longer since white chocolate has more liquid than the cocoa powder.  

Mint Chocolate Fudge – Mint and chocolate always pair nicely together.  If you want a hint of mint flavor to your fudge, simply add 1/4 teaspoon of mint extract to the above recipe.  

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge – For all of those peanut butter fans out there (I am one of them), making a peanut butter chocolate fudge is super simple and delicious.  Just add 1 tablespoon (more if you want) of peanut butter to the above recipe and cook as directed.  

Pumpkin Pie Fudge – It goes without saying that this fudge recipe would make for a perfect pumpkin pie fudge.  For a pumpkin pie fudge, simply remove the cocoa powder from the recipe and double the amount of powdered milk.  Add 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie seasoning to the batter and cook as directed.  

Option 1 – Homemade Sweet Potato Puree

Using a fork, pierce 2 average sized sweet potatoes several times around the potato.  Wrap the sweet potatoes in a damp paper towel. Place wrapped potatoes in the microwave and heat on high for about 7 minutes (baking time may vary depending on the microwave oven).  Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, remove from the microwave and allow to cool slightly.  Peel the skin from the sweet potato and mash the potato flesh in a medium sized bowl.  The puree is now ready to be used in the chocolate fudgie recipe.  

Option 2 –  Canned Sweet Potato Puree

Caned sweet potato puree can be purchased in 15 oz cans in pretty much any grocery store.  Most, if not all, canned sweet potato purees contain only sweet potato but be sure to check the ingredients before purchasing.  Organic puree options are available at most health focused grocery chains like Whole Foods or Chamberlains.  Canned sweet potato puree is available year round, it is easy to use and generally cheaper than fresh sweet potato.

Healthy Greek Yogurt Vanilla Icing

3/4 cup Greek yogurt (I prefer Fage 0%)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons almond or coconut milk (or cow’s milk)

a dash of pure Stevia extract (or 1 tablespoon of cane sugar)

In a medium sized bowl, whip together ingredients.  Add more milk if you want a thinner icing, less if you want a thicker icing. Drizzle icing over cooled fudge.  

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