Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Recipe: Fudge


Fudge is possibly my favorite thing to make. I can stand at my stove and no one bothers me. It is just known at my house when the fudge pan comes out no one can bother me.

How do I make my fudge? Marshmallow or no marshmallow? I am marshmallow all the way because I think the fudge is softer and creamier than its non-marshmallow counterparts. Soft creamy fudge is important to me, lol.


Every time I make fudge I think about my Aunt Geri. Growing up I was always at her house, I loved going to her house it was my second home, I still do love going there though I don’t get over there as much as I should. When I was a teenager, I remember one year at Christmas my Aunt Geri was determined that we were going to make us some fudge both chocolate and peanut butter.

First 3 ingredients just added, awaiting boil

We went to Kroger and got all the ingredients and we were ready to get started. She pulled out her old green pot and we dumped the ingredients in. We scorched batch after batch after batch. And we made additional trips to Kroger to get more ingredients. I think we only got one semi-scorched batch made and set up. It was fun and my Aunt Geri wasted a lot of money that day on fudge ingredients but I learned a lot about making fudge that weekend. After that weekend I was determined that I would learn and master fudge, no way was I going to let it get the better of me.

1.       You have to have a heavy pot, flimsy thin pots won’t do
2.       You have to watch the heat
3.       You have to stir, stir, stir. Scrape that spoon across the bottom to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot!
4.       You need to set the remaining ingredients out to have them measured and ready to add in.
5.       You have to have the pan buttered and ready to receive the hot fudge mixture
6.       Most important you have to have plenty of time to make it and you must be patient!
7.       The 5 minute estimate to hit soft ball stage is wrong, Mine takes about 20 minutes over medium heat. Not sure what kind of stove was used when they wrote this recipe.


I use an old corningware pot, I call it my fudge pan because that is what it is used for (sometimes I make hard tack candy in this too, but nothing else). They don’t make these anymore and I will shamefully admit that I swiped it from my mom once I learned it was the perfect pan to make fudge in. Sorry mom, but that pan is staying at my house forever!


The recipe I follow is Kroger’s Easy DO Fudge, and I swear by the Kroger brand marshmallow creme, it’s the only one that works for me.


You can use a candy thermometer to watch your temperatures, but to be honest I have only used the thermometer one time and I thought my fudge was dry. I use a clear bowl of cool water and test the mixture until it hits soft ball stage.


I have made peanut butter, chocolate, hot chocolate, mint chocolate, and cinnamon roll fudge using this same basic recipe. Yeah I know you want my cinnamon roll recipe :-) Some other time.


Ingredients:
¾ cup butter (1-1/2 sticks)
2/3 cup evaporated milk
3 cups white sugar
1 pkg (or 12oz) semi sweet chocolate chips  (I use the entire bag ) or 1 jar peanut butter
1-1/2 cups marshmallow crème
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:
Over medium heat in heavy pan melt butter, add evaporated milk and sugar. Stir continuously until soft ball stage or 235-245° F degrees.


Remove from heat and quickly add in the chocolate or peanut butter stir until melted, add in marshmallow crème stir vigorously until melted, add in vanilla and nuts stir until incorporated. Pour into a buttered pan, allow to cool completely.

The directions say to use a 13x9 pan. That is probably what I use, I use a pyrex rectangular baking pan.


Softball stage: as my recipe is cooking and starts to get thick I take a spoon and dip into the mixture, let the extra run off. Hold spoon over bowl of cool water and let mixture drip into the water, if the mixture falls apart (scatters like sand, its hard to describe) it is not ready. If the mixture falls in the water and stays together making a little drop or ribbons, you are at softball stage. Once I get here I cook my mixture an extra 5 minutes before finishing the fudge. 

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