Creamy, dreamy, really easy Kahlua Chocolate Fudge is rich dark chocolate with a hint of Kahlua coffee liqueur. The hardest part is waiting for it to set!
Sometimes I just want a little bite of chocolate. Good chocolate. Creamy, dreamy, fudgy dark chocolate. Is that too much to ask? Chocolate fudge is one of those candies that a little goes a long way to satisfying a craving.
The fun thing about chocolate fudge is that it can be flavored in so many ways, and can feature white chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, or (my favorite) dark chocolate. With the endless variations that chocolate fudge affords, it’s nice to get creative with it.
Enhancing chocolate with coffee
One combination that I especially like is chocolate and coffee together. We already know that a great way to enhance the flavor of a chocolate item is to add some espresso powder to it. You see that in Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge, Tiramisu Truffles, and Black & White Cookie Cake. That small amount of coffee flavor lends a foundation to the chocolate without showing itself.
Add a little more coffee and you get mocha. Kahlua, a coffee-flavored rum from Mexico, is a great way to add coffee flavor, like in my Kahlua Cake. In Kahlua Cake the alcohol bakes out, leaving behind a lush mocha flavor in that cake.
What if you added Kahlua to a dark chocolate fudge? Hmmm…
What is Kahlua?
First, let’s talk about Kahlua. It contains two separate components, the coffee and the rum. Both are created separately using slow and careful processes, then they are blended together and aged for four months before bottling.
Sounds to me like many of the blended scotch and whiskey drams I’ve had.
How to make fudge
Kahlua Fudge marries the best of both worlds…creamy dark chocolate with a hint of coffee liqueur. Here the alcohol isn’t cooked out, so depending on how much you add, there might be a kick.
Case in point, my Dark Chocolate Whisky Fudge. That recipe features one full cup of whisky, and yes, that's noticeable!
I adapted my recipe for Kahlua Chocolate Fudge from Baker by Nature's Creamy Kahlua Chocolate Fudge recipe. I made a few adjustments to the ingredients to suit my taste (there's only a half cup of Kahlua here).
What you need
Luckily fudge doesn't require any fancy ingredients.
- Sweetened condensed milk: This ingredients not only adds the necessary creaminess to the fudge, it's a timesaver...you don't have to wait for milk to boil away to the proper thickness. It also provides sweetness, so you don't need additional sugar
- Butter: That creaminess adds dreaminess, but also helps the fudge to firm up when set
- Dark chocolate: Longtime readers know about my fondness for dark chocolate, but you can substitute semi-sweet chocolate or even white chocolate if you really want to highlight the Kahlua
- Kahlua: This coffee liqueur pairs so well with chocolate. Feel free to substitute another liqueur of your choice to add a boozy kick
- Espresso powder: Using Espresso not only ups the coffee flavor, it gives body and support to the chocolate.
- Vanilla extract: A flavoring like no other, vanilla adds creamy floral notes
- Nuts: You can use chopped nuts, like pecans, walnuts, or pistachios (I like them included, but may family isn't keen on them). Lightly toasting the pecans really brings out their buttery flavor, but I'd leave the walnuts or pistachios raw
Different ways to make chocolate fudge
In general, making chocolate fudge isn’t difficult, but the methods can vary from one recipe to another. Most involve melting chocolate in a saucepan, double boiler, or microwave, then stirring in sweetened condensed milk (and sometimes butter) and letting it set in a pan.
Another variation is the one I used for that Dark Chocolate Whisky Fudge…melt chocolate with butter, mix whisky with powdered sugar, then stir, stir, stir until combined.
The commonality with both methods is that you must melt the chocolate first, then add in the liquids. You need to be watchful to make sure that the chocolate doesn’t burn, a hazard especially easy to do when using white chocolate.
Also, you must be careful not to get any water in that melted chocolate or it will seize up, and then you have to start over. That’s not fun when you’re using good quality (and likely relatively expensive) chocolate.
Make fudge like ganache
I turned the process around and made my easy Kahlua Chocolate Fudge like I would ganache. Warm the cream and butter, then add chopped chocolate to the warmed mixture before adding the flavorings. This way insures that the chocolate (especially white chocolate) won’t burn. Plus, you don’t need a double boiler. Isn’t that easy?
The hardest part of the whole process is waiting for the fudge to set.
It’s the ganache way or the highway, baby!
What style of chocolate should I use?
I like using dark chocolate in fudge...it contrasts nicely with the coffee flavor of the Kahlua and it’s not overly sweet. But not everyone shares my obsession with dark chocolate.
You can make your Kahlua chocolate fudge with the chocolate of your choice. Substitute semi-sweet chocolate or white chocolate if you really want to highlight the Kahlua. Just use less of the espresso powder (or leave it out altogether). The lighter you go, the sweeter your Kahlua Fudge will be.
What about using nuts?
With or without nuts? That’s truly a personal preference. I like them in fudge, but my family isn't keen on them, so I left them out of this preparation.
Adding nuts adds texture and another flavor profile to play with. Use chopped nuts like pecans, walnuts, or pistachios in this Kahlua fudge recipe. Lightly toasting the pecans really brings out their buttery flavor, but I'd leave the walnuts or pistachios raw.
Kahlua Fudge makes a great gift for the holidays or a treat for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day. Actually, it’ll make any day special.
Just a bite of rich, creamy, dreamy Kahlua Chocolate Fudge…it’ll conquer that chocolate craving straightaway!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
More recipes using dark chocolate
Remember, even though these recipes use dark chocolate, you can generally substitute the chocolate type of your choice!
Easy Kahlua Chocolate Fudge
- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, (2 oz, 65g)
- 6 cups dark chocolate, chopped, see Recipe Notes, (24 oz, 670g)
- 1/2 cup Kahlua, (4 oz, 113g)
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup nuts, chopped, optional (see Recipes Notes)
- Lightly grease an 8- x 8-inch collapsible pan with butter. Set aside.
- Heat cream & butter to 205°F (check with a digital thermometer)...it will be steaming and starting to bubble. Remove from heat.
- Add the chopped chocolate. Cover and let sit 2-3 minutes
- Stir until smooth. Add Kahlua & espresso powder, vanilla, and nuts (if using).
- Spread in prepared pan and smooth using a small offset spatula. Let sit for 4 hours at room temperature, then briefly refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm.
- Cut into 1-inch square pieces with knife warmed in boiling water and wiped dry. Cut in one stroke, if possible.
- Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Fudge will last for 4 weeks.
- To freeze, wrap first in wax paper, then plastic wrap. Put in ziplock bag. Will last for several months.