Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Make Fab Fudge in your Microwave from author Cleo Coyle

“Oh, chocolate fudge I’ll eat. What I can’t swallow is fudging, as in fudging statistics, fudging results, fudging the truth. Mathematicians call it a fudge factor—putting an extra calculation into an equation just so it will work out as expected. It’s what we law enforcement types call a scam.” 

~ Detective Mike Quinn, Murder by Mocha 

Scamming does indeed play a role in the plotline of my latest Coffeehouse Mystery, Murder by Mocha, but there is no fudging in this fudge recipe. The claim that you can make it in a microwave is true, and the results are delicious.

I’m especially confident stating this because my husband is a fudge fiend. While growing up, he gobbled homemade fudge that was continually cooked up by his mom. He enjoys sampling the treat wherever he travels; and every year, for his birthday, I ship handmade fudge to our New York home from the famous fudge makers of Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Cleo Coyle, spouse to a
fudge fiend is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Marc was highly skeptical about this recipe, but after tasting it—and more of it, and even more of it, he declared it to be nearly as good as his mother's. 

Microwave fudge is nothing new, of course. You will find renditions of it all over the Net. This (crunchless) chocolate-hazelnut version is simply my take on the ingredients, ratios, and process. Why do I say crunchless? Because the light note of hazelnut in this treat comes not from actual nuts but Nutella, so the fudge stays smooth, creamy, and dreamy!

I’m sure 99% of you know what Nutella is, but for the 1% who don’t it’s a delicious spread (not unlike peanut butter) that blends chocolate and hazelnuts. If you’ve never bought it, look for it in your grocery where peanut butter is sold. 

Cleo Coyle's
Smooth and Dreamy
Microwave Fudge

For a free PDF of this recipe that you can save, share, or print, hit the "print friendly" button on the bottom of this post or click here.


1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (12-ounce) package of good quality semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread (room temperature)

Step 1 – Prep pan: Crisscross the bottom of an 8 x 8 square pan with two sheets of parchment paper. The parchment sheets should be long enough to extend, like handles, over the edges of the pan. 

Step 2 – Melt with microwave: Place the milk into a microwave safe bowl. Cut the butter into the milk. Pour in the chocolate chips, and microwave it all for 30 seconds. ONLY 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Nuke it for another 30 and remove to stir again. This should be enough time to melt the chocolate and butter. If not, continue microwaving and stirring in 20 second increments until everything is melted.

NOTE: Do not simply microwave this mixture for 2 solid minutes without stirring. You run the risk of scorching the chocolate and completely ruining the fudge. Once chocolate is burned, there is no saving it. Be sure to melt it slowly, in increments. 

Step 3 – Finish the fudge: Into the melted mixture, sprinkle the salt and measure in the vanilla and Nutella. 

NOTE: Nutella should never be cooked in a microwave (this advice is also written on its label). High heat alters the texture and flavor, which is why I'm careful how I use it in recipes. What I want you to do is simply stir the Nutella into the warm, melted mixture that comes out of the microwave. Be sure to stir from the bottom, lifting and folding to blend everything well.

Step 4 – Chill and cut: Now pour the chocolate mixture into your lined pan. Using a rubber spatula or back of a spoon, smooth the top, leveling it off. Chill the pan in the refrigerator until firm—this will take approximately 3 hours. Remove and cut into small squares. To store, place fudge in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator, and, of course...

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse: CoffeehouseMystery.com

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.


  1. I am eating with Madame... Never a lull in the conversation!


  2. Another delicious recipe I'm going to have to try (and then take into work :)

  3. Posting as requested but answered question previously. Do you need another email?

  4. I adore fudge. Need I say more? What beautiful photos, yet again!


  5. Love Nutella. My peanut butter addicted daughter spend a year in Germany (very small village) where peanut butter was unheard of. Then she found Nutella and we no longer had to ship her peanut butter.

    I used to make a very simple microwave fudge recipe--so fast I could have it finished while Hubster walked the babysitter two blocks to her house.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  6. I have an easy fudge recipe that I make every Christmas season-but I so like the idea of adding Nutella-I'll have to give your microwave version a try!

  7. from Lori Cimino

    I am leaving my comment. Ya know I just dont think Nutella sounds good....but after this I think I am at least willing to try it. Will be sending an email with my answer.

  8. OMG this looks too good and super easy to make too!! :)

  9. Nutella! I love Nutella! And I love that this can be made in the microwave. Thanks so much, Cleo!

  10. Scam??!! What scam? No scam with this recipe! Nutella is a staple here at Chez Phillipe. I tired using Kroger's version but got a big thumbs down from the lovely Em and Chef Connor so Nutella it is! Mr. Nanc is a fudgaholic...and we have many great memories of going to Mackinac Island for fudge!! As a quick aside...everyone should check out Mackinac Island...totally "car-less" and the filming location of the movie "Somewhere in Time"...
    Chef Connor has volunteered to whip up a batch for Dad and says a big thank you to Miss Cleo for another recipe to put in his book!!


  11. Well, this is just plain cruel. I avert my eyes from the Nutella shelf at my grocery stores. I need Nutella blinders like they put on horses so they won't see traffic on the sides of them. In spite of my efforts, every once in a while, Nutella sneaks into my shopping cart all by itself. I swear that I do not help it a single bit. And now that you've posted this recipe, I hear it calling to me all the way from the store . . .

    ~ Krista

  12. I was on Mackinac Island last month. There's nothing like watching the fudge-makers in action. We walked into one shop and they were handing out samples from a batch that was still cooling on the marble table!

  13. Wow, this is actually a tough question, Cleo! I like all the baristas...such fun, and distinct, personalities. I love Tucker; I imagine him looking like Carson Kressley from Queer Eye!

    But you totally know who I'm going to pick... *clears throat*

    In a parallel universe, where I'm not married, I'd love to go to dinner with Matt. I'd imagine him taking me to some upscale restaurant in NYC (this country gal has not seen much upscale dining!), ordering delicious exotic foods for me to try...food he would know about because of his travels around the world.

    And desserts! Lots of desserts! He'd even have the head chef come out and greet me, presenting me with a specially-made chocolate dish.

    Then, he'd take me to his place (in this parallel world, he is not married to Bree!), and make me coffee. He'd regale me with stories about his travels--about coffees, food and people he's encountered and enjoyed.

    And, well, I'll just stop there if that's OK...

    HAHAHA! ;o)

    Oh, and WHY I like him? He's such a down to earth guy. Handsome and confident, but doesn't come across arrogant or rude. A generous, gregarious guy. Worldly, yet humble. Strong. Accepting. I better stop now... *fans herself*

  14. "That's a keeper"...says Mr. Nanc..."Oh Yum...."sighs the lovely Em blissfully. "Hey...where's all the fudge I made???!!!???" hollers Chef Connor. Me...I once again say...thanks!

  15. How can you NOT eat this with joy?? I was going to make Key Lime Cooler Cookies tonight, but now....I have a dilemma!

  16. Nutella is on my shopping list. This sounds so good and easy, I'll have to surprise hubby whose birthday is the 21st.

  17. Oh boy! Is this stuff legal? I love Nutella and better yet, I have it on hand. I think I am going to win friends and influence people with this fudge. Thanks, Cleo, for a gorgeous post.

  18. Oh, this recipe sounds sinfully delectable. Thank you for sharing it. I'd like to go out to dinner with Madame. She's more in my age group and we'd have lots to talk about. I'd listen carefully as she told me all about her fascinating background. I think we'd probably dine at her favorite Italian restaurant where the owner is an old friend of hers and he'd whip up a special meal that isn't on the menu, followed by a special coffee blend and a decadent chocolate dessert.

  19. Oh, I am a fudge fanatic as well. I have to try this. It doesn't have real cocoa, but it also doesn't have marshmallows. Sorry, but marshmallows or the cream just doesn't cut it for me in fudge.
    But Nutella, hmmmm.

  20. Thanks to everyone for these wonderfully fun comments!

    Quick answer to Liz - You don't have to send me more than one e-mail, and as long as you comment once on one of my posts, you're good to go.

    I'll be reminding blog visitors of this contest every week until the deadline, and, along the way, I'll be posting some of the "Favorite Coffeehouse Character" entries in my blog posts, too (as I said, if I do post your reply, you win a prize automatically)!

    Just popping in to say thanks to everyone for leaving comments. Feel free to leave new comments below this one...

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  21. I've never heard of Nutella, but since you recommend it, it sounds appealing. Have to check it out. As to the storage suggestion at the end of the recipe, store what? I’m sure there won’t be any left! As to the answer of the question, I’ll have to think hard about that since all the characters are so worthy I would love to have dinner with all of them.

  22. geekette