Sunday, December 21, 2008


The following is a guest post from D. I helped stir the recipe for about two minutes. D refused to use the kitchen aid and I got the kitchen aid because I hate mixing. I held the bowl while he stirred with both hands and then he sat on the floor and held the bowl between his legs while stirring with both hands. I would recommend using a standing mixer...

Ok, I think using a mixer would be problematic, and I'll explain why later, but it's true that this basic fudge recipe is ludicrously labor intensive. The final step calls for you to beat the fudge with a wooden spoon until it begins to lose its gloss, which can take 10 or 15 or more minutes. If you're working with a less-than-accurate candy thermometer the fudge may never lose its gloss, and you'll get uncongealed, though still delicious, fudge. Despite the simple ingredients a lot can go wrong. My younger sister and I used to make this recipe when we were kids and we'd crack each other up falsely claiming that "it's losing its gloss! it's losing its gloss!" Then one day the fudge actually did lose its gloss and everything happened so fast that before we could transfer it to the pan it was hard as a rock stuck to the bottom of the kettle. This, I suspect, is why you're supposed to beat it with a wooden spoon rather than an electric mixer.

There are a lot of easier fudge recipes out there--usually they call for evaporated milk and semi-sweet chocolate--but they pale in comparison to the real thing.

3 c. sugar
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together the sugar, cocoa, and salt in a kettle. Add the milk and cook over medium heat stirring constantly. When it comes to a boil stop stirring and take its temperature. Let it boil without stirring until it reaches 234 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla. Let it cool at room temperature, still without stirring, until it returns to 110 degrees. While it's cooling, line an 8 or 9 inch square pan with foil, and butter the foil. When the mixture has cooled, beat it with a wooden spoon until it loses its gloss. This is a lot of work and it's much easier if you have a helper and can take turns. Eventually (hopefully) it will thicken and you'll notice that its shine is fading--either that or you'll tire and decide that it's just not worth it. Whichever comes first, the next step is to transfer the fudge to the the pan. If the transition from glossy to matte was quick, you should also be quick about the transfer because the fudge can harden in no time. If you quit from exhaustion or you think the fudge is maybe losing its gloss but you're not really sure then you can be more leisurely about it. Let it cool completely and enjoy. If it hardens sufficiently, you can turn it over, peel off the foil, and cut it into squares. Store at room temp.


Steph said...

Hey! This is the fudge recipe I always used when growing up. I got it from a Hershey's cookbook, so it called for that brand of cocoa, but otherwise it's the same. I broke a few spoons over the years making that fudge. And it can take what feels like forever to cool. Thanks for posting it. :)

Anonymous said...

Sister Howard,

Great fudge. Stay warm.