Artist’s Palate: Jose Dávila’s chocolate fudge with pecans

Try Jose Dávila’s indulgent recipe for chocolate fudge with pecans, from our December 2022 issue’s Artist’s Palate feature, a Wallpaper* homage to our favourite contemporary art

Jose Dávila’s chocolate fudge with pecans
Jose Dávila’s chocolate fudge with pecans. White marble bookend, £87 for two, by Stoned; black marble bookends, £58 for two, by Luxe, all from Amara. Interiors: Olly Mason; food: Liam Baker
(Image credit: Neil Godwin at Future Studios for Wallpaper*)

Mexican architect-turned-artist Jose Dávila has happy childhood memories of his grandfather taking a whole weekend around Christmastime to make chocolate fudge for family and friends. ‘Having to wait all year in order to have this was a great lesson in patience. I still remember the smell in his house, and the simplicity of this dark-brown cube exploding with a deep chocolate flavour and rich velvety texture in my mouth.’ 

Dávila describes this treat as minimalist: ‘very few ingredients and maximal results’, much like his assemblages of geometric and organic forms, evidently simple yet exploring complex ideas of gravity, resistance, and the exchange of forces. 

Jose Dávila’s recipe for chocolate fudge with pecans 

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup whole milk (evaporated milk if possible)

4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup pecans, broken into halves or quarters

1 espresso shot (this is my personal take on my grandfather’s recipe but is optional)

Grease an 8in/20cm square baking pan. Put the sugar and cocoa powder in a medium pan, then add the milk and stir until blended. Place the pan over a medium-high heat and stir constantly until the mixture comes to the boil.

Reduce the heat to low and place a sugar thermometer in the pan. Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes without stirring until the temperature reaches 238F/114C. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool, for about 50-70 minutes, to 110F/43C. Do not disturb the fudge while it’s cooling. Add the butter and vanilla to the fudge. Add the pecans (and the espresso shot if using), then beat with a wooden spoon until everything is well incorporated and the fudge loses its sheen – do not underbeat! Pour the fudge into the prepared pan and let it flatten. Leave it to cool at room temperature before cutting into squares.

josedavila.mx, nicolaiwallner.com

A version of this article appears in the December 2022 issue of Wallpaper*, available in print, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple News +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* today!

TF has been editor of Wallpaper* since December 2020. He is responsible for our monthly print magazine, planning, commissioning, editing and writing long-lead content across all our content pillars. He also plays a leading role in multi-channel editorial franchises, such as our annual Design Awards, Guest Editor takeovers and Next Generation series. He aims to create world-class, visually-driven content while championing diversity, international representation and social impact. TF joined Wallpaper* as an intern in January 2013, and served as its commissioning editor from 2017-20, winning a 30 under 30 New Talent Award from the Professional Publishers’ Association. Born and raised in Hong Kong, he holds an undergraduate degree in history from Princeton University.