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William and Daisy (ITV)

It’s that time of year when we all see red: Valentine’s Day, the one day of the year formally set aside to celebrate love. I am finally one of the lucky ones, living with Lord D, my loving and devoted husband. Not to take our love for granted, we strive to make every day Valentine’s Day with kind, sweet guestures…often involving food!

It is no wonder that we are both drawn to the love stories in Downton Abbey. At Downton you will find all variations: love is lost, found, taken for granted, and unrequited. It is innocent, calculated, pre-destined, mislaid, loyal, unrepentant. You get your money’s worth on this show!

As a foodie, my thoughts are never far from food, particularly with Valentine’s Day less than a week away. As an amateur chocolatier, ’tis the season to explore all things chocolate. So it is no surprise that I have been thinking about period appropriate sweets which might best reflect our favorite Downton Abbey couples.

The Simple Sweet Innocence of Daisy and William

A touching wedding
“save our soldiers from milkless tea”[/caption]

Finding a way to store milk for long periods without refrigeration was the need which condensed milk resolved. Initially produced in France in the 1820s, American Gail Borden more famously took up the challenge in the 1850s. After witnessing several childhood deaths due to improper milk storage on a voyage back from England, he persevered over a number of years to produce a usable milk derivative that was long-lasting and needed no refrigeration. Because of its long shelf life it was highly valued in times of war. WWI housewives were encouraged to buy and send cans of condensed milk to the soldiers at the front.

History of Peanut Butter

We have had peanut paste for centuries, and it was initially brought to market as a nut butter, a health food for the upper classes, with recipes tea sandwiches made with nut butter.  Canadian Marcellus Gilmore Edson obtained a patent for the modern method of processing peanut butter in 1884.  In 1895 Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (the creator of Kellogg’s cereal) patented a process for creating peanut butter from raw peanuts.  By the end of WWI, the production of peanut butter was in high gear in the US, so it is possible that Mrs. Patmore might have had access to a jar or two. Again, this was a product which had a long shelf life, which did make its way into military ration packs in WWII.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
Votes: 1
Rating: 4
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This my go to dish to take to the office over the holidays or to potlucks. Quick to prepare and is enjoyed by all. You can enjoy this fudge any time of year. Just change the topping to match the holiday or occasion. It is very rich so when you cut into 1 inch squares it goes along way.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
Votes: 1
Rating: 4
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
This my go to dish to take to the office over the holidays or to potlucks. Quick to prepare and is enjoyed by all. You can enjoy this fudge any time of year. Just change the topping to match the holiday or occasion. It is very rich so when you cut into 1 inch squares it goes along way.
Servings
50pieces
Servings
50pieces
Ingredients
Servings: pieces
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: pieces
Units:
Instructions
  1. Prepare a square pan by greasing slightly and lining with wax paper. When fudge has set this makes it easier to remove it from the pan by simply lifting out the wax paper. Alternatively use a silicon square pan.
Bottom Layer
  1. Melt together the dark chocolate and condensed milk together. I am not a fan of the microwave so use the stove. Chocolate burns easily so use a double boiler, or place a metal bowl on top of a pot of water heating on the stove. Pour into prepared pan and refrigerate until set (an hour or so).
Top Layer
  1. Melt the chocolate and peanut butter together on the stove in the same manner as the dark chocolate. Pour on top of the bottom layer.
  2. Before you let the top layer set, decorate for the occasion. You can melt a little melted red chocolate and drizzle or pipe little hearts if you are a whiz at decoration. You can also use red sprinkles, dragees, jimmies, or tiny little hearts. They will sink in a bit into the surface but will hold on tight when it sets. It will add an additional bit of texture to your treat. Refrigerate until set.
Finish
  1. Carefully remove the fudge from the pan. The fudge is very rich, so cut into 1 inch squares and present in little foil or paper cups used to serve truffles or chocolates. For Valentines Day I will use a small heart cookie cutter and make a few hearts... This recipe goes along way and will provide lots of gifts for family and friends.
Recipe Notes

*You don't need to use quality chocolate for this dish. You can use the baking chips you would use for cookies. I use Merkens chocolate, which are wafers/disks used by candy makers and sold in craft stores which sell cake and chocolate making supplies.

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You Can Buy Merckens Chocolate on Amazon


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