[Eds – The Queen of bad-for-you-blogs is back! everyone please welcome Sarah…]

Mmmmm, another chocolate recipe that must be sampled for the blog you say? Alright, I”ll do it *sigh* the sacrifices we must all make for this 365 day project!! Happily, I am a proud chocoholic and had never made fudge – nutty or not – before and it’s darn time I learned how.

Apparently, according to the intraweb, fudge is a relatively recent invention, appearing first around 1884. The first known fudge recipe is from a young woman at Vassar College:

* 2 cups granulated white sugar
* 1 cup cream
* 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
* 1 tablespoon butter

Combine sugar and cream and cook over moderate heat. When this becomes very hot, add the chocolate. Stir constantly. Cook until mixture reaches soft-ball stage (234°-238°F). Remove from heat and add butter. Cool slightly, then mix until fudge starts to thicken. Transfer to a buttered tin. Cut into diamond-shaped pieces before fudge hardens completely.

Not to be undone, those sassy Wellesley College vixens (tarts?) came up with a variation, adding marshmallows! (stifle audible gasp here):

* 2 cups granulated sugar
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate,
chopped
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1/2 pound marshmallows

Combine sugar and cream and cook over moderate heat. When this becomes very hot, add the chocolate. Stir constantly. Cook until mixture reaches soft-ball stage (234°-238°F). Remove from heat and add butter and marshmallows. Mix until fudge starts to thicken. Transfer to a buttered tin. Cut into squares before fudge hardens completely.

The website “Origin of Fudge” seriously poo-poos the idea of any shortcut fudge recipes that may incorporate corn syrup, condensed milk or the like. However, I discovered a microwave recipe a few days before doing this research and merrily tested it out – condensed milk, chocolate chips and all. And I have to say, I was pretty okay with it. It’s not my mother’s fudge, but hey, I made it in the microwave! How great is that? Here’s the recipe:

*3 cups milk chocolate chips
*1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk (which works out to 400mL)
*1/4 cup butter
*1 cup chopped walnuts
*1/8 tsp salt
*1 tsp vanilla extract

Put everything but the nuts in a big bowl and microwave until all melted (again, how great is that??). Stir in nuts, pour into 8×8 pan, place in fridge then enjoy.

fudge step one

photo1

This fudge is extremely rich so you need only a tiny square to get a serious chocolate hit. It’s probably good for a potluck or a buffet. I’m picturing the potlucks in the elementary school gym from my childhood. You know the kind – everyone avoids the oddly-coloured jello and goes for the straight up, dependable, chocolate dessert. This won’t knock your socks off but it’s sturdy and reliable. Go ahead and try it – I won’t tell anyone you took a shortcut or two.

~Sarah

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