My spam recipe was so SO so very kind to me this week. I mean, just delightful. It brought me a recipe for Cocoa Fudge. What could be nicer? Fudge! Awesome!
I’ve never had much luck making fudge for some reason, but in the interests of writing this, I decided I’d try again. I mean, normally fudge for me turns out runny rather that fudgey, but maybe this time I’d get it right. It couldn’t hurt to try, right? I mean, fudge isn’t going to burn my kitchen down.
- ¬Ω a cup of milk,
- 3 level tablespoonfuls of butter,
- 2 ¬Ω cups of powdered sugar,
- 6 tablespoonfuls of Baker's Cocoa,
- Pinch of salt,
- 1 teaspoonful of vanilla.
Mix all ingredients together but vanilla; cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to boil, then cook slowly, stirring occasionally, eight or ten minutes, or until it makes a firm ball when dropped in cold water. When cooked enough, add the vanilla and beat until it seems like very cold molasses in winter. Pour into a buttered pan; when firm, cut in squares. Great care must be taken not to beat too much, because it cannot be poured into the pan, and will not have a gloss on top.
So the recipe says to stir “eight or ten minutes, or until it makes a firm ball when dropped in cold water”. Personally, I think it’s one of those unmentioned sins to drop fudge into water and not eat it. That’s just wrong in my book. So I decided to ask my favorite search engine if there’s a particular temperature that I should be heating it to, rather than dropping the fudge into the water.
Wouldn’t you know it, there was! It’s called the firm ball stage. That’s truly a shocking name, right? You want to drop it into the water and get a firm ball, so call it a firm ball stage. According to that web page, that’s around 245° to 250° degrees. I pulled out my trusty candy thermometer (that normally only gets used around Christmas) and put it to work.
This is what it looked like when I put everything into the pan, not very appetizing, is it? I did change the recipe slightly, rather than using Baker’s Chocolate I used my favorite Ghirardhelli chocolate, but that shouldn’t change anything, right?
The Beginnings of Fudge
Anyway, after it cooked for a while it looked like this:
Once it finally reached the 250° mark on my thermometer, I added the vanilla extract and started stirring. I’ve never played with molasses in the winter, so I wasn’t quite sure what I was aiming for. I went for the ‘kinda stiff to stir but still stirable’ as my guide.
And this is what it looked like when it set!
Fred said it tasted like sugar… with a side of chocolate. He said next time, make fudge with more chocolate. I was just happy that my fudge wasn’t soup!