Six Fabulous Fudges

Of all the candy made and given out during the Christmas Season, I doubt any is more popular or prevalent than fudge.   The delightful stuff is likely responsible for at least two extra pounds on my person right now…

There are many recipes and many methods for creating this top choice of candies and I offer several different types here from my own collection of tried-and-true favorites.

Old-Fashioned Classic Fudge

This is a true cream-and-butter fudge, with more chocolate in it than is usual. The nuts can be omitted, if you wish. I store this in the refrigerator, but please let it come to room temperature before serving, as the fudge will have much better flavor if you do so. It also freezes nicely.

Do not consider attempting this fudge unless your relative humidity is at 50% or lower.

3 cups granulated sugar

1-1/3 cups heavy cream

1/3 cup light corn syrup

Pinch salt

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, very finely chopped

3 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped, toasted, cooled pecans OR walnuts

In your food processor fitted with the steel blade, process sugar at highest speed in 3 “bursts” of about 15 to 20 seconds each until sugar is very fine-textured. (This step is optional, but it makes dissolving the sugar a much easier job.)

In a heavy 4-quart pot, butter the sides in a 2-inch path 3 inches from the bottom.  (This will retard sugar crystals from forming during cooking.

Pour processed sugar into the pot and add cream, corn syrup, and salt.  Place over low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved; mixture should not come to a boil during this process, which may take 8 to 10 minutes or more.

When the sugar is completely dissolved, increase the heat to medium. Add the chopped chocolate and stir often until it is melted and incorporated.  Stir occasionally until mixture comes to a boil. Attach your calibrated candy thermometer and continue to cook until it reached 236 degrees (F).

Watch the boiling mixture very carefully for the first few minutes, adjusting the heat to maintain a full, but not rolling boil.  I stir the boiling mixture every 2 to 3 minutes until the final temperature is reached to prevent scorching.

When the fudge reaches 236 degrees (F) on the thermometer, remove from heat. Place the pot into a large bowl filled with ice and water.  Add the cold butter bits and vanilla, but do not stir in.   The fudge should cool undisturbed until the temperature falls to 110 degrees F.

While the fudge cools, prepare the pan and utensils. Line an 8 inch square pan (at least 1-1/2 inches deep) with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. With soft butter, very lightly butter the foil.  Have the nuts and a large wooden spoon nearby.

When fudge has reached 110 degrees (F), remove from ice water and place pot on a dish towel or pot holder on a flat surface. Begin to stir/fold the fudge gently with the wooden spoon. This is a stiff mixture, and it will take a couple of minutes to incorporate the melted butter, but keep at it. Stir thoroughly, but it is not necessary to beat or to stir continuously. I take frequent breaks for 30 seconds or a minute at a time. Periodically, scrape the spoon, the pot bottom, and the pot sides no more than 1/3 of the way up from the bottom with the buttered spatula.

Continue stirring for approximately 15 to 20 minutes (and the drier the day, the quicker setup will occur). Toward the end of this stirring phase, you’ll notice several changes. The fudge will stiffen slightly and begin to lose its gloss. It will “snap” with every stroke of the spoon, and you may feel it give off heat. When the gloss begins to leave and the mixture begins to “snap”, quickly stir in the nuts just until evenly distributed, and turn into prepared pan, scraping out the bottom of the pot and the sides no more than 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. It is helpful to butter your hands lightly and press the fudge out to make an even layer in the pan. Cool completely to room temperature.

To cut, lift out block of fudge, still in foil, from the pan. Peel back foil sides. Use a large, very sharp, heavy, straight-edged knife to cut the fudge into 36 or more pieces; it will be necessary to clean the knife frequently under hot water, then dry it off, to keep the cuts neat. I wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap so it will not dry out. Store between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freeze for longer storage.  Always allow the fudge to come to room temperature before serving.

Note: Occasionally, when I make this, after I’ve turned it into the 8 inch pan, a thin layer of butterfat will show up on the surface as the fudge cools. If this happens, just blot the butterfat up gently with a paper towel.

And remember while you are stirring/folding the fudge, that the reason why you are going through this effort is to prevent the crystals from forming large masses…each stir/fold is reducing their size!

No-Beat Chocolate Fudge

(a/k/a Marshmallow-Creme Fudge)

12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate

1 7-ounce jar of marshmallow creme

1 23-ounce can evaporated milk

1/2 cup unsalted butter

4 cups granulated sugar

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired

Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil and butter the foil  well.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, place your chocolate pieces and marshmallow creme and set aside.

In a heavy 4-quart pan, combine the milk, butter and sugar.  Place over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Clip on your candy thermometer and bring the mixture to a full boil until it reaches 234 degrees (F).  This will take approximately 6-8 minutes.

Pour the  syrup over the chocolate and marshmallow creme.  Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until all is well blended, smooth and creamy.  Stir in the nuts.

Pour the mixture unto your prepared pan, spreading the mixture smooth on the top.  Allow to rest undisturbed for 4 hours until the fudge reaches room temperature.

Lift the fudge from the pan using the foil, spread the edges of the foil carefully away from the sides of the fudge.  Using a clean, sharp knife, cut the fudge into 1-inch squares, frequently cleaning your knife under hot water and drying well.

Store between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freeze for longer storage.  Always allow the fudge to come to room temperature before serving.

Peanut Butter Fudge

This fudge is an absolute favorite of young people.  And it may be rolled into balls and used as centers for dipping into tempered chocolate for outstanding candies!  If gifting this fudge, be certain to notate that it contains peanut butter to protect those who may be allergic to same!

1 1/4 cups whole milk

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups granulated sugar

1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a 9×13-inch dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil and butter the foil well.  Set aside.

In a heavy 4-quart pan, combine the milk, corn syrup, butter, baking soda and sugars.  Place over medium-high heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes to a full boil.

Clip on your calibrated candy thermometer and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the syrup reaches 236 degrees (F).

Remove the pan from heat and allow to cool undisturbed until the mixture reaches 110 degrees (F).   Add the peanut butter, vanilla and nuts.  Stir gently with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes creamy and begins to lose its gloss.  This will take about 15-20 minutes, so feel free to take a few breaks along the way.

When the mixture is losing its gloss and begins to “snap” with each stroke of the wooden spoon, pour the fudge into your prepared pan and smooth the surface.  Allow to cool to room temperature (about 4 hours).  Then cut into 1-inch squares.

Store between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two weeks, or freeze for longer storage.  Always allow the fudge to come to room temperature before serving.

Vermont Maple Fudge

2 cups Grade B Amber Maple Syrup

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

3/4 cup light cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Line an 8×8-inch dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil and butter the foil well.

In a heavy 4-quart pan over medium heat, combine the maple syrup, corn syrup and cream and stir constantly until the mixture begins a full boil.  Clip on your calibrated candy thermometer and cook the syrup until it reaches 236 degrees (F). 

Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool undisturbed until the mixture reaches 110 degrees (F).  Add the vanilla extract to the mixture. 

Begin to stir/fold the fudge gently with the wooden spoon. This is a stiff mixture, and it will take some time to finish to the proper consistency.  Stir thoroughly, but it is not necessary to beat or to stir continuously. I take frequent breaks for 30 seconds or a minute at a time. Periodically, scrape the spoon, the pot bottom, and the pot sides no more than 1/3 of the way up from the bottom with the buttered spatula.

Continue stirring for approximately 15 to 20 minutes (and the drier the day, the quicker setup will occur). Toward the end of this stirring phase, you’ll notice several changes. The fudge will stiffen slightly and begin to lose its gloss. It will “snap” with every stroke of the spoon, and you may feel it give off heat. When the gloss begins to leave and the mixture begins to “snap”, quickly stir in the nuts just until evenly distributed, and turn into prepared pan, scraping out the bottom of the pot and the sides no more than 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. It is helpful to butter your hands lightly and press the fudge out to make an even layer in the pan. Cool completely to room temperature.

To cut, lift out block of fudge, still in foil, from the pan. Peel back foil sides. Use a large, very sharp, heavy, straight-edged knife to cut the fudge into 36 or more pieces; it will be necessary to clean the knife frequently under hot water, then dry it off, to keep the cuts neat. I wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap so it will not dry out. Store between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freeze for longer storage.  Always allow the fudge to come to room temperature before serving.

Buttermilk Fudge

This is an old fudge recipe without chocolate.  Buttermilk gives this fudge a delicious, rich tang!

1 cup Bavarian-style buttermilk

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired

Line a 9-inch dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil and butter the foil well.  Set aside.

In a heavy 4-quart pan, combine the buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, baking soda and sugar.  Place over medium-high heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the sugar completely dissolves and the mixture comes to a full boil.

Clip on your calibrated candy thermometer and cook, stirring constantly, to 236 degrees (F).  Remove from heat and allow the pan to rest undisturbed until the temperature cools to 210 degrees (F).  Add vanilla and nuts and stir until the mixture is creamy (about 5 minutes).

Pour into your prepared pan and allow to cool for 4 hours until it is at room temperature.  Cut into 1-inch squares.

Store between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two weeks, or freeze for longer storage.  Always bring to room temperature before serving.

Scottish Tablet

The Scots have a sweet tooth, for certain. Tablet is their traditional version of Fudge and preceded our own traditionally chocolate version by a few centuries… Definitely creamy, smooth and toothsome and recommended highly to accompany any other fudges you make be making. A lovely contrast. Here is my great-grandmother’s treasured recipe modernized for the US and today’s cooking methods:

1 ¼ cup Whole Milk

2 ½ cups granulated sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter

3 tablespoons dark, “bottom of the pot” (very strong) coffee or espresso

In a heavy 4-quart pan over low heat, bring the milk slowly to a boil stirring often to prevent scorching.  Add the sugar and butter and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture returns to a boil. Clip on your calibrated candy thermometer, raise the heat to medium and bring to a full boil.

Continue to boil steadily, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until the temperature reaches 240 °F.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the strong coffee and leave the fudge undisturbed until it has cooled to 110 °F.

While the fudge cools, prepare the pan and utensils. Line an 9-inch square pan (at least 1-1/2 inches deep) with a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan to use as “handles” for removing the fudge later. Lightly butter the foil.

Once the tablet has cooled, begin to fold and stir the tablet with a large wooden spoon until it just begins to lose its gloss and is thick. (This will probably will take 15-20 minutes, so feel free to take a few-seconds’ break every now and then.) When the tablet is nearing the point where it is ready to pour into the pan, you will notice a loss in gloss, it will stiffen slightly and will begin to “snap” with every stroke of the spoon/spatula. When it does…

Transfer to the prepared 8” pan and spread evenly across the top.   Allow the tablet to rest for 4 hours and come to room temperature.

When completely cooled, remove the tablet from the pan by lifting the foil and pull the foil from the tablet sides. Use a sharp knife and cut the fudge into 1-inch squares, frequently cleaning the knife in hot water and drying completely.

Store between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two weeks or freeze for longer storage.  Always bring to room temperature before serving.

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~ by eheavenlygads on December 3, 2007.

6 Responses to “Six Fabulous Fudges”

  1. Your recipe for Scottish Tablet sounds very interesting. I’ll give it a try!

    SpinningSugar: I hope you love it half as much as we do! Happiest of holidays, Ann!

  2. The main thing i’m enjoying while reading your blog is the way you write, you are a really charismatic person and your posts are wonderful, keep it up!

    SpinningSugar: What a lovely, lovely thing to say. I sincerely appreciate the compliment.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, and may 2008 be the best year of your lives!

  3. I started reading with a mission to whip up a yummy fudge.. given that your pic on top looked absolutely YUMMY..!

    After reading thru, I can’t decide on which to pick, I wanna eat them all!

    P.S.: Happy Holidays!

  4. too sweet and a lot of cholesterol..

    but sometimes its ok to try it lah. :)

    nice info, thanks!


    wie
    Healthy Life

  5. thank you so much! Merry Christmas

  6. yummy yummy delicious

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