1 1/2 cups half-and-half or 1 1/2 cups
2 tablespoons espresso powder (cut back unless you like strong coffee flavor) or 3 tablespoons
instant coffee crystals
( cut back unless you like strong coffee flavor)
light corn syrup
( no substitute)
toasted chopped hazelnuts
semisweet chocolate, melted
- Line an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter the foil; set pan aside.
- Butter sides of a heavy 3-quart saucepan (I wipe the sides with the butter wrapper). In the saucepan, combine sugar, half-and-half or light cream, espresso powder or instant coffee crystals, corn syrup and cinnamon.
- Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue to boil at a moderate, steady rate, stirring occasionally (don't over do it or it will become grainy), until thermometer registers 234 degrees F, soft-ball stage (25 - 35 minutes). Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil, but don't try to rush it.
- Remove pan from heat. Add butter and vanilla.
- Beat mixture vigorously with a clean wooden spoon until fudge just begins to thicken; stir in nuts. Continue beating until fudge just starts to lose its gloss (about 10 minutes total).
- Immediately spread fudge evenly in the prepared pan. Score into 1-1/2-inch squares while warm. When fudge is firm, use the excess foil to lift it out of pan. Cut fudge into squares. If desired, drizzle pieces with melted chocolate and top with coffee beans.