Tuesday, 8 December 2015


Dates, nuts, Madeira wine, cinnamon and all spice, they're all things that instantly remind me of Christmas time. Combine all these yummy ingredients to make a delicious no bake fudge and you have a festive nibble that's perfect for tucking into around the fire on Christmas Eve whilst you wait for Santa to come down the chimney! They also make a fantastic little gift to wrap up little bags and give out to friends and family. That's if you have any left to spare after you've munched on a cube or two. Or three. Or four!!!

Lets start with the dates. You need these bad boys to give that delicious chewy texture to your fudge to counteract the crunchiness of the nuts. The booze is optional and if you don't want to use alcohol soak the dates in a bit of orange juice to plump them up and keep with the Christmas theme. If your not adverse to a tipple but don't have Madeira you can use another liquor if you wish. Brandy, rum or Amaretto would all be excellent fudge buddies in my eyes. If you don't have dates to hand but still want to give this fudge a go why not try using something similar like raisins, currants or sultanas instead.

As for the nuts, the combination of the toasted walnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts all work well together as they all have a slightly different taste and level of crunchiness that keep things exciting in your mouth. Pop in some other type  of nuts as well if you like such as plain peanut, cashews or pistachios. It's a great recipe for using up the remains of any bags of nuts you might have lying around, particular at Christmas time.

Let get to it. For this no bake fudge you will need quite a large baking tray around 30cm x 15cm and around 2cm deep. This will allow you a big enough surface to sprinkle your nuts over the fudge at the end!

Fruit And Nut Fudge

500g Chopped Pitted Dates
3 Tbsp Madeira Wine
200g Walnuts 
300g Unsalted Butter
300g Plain Flour
50g Icing Sugar
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tsp All Spice
100g Flaked Almonds
200g Chopped Brazil Nuts

  1. Begin by adding the dates and Madeira in a bowl and leave to soak for 30 minutes minimum although the the longer you leave them the better! 
  2. Whilst the dates soak, take a pan and on a medium heat toast the walnuts for around five minutes. Remove from the pan and leave to one side.
  3. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and scatter over the boozy dates and toasted walnuts so they are evenly distributed. Leave to one side.
  4. Take another pan and on a medium heat melt the butter before adding in the flour, icing sugar, cinnamon and all spice. Give everything a quick stir so that the flour doesn't burn and then keep mixing the pan for 10 minutes until the mixture
  5. Becomes smooth and more pour-able (be patient, it will happen!). 
  6. Pour the mixture over the dates and walnuts on the baking tray and level everything out its even and covers every corner of the tray. Leave to cool for 30 minutes. 
  7. After the fudge has cooled slightly but is still slightly soft, sprinkle over the almonds and Brazil nuts, gently pressing them into the surface of the fudge so that they stick. Pop into the fridge to firm up the fudge and to cool completely.
You must wait until the fudge is completely cool before you attempt to remove the grease-proof paper otherwise the fudge will be too soft and break apart. You can cut the fudge into however many servings you like! Massive squares, tiny little cubes, however many you need. I've managed to get about 60 cubes out of this fudge before. That's 6 cubes for ten friends or family. Perfect. Try some yourself first though and enjoy those chewy and moist boozy dates topped with those crunchy nuts all held together with that delicious Christmas spiced fudge. It's a Christmas taste sensation and it's quick and simple to make. You'd be nuts not to give it a go!

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