Old-Fashioned Chocolate Fudge- Better Than the Marshmallow Gunk
I don’t make candy frequently. Making candy is different from baking. For me, cooking is supposed to be therapeutic, but making candy is stressful. Caramels- for example, have to be boiled to the perfect texture that enables them to be soft and chewy. The first time I made caramels, they came out underdone, and then I sat and wrapped each little piece in wax paper. It was a nightmare. I’ve gotten better at candy making, but I only make sugary sweets around Christmas time.
Fudge is different. There’s this cookbook I have. It was my grandmother’s- I feel like anything associated with grandmothers and food will be good. The book is actually a Better Homes and Gardens step-by-step cookbook. It’s quite old, and you can tell by the yellowing pages. It is rumored that my grandmother made the best doughnuts when my mom was younger. She doesn’t remember the recipe, so I went hunting in her old cookbook, hoping to find one. I did- but what really caught my eye was the fudge recipe. There were minimal ingredients required, and I happened to have all of them chez moi. So I made it. And I loved it. So much.
I took this to school for my best friend- twice. And both times, she consumed the entire batch. I usually make 1/2 the quantity if I want something quick, and this really takes no time. Just follow the recipe below- make sure you don’t boil it too long, and if it doesn’t form a soft-ball, it is underdone and will not beat properly. Using a candy thermometer is the most accurate way to ensure that this does not happen. But follow the soft ball test as shown in the video. If the fudge is underdone or you do not beat it long enough, you can still pour the fudge into the pan, it may take longer to set (perhaps a day or too) and have a softer texture. Another thing you can do is heat it up and have it with some ice cream. I’ve also used this as a frosting on chocolate cakes if it comes out too thin.
And unlike most candy, this fudge recipe takes very little time to make. It is smooth, creamy and melts in your mouth. What’s more, you can adjust the consistency to your liking. There is no longer any need to make that Marshmallow gunk. This old-fashioned fudge recipe beats it any day.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp light corn syrup (alternatively use golden syrup, maple syrup or honey)
- 2 oz (around 50 g) bitter chocolate
- 3/4 cup milk
- pinch salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Generously butter a medium sized saucepan or pot- it should be able to hold around 4-6 cups of liquid. This prevents the sugar from crystalizing too much.
- Over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, chocolate, milk and salt. Bring this mixture to a boil. It may look grainy at first, but it will come together. Stir the mixture constantly and scrape down the sides of the pan to prevent sugar from crystalizing.
- Once the mixture comes to a rolling boil, give it a couple stirs now and then, but do not continuously stir it. Clip on a candy thermometer until it registers 234 F- the softball stage.
- If you don’t have a candy thermometer, drop a small amount of the boiling mixture into a class of cold water. After a couple seconds, remove the mixture. If it forms a soft ball, it is done. If it disintegrates, boil a bit longer. It’s better the fudge is underdone than overdone, so make sure it doesn’t become a hard ball.
- Turn off the heat and add in the butter and vanilla. Let the butter melt. When you add the vanilla, the mixture should bubble vigorously.
- Next, beat the fudge! I like to use a whisk at first and then when it gets too tedious, I switch to a spoon. Stir it vigorously until it thickens and starts to resemble a thick cake batter and it looses some of its initial gloss.
- The mixture is hot- be careful not to touch it! Pour it quickly into a prepared baking dish- should be lined with foil and buttered. A loaf pan is perfect. Don’t spread the mixture out, let it set on it’s own. You can gently push the edges of the foil towards the fudge to help mold it into a square shape if desired as the mixture is quite thick.
- It starts to set immediately, so give it around 20-30 minutes before cutting into pieces. Cut small pieces as it is quite indulgent and rich.
- You can decorate the top with sprinkles- work quickly though. These make terrific gives for the holidays.