In Sweden, it is very common to prepare your own christmas candy. We gather with family and friends and make caramel, marzipan, gingerbread and chocolate for a whole day. We drink mulled wine, do small talks, cooking and trying not to finish all goodies. Finally you roll home with a full stomach and hopefully a bowl of homemade candy to enjoy for Christmas (if you didn’t eat it all during the making of…).
When I created this recipe I wanted to use the typical Swedish Christmas spices like saffron and cloves. The fudge is delightfully spicy, chewy and crunchy from the almonds with concentrated Swedish flavors in one mouthful. Keep the fudges in the freezer, they taste the best when cold and are very easy to cut just before serving.
Saffron fudge with crunchy almonds
160 gram /5,6 oz medjoul dates, pitted and soaked in hot water
50 gram /1,7 oz almond flour
80 gram / 2,8 oz deodorized coconut oil
A small pinch of salt (preferably Maldon sea-salt flakes)
1 gram /0,03 oz of saffron plus 1 tablespoon hot water
1/2 tsp (freshly) grounded cloves (save some of it for decoration later)
Finely grated orange peel from half an orange
10 + 10 almonds, chopped lengthwise (the last 10 almonds are for the final decoration on top pf the fudges )
How do I do it?
1. Core the dates and place them in a bowl. Cover with hot water and leave them for about 20 minutes.
2. Pour the saffron in a high mixing bowl, and add hot water. Leave them for about 20 minutes.
3. Chop all the almonds and grind the cloves finely. The taste is completely different if you make it yourself rather than using already grounded cloves powder. In other words “worth the trouble”! Put aside.
4. Measure the coconut oil and melt it in an au bain marie or in the microwave. Add the oil to the saffron in the mixer bowl.
5. Separate the dates from the soaking water and add them to the mixing bowl as well.
6. Add the almond flour, salt, a pinch of the grounded cloves and half of the orange zest to the mixer bowl. Mix until you have a creamy yellow pulp.
7. Add half of the chopped almonds with clean hands. Fold in the almonds with your hands to the pulp.
Pour the fudge into a small baking tin prepared with baking parchment. It should be about 1/2 cm thick layer.
8. Sprinkle the last few chopped almonds, the last grounded cloves and the rest of the grated orange peel on top as a decoration. Make sure it sticks on the surface.
9. Place the fudge in the freezer for about 1 hour and cut it into cubes just before serving.
This recipe is free of lactose, milk protein, gluten and refined sugar.
This recipe was published in the Dutch daily newspaper Telegraf and the Haarlems dagblad in november 2016.