This raw almond butter fudge isn’t your traditional fudge recipe. Unlike traditional fudge made with heavy cream, refined sugar, and butter, this fudge isn’t cooked and is made only from pure raw ingredients. However, it’s so decadent that it’s hard to believe that it’s raw.
The other day I was visiting my friend Natalie who is not only a vegan, but also loves raw food. It’s always so much fun getting together with friends who share the same food philosophy as I do. Natalie is one of those friends and we always spend hours talking about recipes, the food we currently love, our thoughts, dreams, and problems without the fear of judgment or misunderstanding.
Another reason I love visiting Natalie is that she always has food prepared for me. This time she made this raw almond butter fudge for me, which quickly became my new obsession. It was one of the best fudge recipes I’ve ever tasted. Of course I asked her for the recipe.
If you’ve ever made traditional fudge, you know how finicky it can be – cooking the syrup-y mixture until it reaches a gentle boil, using a candy thermometer for the proper caramelization, stirring vigorously until the fudge mixture starts to lose its sheen … none of this is required with this raw fudge. In fact, it’s most likely one of the simplest raw recipes you’ve ever made.
Tips for Making Raw Almond Butter Fudge
The best sweetener for this raw almond butter fudge are Medjool dates. Their sticky texture makes them excellent for binding ingredients together and thickening the fudge mixture. Use the freshest and softest Medjool dates you can find to achieve the creamiest caramel-like consistency. Dates that are dry and hard require soaking in warm water first, which takes away from their flavor. Also, don’t experiment with liquid sweeteners, such as maple syrup or honey, because their consistency just doesn’t work in this recipe.
Many raw fudge recipes also call for coconut oil to smooth out the fudge and bring all the ingredients together. The problem with coconut oil is that it melts quickly at a room temperature. So you have to store the fudge in the fridge or the freezer. This might be a problem if you plan on taking the raw fudge to a party because it will melt in everyone’s hands. Cacao butter, on the other hand, remains solid at a room temperature and helps the fudge to firm up. The melting point of cacao butter is 95°F (35°C) whereas the melting point of coconut oil is 76°F (24°C).
Feel free to use any nut butter you like. Peanut butter, for instance, would be phenomenal in this recipe! However, I don’t trust myself around peanut butter. One spoonful always starts a domino effect of multiple spoonfuls. I definitely think there’s such a thing as peanut butter addiction so I try to stay away from it (at least for now) and make this fudge with almond butter instead.
Dates are often called a nature’s candy because of their high sugar content. Well, you can take the sweetness to yet another level when you caramelize the dates in a saucepan first. Caramelizing the dates also softens them a bit and further increases their binding properties. That being said, if you’re going for a truly raw dessert, skip the caramelization.
To mix all the ingredients together into a smooth fudge, you absolutely need a powerful food processor. It’s a major investment, I know. But it’s one of the kitchen appliances I consider a kitchen staple. What other machine can make soft serve out of frozen bananas, grind grains into flour, transform nuts into nut butters, slice root vegetables for chips, grate carrots for a slaw, blend perfect pesto, turn chickpeas into hummus, and magically transform dates into truffles?
Tools You’ll Need
1. Food Processor (Breville Sous Chef) | 2. Cookware Set (Calphalon, Stainless Steel) | 3. Knife Set (6 Pieces, Utopia, Stainless Steel) | 4. Cutting Board (24″x 18″, Michigan Maple Block, Maple)| 5. Baking Dish (3 Quart & 2 Quart, Pyrex, Glass) | 6. Measuring Cups (Set of 6, Bellemain, Stainless Steel) | 7. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel)
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Creamy, rich, raw almond butter fudge naturally sweetened with dates. It's made with only 4 ingredients and is extremely easy to make.
- 20 Medjool dates, pitted
- 3/4 cup natural almond butter
- 3 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
- 1/4 cup cacao butter or coconut oil, melted*
- pinch fine sea salt
Caramelize the dates first: in a small saucepan, cook dates in a little boiling water for 5 minutes, until they're soft and all the water is evaporated. The dates should be really sticky, starting to form a paste.
Put all the ingredients into the food processor - the dates, almond butter, cacao powder, cacao butter (or coconut oil), and fine sea salt, and process it until a sticky smooth paste forms. It will take a couple of minutes.
Line an 8" x 8" (20 cm x 20 cm) baking dish with wax paper and scoop in fudge mixture. Smooth it out. Freeze until set - about 15-30 minutes. Cut into 16 small pieces.
Store leftover fudge covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
For longer term storage, freeze the fudge in an airtight container for 1-2 months.
*Coconut oil creates a smoother softer fudge while cacao butter firms up the fudge. If you store the fudge in the fridge, coconut oil works great. However, if you're planning on taking the fudge to a party and don't want it to melt in everyone's hands, use cacao butter instead.
**Prep time does not include freezing (15-30 minutes).