I was a fresh 17-year-old who thought she knew everything there was to know about the world. Packed my bags, dropped out of high school, and moved out of my parent’s house. Not far south from where I grew up was a historical town and park called Barkerville. Founded by a working-class English prospector, Billy Barker, this BC gold mining town literally exploded overnight in 1862 during the heyday of the goldrush fever.
Renting a tiny little miners apartment, I spent the spring and summer of 2004 working in the historical town. Dressed in full petticoats, corset, and skirts I worked the Mason & Daly General Store and the Wake Up Jake Restaurant. My days spent at the general store were often behind the ever-popular candy counter. School children clamoured around gazing wide-eyed at the glass containers filled with candy of every shape, colour, and flavour. Adults stared longingly at trays of homemade artisan chocolate and fudge. Oh the fudge! The wonderfully rich decadent pieces of handcrafted fudge. Chocolate, caramel, peppermint, strawberry, peaches and cream. The list went on and on. Most days, after a long shift on my feet in quite possibly the world’s most uncomfortable outfit, I would get cleaned up, buy a little slice of that heavenly fudge, and enjoy it on the drive home.
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Ever since my days at Barkerville in my wild and completely irresponsible youth, I have held a flame for fudge. Rich and luxurious. Melting as soon as it hits the tongue. Delicious confectionery heaven. I don’t make fudge often but when I do you can be certain that it’s this salted cashew coconut fudge. This recipe came together completely by trial and success. Fudge, in all its glory, is often full of dairy and my poor dairy sensitive tummy simply can no longer handle it. Much to my delight when I was browsing the aisles of my dearly beloved BulkBarn, my eye caught a can of Sweet Nature’s Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk. I was sold!
Driving home like I was Dale Earnhardt I quickly got out my pot and baking tray to whip up some fudge. A can of sweetened condensed coconut milk, chocolate chips, and coconut oil is quick to come together in a pot over low heat to form the base of the fudge. After it’s all melty yummy ooey-gooey, stir in a cup of chopped salted cashews and some coconut extract and there you have it: Salted Cashew Coconut Fudge. Voila! Pour that deliciousness into a sprayed and parchment line 8×8 inch baking tray and top with a handful of extra chopped cashews if you have some and coarse sea salt for a rich melt-in-your-mouth fudge that will taste how 17 felt…like I was on top of the world!