Foodie Friday -- MAG's Decadent Fudge


I’ve been on the hunt for an Old Fashioned Fudge recipe for quite some time now. I’ve tasted loads of fudge over the years and most beaten fudge recipes are grainy and not flavorful. So why do people attempt to make it? Sorry, but attempt is the key word here. So many fails have been passed off as fudge.

Well, all I seem to find is some version of what I call Cheater’s Fudge. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a perfectly wonderful recipe--quick and easy to prepare. But I wanted to go “candy thermometer” old school to see what all the fuss was about. The problem I ran across was the recipes that did involve cooked sugar couldn’t agree on the basic temperature, and WHY on earth did you have to let it cool before you beat it?

Of course, I figured it out.

The one ingredient you have to have as a maker of traditional fudge is PATIENCE. Yes, my friends, just like when make caramel you have to wait for the right moment to act. There is a valid reason for letting it cool down.

When you make fudge, the reason you have to wait to beat the mixture is all about chemistry. You know, the class you slept through in high school and college.

If you beat the fudge when it is too hot, the sugar particles will reform and attract more sugar particles to form larger particles until it cools enough to stop the process. This is one reason for the grainy, crunchiness of less than-stellar-fudge. If you wait until the mixture has cooled enough then the sugar particles will stay small, resulting in a smooth texture.

I found a recipe and then proceeded to change it up for real world usage.

Here we go:

MAG’s Decadent Fudge

3 cups sugar
1 Tbls. Hershey’s cocoa powder
Large pinch of sea salt
3 Tbls. orange blossom honey
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate (Baker’s), finely chopped
2 tsp. vanilla extract (Madagascar Bourbon)
4 Tbls. chilled butter, cubed

Line 8 X 8 pan with foil, spray with butter-flavored cooking spray.  Set aside. In heavy sauce pan, whisk sugar, cocoa powder and salt together, and place over medium heat. Add honey and cream, stirring until smooth. Add chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolved. Time for the candy thermometer! Increase heat to high, and boil mixture until it reaches the soft ball stage at 236 degrees. You can stir the mixture, but DO NOT SCRAP THE SIDES (sugar crystals and all that jazz).

Pour into glass bowl. Dot top with cubed butter and vanilla, and let cool about 45 minutes. Using a clean candy thermometer make sure the temperature is between 110-120 degrees.  Using a hand mixer, beat until everything is incorporated and increase speed. Beat fudge until it loses its shiny cake batter look and turns chunky-ish, about 3-5 minutes. DO NOT OVERBEAT.

Scrap fudge into prepared pan. Press flat with hands. Score the top into 1-inch squares with pastry scrape or knife. Let cool.

Sample the fudge remaining on the beaters. Groan with delight.

Hints and suggestions:
·         Sorry, Martha Stewart, but most people can’t afford Valrhona or Callebaut chocolate. They simply have Hershey’s, Nestles or Baker’s chocolate in their cabinet. I used Valrhona once in a recipe, not worth the $$.
·         Martha was all hard-core about buttering parchment paper, too. Love you, Martha, but really? Aluminum foil sprayed with butter Pam works just as well!
·         And not a fan of light corn syrup either when I have honey on hand. I’m a serious fan of orange blossom honey!
·         And don’t hand chop the chocolate if you have a food processor, just whir it around until the largest chocolate pieces are about the size of a pea.
·         Score the outside edges off first before you make the squares, then all the pieces look good!
Enjoy, Peeps!


Cynthia D'Alba said...

YUM. I'm sitting here starving and this didn't help. Do you ship?

MAGolla said...

I put them in the freezer to see how well they freeze/thaw.
Come to T-town, Cyndi, and I can feed you all sorts of candy. . . let me know so I can thaw them out!

I need to tweak my lemon fudge with shortbread crust, and I saw a recipe for an Elvis fudge (peanut butter fudge with a banana wht chocolate layer and chocolate fudge on top) that I'd love to rework!

Twisted Sistser said...

What a chocolate fix. Post how the freezing goes. I make fudge for Tim and send before finals. :-0

Cindy Carroll said...

Yummy! Can't wait to try this recipe. And lemon fudge? That sounds good too.

MAGolla said...

Meg--I'm going to freeze them for a month and then thaw on the counter before tasting them. They should be good, but you never know with sugar.

Cindy--I need to tweak the lemon fudge. It needs more lemon juice/zest, but the added liquid with the white chocolate makes for a creamier, less dense fudge. I'm going to try another technique to see what result I get.

Marilyn said...

Sounds wonderful, and I'm not even much of a fudge fan.

Love the tips, too. I always like to have a reason/excuse/explanation for stuff, and most recipes don't provide it.

MAGolla said...

If you're like me, it's because most fudge tastes like chocolate flavored ground glass.

I'll bring you a couple of chunks tomorrow. I'm testing it to see how well it lasts in the freezer. I think it might get a little grainier, but it was very smooth to start with so it should taste good.