My newly svelte husband got downright mad about this fudge. Because in spite of his best intentions, he just couldn’t stop eating it. That’s how good it is. Vegan, Paleo-friendly and gluten-free, this fudge contains no butter, but you’d never know it. And all that oozy gooey pumpkin chocolate flavor is worth the extra work out.
I sent most of this batch to work with J. after we determined that we weren’t capable of just ignoring it if we left it in our own refrigerator. His colleagues – the best taste testers ever – just loved it, and I can see myself making this again and again for special occasions. This would be a fantastic dessert for a Thanksgiving spread.
A couple of notes about the recipe: The cook time is about 10 minutes, but this fudge actually takes 3-4 hours to make because it has to set in the freezer. The finished fudge sets in the freezer and needs to be served right away, and any leftovers should go back in the freezer.
I used Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips. They are not technically vegan because they are processed on machinery that also processes products with milk fat, but because they don’t contain dairy as an ingredient, a lot of vegans find them acceptable. If you’d like you can order certified vegan chocolate chips like these on line.
- ⅔ cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghiradelli or other vegan)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsweetened almond butter
- ¼ cup coconut oil, softened
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup pecans halves or pieces
- Line a small baking dish with wax paper, covering the sides of the inside of the dish so you can easily lift out the finished fudge.
- In a saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 3-5 minutes - avoid scorching.
- Add the coconut oil to the saucepan and stir until it melts. Add the chocolate chips. When they begin melting, use a whisk to stir the mixture until it has no lumps.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into the baking pan, spreading it evenly across the bottom of the pan with the back of a spoon. Freeze until firm - about an hour.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the almond butter, coconut oil, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Stir until smooth.
- Remove the chocolate layer from the freezer and confirm that's it's firm. Pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the chocolate layer, spreading evenly with the back of a spoon. Arrange the pecans on top of the pumpkin layer, being careful not to press them into the mixture. Place the finished fudge into the freezer until solid, 2-3 hours.
- Lift the fudge out of the pan, remove the wax paper, and cut into small pieces. Serve immediately.
About the Photographs
I had big plans for styling our Chocolate Pumpkin Pecan fudge with lots of autumn flair – but it turned out the fudge itself wanted center stage. The background is scratched up cookie sheet, and the leaves in the second photo came from my front yard.
I took these photos with my Nikon D80, using a 28mm f2.8 NIKKOR wide angle lens. I used a Lowell Ego tabletop light like this one, in complete darkness (at about 8 p.m., with all lights in the room turned off ). The light was positioned to the right of the food. I did not use a reflector. My ISO was set at 640 and the shutter speed was 125. In the top shot, the aperture was set at 2.8, and in the wider shot below it the aperture was set at 4.5. These were tough shots because I didn’t have much time – the fudge is served frozen and melts – and because shooting anything that has gold tones in artificial light is especially hard – the white balance was extremely difficult to gauge.