This will be our first post during the Daniel Fast, and I have to admit- it was very difficult at first to navigate this new world of food. I was stuck making boring and tasteless salads, and after a few days I had resorted to snacking on popcorn. Now that is a sorry excuse for a lunch!
Recently, however, we have been having such great luck with inventive recipes that use less common ingredients. The fast involves the elimination of meats, dairies, cheeses, eggs, refined sugars, and leavening products from our diet. It has been difficult to find good desserts with these seemingly ridiculous restrictions. Then, a few days ago, I discovered a paleo recipe for fig fudge.
FIGS! I totally forgot about figs! We use them to make cucidati every winter, but I have never thought to use them in anything else. They are beautifully and delicately sweet and have such a wonderful texture.
My one problem with the original recipe is that it actually isn’t Daniel Fast friendly. It includes honey- which is an added sugar that we cannot eat during this time of fasting. So, I did have to do a bit of rearranging in terms of the texture and ingredients, but I have to admit the result is phenomenal. I NEVER would have expected egg-free, sugar-free*, dairy-free fudge to be this delicious! It is also SO easy to make. Even if you are not doing the Daniel Fast, this is a fabulous dessert option that will keep everyone happy and healthy!
A few notes before we get started:
This recipe does call for a food processor, so you will need that piece of equipment. Obviously, the better the food processor, the easier it will be to make this. However, we have a fairly small and cheap food processor and it got the job done in two batches, so it shouldn’t be a problem!
Also, it is fairly important to your taste buds that you use mission figs and coarse sea salt. I know that these are specific ingredients and everyone reading probably wants to use table salt and the figs on the tree in their backyard. However- I cannot promise that the fudge will taste the same or even yummy at all if you change out those ingredients.
Personally, I adore the combination of sea salt and cocoa and would argue that this is the only way to add salt to your desserts. This dessert is meant to satisfy that desire for sweet ‘n’ salty at the same time- so keep that in mind! With the figs, there is just nothing better than a dried mission fig! It is the only kind I will use in my cucidati and it is the only kind I will use for this fudge. They can be easily bought already dried, in bulk, from Whole Foods or even Safeway!
*I say these are sugar-free, because they do not contain any refined sugars. We did use coconut sugar, but we consider this to be Daniel Fast friendly, as it is created via natural processes, and contains a variety of nutrients that refined sugar does not. You are welcome to do away with the coconut sugar entirely, but I fear the cocoa powder might then create an extremely bitter flavor. Also- to keep these sugar free you must use 100% real vanilla extract. Often, imitation vanilla extract has refined sugars in it.
Mission Fig Sea Salt Fudge
(makes about 16 fudge balls)
2 cups dried, mission figs
1/2 cup roasted cashews
3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt plus more for dusting
First, prepare the figs by slicing off any stems that remain attached.
Next, slice the figs into quarters. This step is especially important for anyone with a cheaper or smaller food processor. We had difficulty when we tried to blend them whole, and it just overwhelmed the blades.
After this point, you might have to work in two batches, depending on the size of your food processor.
Now, place the cashews and the figs into the food processor. Blend them together to create a loose paste.
Add in the rest of the ingredients, and blend everything together. At this point the paste should be coming together so that you can easily form it into balls. As for the water amounts, it will take some experimenting. We used about 5 teaspoons per batch (10 teaspoons total). The goal is to create a dough that looks like this:
Next, shape the balls with your hands and sprinkle them with sea salt!
If you somehow manage to not eat every single fudge piece in one sitting, you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container.