They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Based on that saying, a lot of people are afraid of even borrowing ideas from others and adding their own twists. I see nothing wrong with borrowing ideas from other cooks and applying my own additions and takeaways.
When I started taking my cooking more seriously in 2014, I solely relied on the recipes of others to try myself. The more I did this, the more I became accustomed the flavors of the ingredients I was using, especially ingredients that I had never tried before and fell in love with.
|My fudge journey began with Skittle Doodle Fudge|
As my palette expanded, I would make a dish that I found online or in cookbooks and afterwards ask myself, "What if?"
What if I took Chef Monir Mohammed's Butter Chicken recipe and replaced the chicken with cauliflower and broccoli to make a vegetarian alternative? So I did, and just like the Butter Chicken, the "Butter Vegetables" turned out great.
After my second attempt at Skittle Doodle Fudge was a success, I thought of using the same basic method, but featuring a different featured ingredient. That led to Oreo Fudge, Mint Chocolate Fudge with M&M's and Chocolate Peanut Butter fudge with Reese's Pieces.
|Using the same basic method from Skittle Doodle Fudge, I changed|
a few key ingredients and made Mint Chocolate Fudge with M&M's!
As more time went on and I became more familiar with how certain ingredients and spices taste and cook, I began coming up with my own dishes from scratch. I will sometimes come up with a possible idea and search the internet to see if it has been done before and will find nothing. In those cases, you can quit before starting or you can go with your gut.
It might not always turn out like you thought it would (Froot Loops & Grape Juice!), but you never know unless you try. Even if you are sketchy about an idea, there is always the option of doing a test on a smaller dish and using the same ingredients. You can easily turn a basic macaroni and cheese into a Greek or Indian version by trading out some spices and swapping one cheese for another.
|Ingredients for Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge with Reese's Pieces. Same|
technique as Skittle Doodle, different key ingredients.
A main ingredient is a mannequin. Don't be afraid to dress it up however you please.
|Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge with Reese's Pieces.|
PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE FUDGE WITH REESE'S PIECES
-3 cups milk chocolate chips
-14oz Sweetened condensed milk
-1/2 cup peanut butter AND 1-2 Tbsp peanut butter, melted, for drizzling.
-4 51g boxes Reese's Pieces, divided (3 boxes for fudge mixture, 1 box for topping)
***I know there are 5 boxes in the picture but I only used 4***
1. Combine chocolate chips and condensed milk in a small saucepan.
2. Melt over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is completely melted.
3. Stir in 1/2 cup peanut butter. Stir constantly until melted and combined.
4. Stir in 3 boxes Reese's Pieces.
5. Pour mixture into 8 inch square pan lined with parchment paper, or a pan or container of similar size (mine was a rectangle Tupperware container. Don't forget that parchment paper!).
6. Randomly scatter last box of Reese's pieces on top.
7. Melt 1-2 Tbsp peanut butter in microwave (or stove top, whichever you prefer). Drizzle on top of fudge.
8. Refrigerate or freeze until firm. (I put mine in the freezer overnight. It is a lot easier to cut into sharp edged pieces the firmer it is. Cut into squares and eat them because they taste great!