For about a month I have had an unshakeable craving for fudge – rich, chocolate, nut-laden fudge. I dream about it, I think about it during the day … it is a good thing I just happen to write about chocolate every week. Guess what today’s recipe is? That’s right, it is The World’s Easiest Fudge just for you – and me. It is time to appease my cravings and yours!
For many years I made all my fudge the exact same way my dad did, from scratch and complete with beating by hand until my arm nearly fell off. But these days I want an easier method and that’s what you’re getting today … the world’s easiest way to make homemade fudge!
With a few readily available ingredients, you can have this made in no time and the hardest thing is waiting for it to set up before cutting into squares and sneaking piece after piece! !
When I was a kid, my dad made fudge the way he was taught by his mother, my grandmother – Mimi that you’ve heard me talk about for years. She is the one who ignited my passion for cooking and baking, and made it all look so simple that I never had any fears to overcome! What a gift.
Children are naturally fearless which makes them the perfect age (after about 3 or 4) to start helping you in the kitchen, showing them techniques to use, how to stay safe with the heat of the stove and oven, working with knives, and discovering the joy of making something that brings happiness to people you love. And of course being able to eat your own delicious creation is the biggest treat of all.
If you want to make fudge the old-fashioned way like my dad did, the remarkable Jenni Field of Online Pastry Chef has step-by-step guides to walk you through the process here. Jenni is a gem, one of the truly great people on this planet and I am SO excited that I finally get to meet her in person in March!! I am doing the happy dance in California!
One of the things that makes candy making challenging is humid or wet weather. It can cause all kinds of trouble for sugar – don’t try caramelizing sugar on a rainy day! But by using the marshmallow crème (or corn syrup in Jenni’s recipe) you reduce the risk of the sugar crystals reforming helping to give you the smooth, creamy fudge you dream of!
This is a great recipe to make with your kids. It incorporates a lot of valuable lessons without as many inherent risks of failure. Little ones need successes to build their confidence and this recipe gives them that. There is plenty of time later for them to learn how to deal with flops, right now all we want is delicious fudge that turns out every time!
There are hundreds of similar recipes on the Internet, but any recipe from David Lebovitz is guaranteed to be a winner and give you consistently stellar results. If you are not already following him, you definitely should. I made just a few adjustments to his recipe, since it is hard to improve on perfection!
This is the perfect sweet treat for your Super Bowl party this weekend. Rich creamy, it literally melts in your mouth and disappears before you know it. Beware, you will keep reaching for piece after piece. I have failed miserably at controlling myself with this batch, so half of it is going to my father-in-law tomorrow!
Enjoy and Happy Chocolate Monday!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
The accuracy of your kitchen thermometers is never more crucial than when making candy. The delicate balance of heat and sugar demands precise cooking and a candy thermometer to monitor it. In caramel for example, cook it too little and you have a syrup, too long and you get hard candy. Knowing the temperature you need to get the exact texture you are looking for is the key to success. See the Kitchen Skill below for specifics.
The only ingredient that may have some cross contamination is the chocolate. Guittard brand is gluten-free.
Kitchen Skill: Calibrating Thermometers
When calibrating you need a set temperature that never varies. The easiest to achieve is boiling water which is a consistent 212°F/100°C (at sea level) gives you the perfect standard. Bring water to a full boil and insert your thermometer. Let it sit in the water about 5 minutes. If it reads 212°F there are no adjustments required. If it is higher you will have to cook your candy to a higher temperature, too low you will look for a lower temperature. For example, if it reads 215°F, you will have to add 3 degrees to the temperature goal of the recipe. In today’s recipe you will cook the candy to 234°F. If your thermometer registered 215°F in boiling water, you would cook your candy to 237°F. On the flip side, if your thermometer registers 210°F, you would cook the candy to 232°F.
The caveat for this technique is that water boils at different temperatures depending on you altitude. There is a great website with a chart you can use to figure out the boiling point of water for your altitude. Use this number to calibrate your thermometers.
- 2/3 cup (150ml) evaporated milk
- 3 cups (600g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 oz (1-1/2 sticks; 170g) salted butter, cubed
- 12 oz (338g) semisweet chips or chopped chocolate
- For a deeper chocolate flavor, use 8 oz semisweet and 4 oz unsweetened chopped chocolate
- 1 (7 oz; 198g) jar Marshmallow Crème
- 1 cup chopped nuts, optional
- Thoroughly butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line it with parchment paper cut to 8-inches wide by about 14-inches long. You want the parchment to hang over two of the edges to create a sling, which helps you lift the candy out of the pan later. Butter the parchment to guarantee easy release.
- Calibrate your candy thermometer if you haven't done so recently. See Kitchen Skill above for details.
- In a large (about 4-quart) saucepan with tall straight sides, stir together the evaporated milk, sugar, and vanilla until the sugar is completely moistened with no lumps remaining and the milk is fully incorporated. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan being sure the bottom of it is not touching the bottom of the pan.
- Add the butter and bring to a boil over medium-high heat stirring often
- so the mixture doesn't scorch on the bottom of the pan. Once the candy is at a full boil, you can reduce the heat to somewhere close to medium, just keep the candy at a full boil. Continue stirring frequently until the mixture reaches 234°F (soft-ball stage) on the thermometer. NOTE: Making candy requires a reliable thermometer for accuracy. The temperature will rise quickly at the beginning and then will slow down but continue rising steadily. Keep a close eye on it!
- Once the candy reaches 234°F, remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate and marshmallow. Let it sit for a minute to start melting the chocolate, then briskly stir until the chocolate and marshmallow are fully melted and the mixture is smooth with no streaks. Stir in the nuts if using.
- Pour the candy into your prepared pan and smooth the top, pushing the mixture into the corners if needed. Set aside to cool at room temperature for at least 4 hours.
- When ready to serve, run a knife along the two edges that are not covered with the parchment. Then use the parchment sling to lift the solid fudge from the pan and set it on a cutting board. Use a very sharp long knife to cut into cubes and serve. Store in an airtight container or wrap in individual pieces for gifts.
- Yield: about 48 pieces
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