Tuesday, December 17, 2013

(Happy Holiday's) Fudge

It's been almost a month since my last post.  Not because I didn't want to post.  No no--that was certainly not the case.  The reason I haven't posted is because I was in Italy!!  Yes, for two weeks my partner, his parents and myself were trekking around the Italian peninsula--from Milan to Sicily--eating and drinking and sightseeing and eating and drinking and eating.  I really enjoyed the eating part.  The patisserie's are basically on every corner so I was in heaven.  It was mega fun but I'm happy to be back mostly because I missed baking.  Maybe that's weird but whatever.

Anyway, you might think my first post back would be some sort of Italian baked good or pastry but I didn't really want to do any of that now.  What I wanted to do was make fudge.  And not just one type of fudge but three types.  I never make fudge but I love it.  This past Memorial Day weekend we went up to Mackinaw Island and bought like a giant box of several types of fudge.  We said we would cut a small piece of each type for ourselves and then give the rest to our co-workers but that never happened.   Those small pieces for ourselves turned out to be the entire brick.  I mean....I really like fudge.  You know?  So that happened.

But this time I couldn't keep all of the fudge for myself.  I promised my sisters that I would send them some so I divided it up evenly and shipped it off.  Of course I sampled it.  I'm not dumb.

The three types I made were peanut butter, salted caramel and chocolate.  The chocolate fudge was a traditional recipe that I took from one of my cookbooks and it was perfect.

It tasted classic--just like the stuff we got in Mackinaw.  The other two types were more of a quick type of fudge that I grabbed from another great blog that looked and sounded beautiful.  They are less intensive and use condensed milk as a base.

So this method of making fudge is amazing and easy and the end product tastes sweet, creamy and bad-ass.  But.  But, I think that I prefer the more classic fudge.  It has the melt-in-your-mouth texture which the other recipes didn't necessarily have.  I think it's also a bit smoother and although it's more of an intensive method to make it's worth the effort.  That said, I would certainly make the other types again and I encourage all to try them.


For the Peanut butter fudge I used this

For the Salted caramel fudge I used this

For the Chocolate fudge I used this recipe from the Joy of the Cooking:

2c sugar
1/8tsp salt
1/2c half-and-half
1/2c heavy cream
1/4c light corn syrup
6oz bittersweet chocolate
2tbsp unsalted butter
1tsp vanilla

Line an 8x8 square pan with parchment paper
Combine the sugar, salt, half-and-half, heavy cream and corn syrup in a large heavy bottom saucepan.
Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved which can take up to five minutes
After the sugar has dissolved, crank up the heat and bring it to a boil or one full minute
Reduce the heat after the minute to low, brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush and add the chocolate
Stir the chocolate until is completely melted
Once the chocolate is melted, heat the mixture until a candy thermometer registers 234 degrees F.
After the temperature has reached 234, remove it from the heat and place the saucepan in cold water.
Just float on top the butter and the vanilla.  Don't stir it in or apparently you risk making the texture of fudge be grainy.
Let the fudge cool down to 110
Once it has cooled to 110, place the mixture in a bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low until the fudge has lost its sheen which took me about 10 minutes.
Lastly, pour the fudge in the 8x8 square pan and let it set for a few hours
Cut into and enjoy

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