No-Bake Popcorn Pretzel Fudge Bars

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This delightful recipe is perfect if you don’t have an oven and want to make something quick to satisfy your chocolate cravings.

Paired with buttery, crushed popcorn and pretzels, the condensed milk and chocolate filling is perfectly balanced with just the right amount of crunch and salty-ness which transforms it into a delightful treat for all.

Popcorn – Pretzel Fudge Bars

Prep time – 20 mins + 4 hours for chilling

Makes 10 small squares or 8 medium sized squares

 Ingredients 

  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 100 gms unsweetened cocoa powder (or 60 gms for milk chocolate bars)
  • 2 cups plain, salted popcorn
  • 1 cup pretzels
  • 2 tbsps. melted butter
  • 1/3 cup thickened cream
  • Popcorn + pretzels to decorate

Method

  • Line a square baking tin with baking paper. Crush the pretzels and popcorn till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and mix with a tbsp. of condensed milk and melted butter.
  • Rub the mixture till it sticks together, and flatten on the base of the baking tin. Refrigerate for 30 mins.
  • Empty the condensed milk into a mixing bowl and microwave for 1 minute (stir at 30 second intervals) so it is not too thick and hard to mix.
  • Sift in the cocoa powder and fold till incorporated, then fold in the cream.
  • Pour over base and refrigerate and decorate with pretzels and popcorn when the top is slightly firm. Refrigerate for 4 hours or till the bars are set.

This recipe was created by accident, purely because I had an open can of condensed milk and an intense craving for some golden, gooey, salted caramel.

One of my tried and tested recipes is Dulce de Leche, in which you simply pop a can of condensed milk in a pan full of water and leave it on the stove for a good hour or two.  Since the can was already open, I tipped the milk into a ramekin and proceeded to duplicate the process in a water bath, in the oven.

I’m not going to say it didn’t work, but even after 2 hours, the condensed milk remained quite milky and refused to caramelise further.

The only think I could think of doing was turning it into a delicious chocolate slice. And hence – the fudge bars were born.

The addition of cocoa powder helps to balance the syrupy sweetness, especially when it’s paired with a comparatively savoury base. Add a splash of vanilla, or experiment with crushed peanuts, crackers or even a simple, flaky pastry crush for exciting variations.

Happy Cooking!