Step back in time and indulge in the creamy, rich taste of traditional Old Fashioned Fudge. This time-honored sweet treat is perfect for holidays, family gatherings, or just because you deserve a delectable delight. Below, we dive into the perfect recipe that promises to bring back childhood memories and create new ones.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes (plus cooling)
- Servings: Makes about 36 pieces
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk
- 1 12-oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 7-oz jar marshmallow creme (fluff)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional for a slight savory kick)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- Prepare Your Pan: Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing some overhang on the sides. This will make it easier to lift the fudge out later.
- Melt It Down: In a large, heavy saucepan, combine sugar, butter, and evaporated milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Once the mixture starts to boil, continue cooking and stirring for another 5 minutes or until it reaches the soft ball stage (about 235°F/118°C on a candy thermometer).
- Add the Good Stuff: Remove from heat and quickly stir in chocolate chips until they’re fully melted. Then, fold in marshmallow creme, vanilla extract, and salt (if using) until well combined. If you’re adding nuts, fold them in now.
- Set and Forget: Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Let it cool to room temperature. For faster setting, you can place it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
- Enjoy Your Creation: Once set, use the parchment overhangs to lift out the block of fudge. Place it on a cutting board, and using a sharp knife, cut into 1-inch squares.
Pro Tips for the Perfect Fudge:
- Quality Matters: Choose high-quality chocolate chips for a richer taste.
- Test Without a Thermometer: If you don’t have a candy thermometer, drop a small amount of the boiling sugar mixture into cold water. If it forms a soft ball, it’s ready.
- Store Right: Store your fudge in an airtight container at room temperature. It can last up to 2 weeks when stored correctly.
The Secrets Behind Perfect Old Fashioned Fudge:
1. The Slow Stir: One of the key techniques to achieving smooth fudge is to stir the mixture slowly and consistently. Rapid stirring can introduce air bubbles.
2. Fresh Ingredients: Always ensure that your ingredients, especially the dairy components, are fresh. This will make a world of difference in taste.
3. Temperature Accuracy: Candy making often relies on precise temperatures. Invest in a reliable candy thermometer to ensure perfection.
4. No Crystals Allowed: If sugar crystals form on the sides of your pan, brush them down with a wet pastry brush. Crystals can cause your fudge to become grainy.
Classic Serving: Serve it as it is, in its pure, unadulterated form, letting its creaminess shine.
Ice Cream Topping: Melt a piece of fudge and drizzle it over vanilla ice cream for a delightful treat.
Fudge Sundae: Layer chunks of fudge with whipped cream, cherries, and nuts to create an Old Fashioned Fudge Sundae.
Coffee Companion: Pair your fudge with a cup of strong coffee or espresso. The bitterness of the coffee complements the sweetness of the fudge beautifully.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Q: Can I use regular milk instead of evaporated milk?
A: Evaporated milk provides a richer texture. Regular milk can make the fudge less creamy. It’s best to stick to the recipe.
Q: How do I store leftover fudge?
A: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. For longer storage, you can refrigerate it.
Q: My fudge turned out grainy. What did I do wrong?
A: Grainy texture usually results from sugar crystals. Ensure you dissolve the sugar completely and brush down any crystals from the sides of the pan.
I hope this blog post helps you craft the perfect Old Fashioned Fudge and serves as a guide for anyone looking to satisfy their sweet tooth with a touch of tradition!