repost:baton de ciocolata (a variation of fudge)

Author: angiem, 12 14th, 2009

My earliest memories of Christmas are all involved around this delicious recipe from my mother.  She used to make platters of it, then cut it up, roll it into two inch long pieces and wrap it in crinkled paper and foil and hang it on the fresh cut Christmas tree my father had just brought in.  Also hanging on the tree were precious oranges, walnuts in their shells, prettily wrapped candy, cookies, and real candles dripping wax.  We lived in communist Romania back then and didn’t have strings of lights, electric trains circling the tree, nor ornaments weighing down the branches.  Life was much more simple, much more real.  Maybe because we lacked what we now take for granted, any unexpected treat was such a luxury and such a joy.

Eagerly we anticipated the carolers we knew were coming anytime between nightfall and the crack of dawn on that Christmas Eve night. We dressed in our finest, helped set out the pastries, the cookies, and the little fancy sandwiches my mother, my aunts, and my grandmother had worked on for the last several days.  The best china was brought out, for it was a perfect opportunity to show it off.  Butter, sugar, chocolate and coffee were precious commodities hoarded throughout the year, and only used for special occasions: Christmas, New Year, Easter, birthdays, weddings, christenings, and funerals.

The house filled up with guests who reminisced all through the night, feasting on sausages, creamed potatoes and delectable desserts.  The kids got to stay up too, and usually there were so many of us that when we couldn’t keep our eyes open anymore, every available surface or parent’s lap held a softly snoring child.

725 grams (3 cups) powdered milk

5 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder unsweetened

500 grams (2 cups) sugar

1 cup water

2 sticks unsalted butter cubed and at room temperature

1 tablespoon (or more) rum

1 cup roasted walnuts or hazelnuts (optional)

Coat a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray, or if you are seriously self-indulging, butter.  Have it ready and close by.

Sift the powdered milk and cocoa powder into a bowl, and combine with a whisk until well blended.  On medium heat make a syrup of sugar and water by pouring the cup of water into a deeper pan and gradually whisking in the sugar.  Don’t forget to stir!  Let it simmer a few minutes and check readiness by placing a teaspoon of it into a glass of water.  If it holds together it is ready, if not keep stirring! Add the blended powdered milk and cocoa and mix with a wooden spoon until it’s well incorporated.  If it is too thick, you can add water, but only a little at a time.  Work those muscles in your arms until it resembles a smooth chocolate frosting, otherwise you get air bubbles, or a mouthful of powder. Add the rum and the nuts, take it off the heat and stir in the cubed butter until all melted.  With the help of a spatula spread it on the prepared cookie sheet and let it cool at room temperature.  It will harden as it cools.  Enjoy it!  I guarantee it won’t last long.

By the way, I have no idea on the number of servings.  And since I have never made or eaten the American version of fudge I don’t know how closely it resembles it, in either recipe or taste.

Also:  HUGE congratulations to Autumn of#mce_temp_url# for winning this week’s $25.00 giveaway to Target.  Now leave me a comment and go check out her site.  Don’t forget any comment from today on qualifies you for the next $25.00 giftcard giveaway.


29 Responses to “repost:baton de ciocolata (a variation of fudge)”

  1. Michelle Miller/the true book addict Says:

    Angie…I did not know that you are originally from Romania. How old were you when you moved to the U.S.? I have a couple of acquaintances who are from Romania…they are very nice people. I really enjoyed reading this post about your Christmas traditions there. The simple and traditional parts of Christmas are what I love best.

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    This sounds delicious indeed!
    I think you will enjoy Jane in Winter –lots of memories of a magic childhood and some English Christmas traditions.
    Happy reading!

  3. Karen@SurvivingMotherhood Says:

    I, also, did not know you are from Romania. It’s fun to learn more about you!
    And now I’m wondering if there is a conspiracy in the blogosphere this morning to get me to make sugary treats for Christmas. Yours is the second post I have read this morning which contains a yummy recipe. And my mouth is watering! *grin*
    Have a wonderful day!

  4. Diane Says:

    What wonderful memories! The treat sounds so yummy. Love your new fb picture BTW. :O)

  5. Jessica Says:


    I wish I saw more carolers here. It seems almost like a lost tradition to me, but maybe I’m living in the wrong part of America? I don’t know…

  6. Renee Khan Says:

    I love your memories. They are all wonderfully told.

    Love you darling.

    Renee xoxoxo

  7. Lee the Hot Flash Queen Says:

    Yummy, make me some will ya??

  8. Susan R. Mills Says:

    Thanks for sharing your memories. That recipe sounds delicious.

  9. Janna Qualman Says:

    Okay, well I’ve never once made fudge. But that sounds wonderful! Maybe I should try your recipe out. :)

  10. Ava Says:

    Angie I love how you put words to your memories. I feel as if I’m right there. This sounds so easy to make. I might just do it!

  11. Deb Says:

    That looks so good and your memories of your Christmas traditions are beautiful to picture. My Mum loves to make fudge, mmm!

  12. rochambeau Says:

    Your memory is of a delicious tree! Your mom’s receipt sounds great. I will try it with hazelnuts.
    BIG hugs,

  13. Phoenix Says:

    Angie - don’t ever taste American fudge. You will cry with disappointment.

    I, however, am going to try to put this recipe to good use in my home in the next few weeks…and so I adore you for posting the recipe, you wonderful girl. :)

    PS Your entire post made me so hungry!! All of the food sounds AMAZING!

  14. Izabel Says:

    thanks for the receipe! i am going to try and make it tonight!

  15. Ruth Says:

    Mmmm, love printing the recipes you share with us. Will try it when the kids come home (this Saturday!). I miss the caroling…do the churches still do it? Our Ro. church in Anaheim now only has sign ups for the youth (and there is cap because they take busses). Definitely not the same.

  16. Jennifer Says:

    That sounds absolutely delicious. We’ll have family at our place for Christmas and I may whip up a batch.

    We’ve been telling our son about how some people used to put candles on their trees (perhaps some people still do)– your childhood Christmases must have been magical (as they should be), surrounded by family, delicious food, and light.

  17. Autumn Says:

    Hey Angie!!! Sorry so late with my comment. I meant to leave one yesterday. THANKS again so so much for my prize!!!

    I did not know that you were from Romania… that is really cool! I would love to visit different parts of the world one day. Anyhow… I always look forward to your post because they take me to a far away land. Y0u always make them sound so enchanting!!! Well, have a FABULOUS day!!!!! xoxo!!!

  18. Martinis or Diaper Genies? Says:

    will you make it and send it to me if I ask verrrrrry nicely?

  19. Bebe Says:

    Can I borrow your memories? I love your childhood!!!!

  20. Jill Kemerer Says:

    I had no idea you lived in communist Romania. I’m always drawn to books and memoirs about communism. I find the subject fascinating (and horrifying)–probably because I can’t imagine not living free. Thank you so much for sharing this memory. If you ever write a memoir–I’ll be first in line to buy it!

  21. audrey Says:

    delicious, delicious… yum yum, the holiday food preparations as well as family and friends gathering to pass the days together simply sounds delightful.

    i can totally picture all the children trying their hardest to stay away, trying to keep their eyes open, and having to give way to a cosy lap…

    this is so much of what Christmas is about! i love the visuals you shared in your story…

  22. Laura [What I Like] Says:

    That is just the most lovely, evocative story I’ve heard in ages. And once I get my hands on 3 cups of powdered milk, I’m going to town with this recipe! It sounds nothing like American fudge…I’m thinking it’s probably better.

  23. Beth Says:

    I love the sound of that recipe - more sweets! I also loved reading about your memories. I wish Christmas was more like that now.

  24. Wendy Says:

    That looks delicious! And your story reminds me of my own childhood in England. I’m trying to keep things simple here–it’s always the best way!

  25. krista Says:

    i think your tree sounds like the prettiest christmas tree ever.

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  27. Holly L Says:

    Wow - Romania! I am so curious to try this. Again you story telling was wonderful.

  28. Bridgette Says:

    I can remember my Mother making fudge, the real kind, not the stuff made with chocolate chips and marshmellows. It was so sweet and good, I think I’ll make some this weekend.
    Your writing is very special and evokes so many memories, thank you.

  29. Denise Says:

    Gotta love those wooden spoons…

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