Friday, December 25, 2009

Fudge!

Oh Yeah!
That's what I'm talking about! Creamy, chocolately, melt in your mouth, holiday goodness.
I have taken on the task of making fudge for my family this year. My Papa used to be the family fudge maker and after he passed away none of us were able to take his place. He made this fudge in secret. Like a jolly elf every December he would start the fudge making process. We would get pounds of fudge and dozens of cookies shipped in old style christmas tins every year. I miss the family tradition and decided I was ready to take on where Papa left off.
I tried to get his original recipe but, sadly no one seems to have it anymore. I poked around on the web and found Hershey's Old Fashioned Fudge and decided it is probably the recipe he would have used so I got my ingredients and began a new/old  holiday tradition.
The Hershey recipe IS exactly like I remember Papa's fudge. Unfortunately for my tastes it was too sweet with no discernible chocolate flavor. The recipe WARNS- do not alter the ingredients. But of course being one of those people who sees warnings as welcome signs I altered, I failed, altered some more, failed etc until I finally got it right. I tweaked the old fashioned recipe a bit and gave it a kick of chocolate flavor that I felt it lacked. The result is a fudge that is creamy, melts in your mouth, and gives a pleasant chocolate flavor.
Some tips for making fudge:
  • Make sure you have a VERY accurate thermometer. You can check the accuracy by boiling water your thermometer should read 212 F. 
  • Use a larger sauce pan than you think you need. fudge boils up then settles back down. It is no fun cleaning chocolate sugar goo out of your burner... trust me.
  • Butter the walls of your saucepan. This helps prevent that stray sugar crystal from finding its way into your fudge and causing crystallization or a brick-like mass from forming in your pan
  • Adding agave syrup will aid in preventing crystallization it works like corn syrup. Sucrose molecules (sugar) like to hang out together and when they get together they bond. Throwing a little fructose (agave syrup) into the mix breaks up the sucrose bonding party and gives nice smooth fudge. 
  • Stir the fudge until you get a full rolling boil then STOP! Do Not Stir! 
  • Rotate your saucepan a quarter turn every few minutes - this may not be necessary if you have an excellent candy making pan or a super nice oven. 
  • Once the fudge reaches the soft ball stage 235-240 F remove from heat toss in your butter and vanilla. DO NOT STIR.
  • Once the temperature reaches 110 F STIR! - but not too much... and not too little I am still working this out but 5 minutes seems to be about right.
Papa's Revised Fudge
(I really need a better name! help!)
Adapted from Hershey
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 1 ounce piece of unsweetened chocolate  (100%  cocoa)
  • 1 cup of nuts (optional)

1. Line 8-or 9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter foil. ( Butter the sides of your sauce pan)

2. Mix sugar, cocoa, salt, agave syrup and milk in a bowl until well mixed. Pour mixture into a heavy 4-quart saucepan; add unsweetened chocolate and  cook over medium heat, stirring constantly (use a wooden spoon) until mixture comes to full rolling boil. Boil, without stirring, until mixture reaches 234°F on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water, forms a soft ball which flattens when removed from water. (Bulb of candy thermometer should not rest on bottom of saucepan.)

3. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. DO NOT STIR. Cool at room temperature to 110°F (lukewarm). Add your nuts if your using them. Beat with wooden spoon until fudge thickens and just begins to lose some of its gloss. ( This is something I never really saw. The one batch that I beat with a hand mixer (I was lazy but, I learned my lesson!) lost its gloss then turned into a brick, if this happens just melt is down again, cool, then beat- but not too much. It is best to beat by hand. If you beat it until you begin to feel a lot of resistance you should be good to go. There is no fix for under beaten fudge. If it does not set up it will make a good topping for ice cream.) Quickly spread into prepared pan; cool completely. Cut into squares. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature. About 36 pieces or 1-3/4 pounds.

Happy Holidays To All Of YOU!!! Thanks for reading my blog, see you next year!!!!

3 comments:

Moogie said...

Fudge!!! I love fudge.

jacksonsgrrl said...

OH MY HEAVENS! Fudge is MY FAVORITE!! You are officially welcome at my casa here in South Texas anytime!! (As long as you make some fudge during your stay!!)
LOL! I am going to save this recipe, and give it a try....
Happy Holidays to you and yours, and thank you for being a frequent visitor on my humble blog with next to 0 readers!!! :)
May the New Year bring blessings unimagined to all of us...
~Mindy

Sofia's Patisserie said...

How about rename it Fabulous Fudge?
It looks really good. :-)
Sofia