Last week, the organizer of my church’s annual Holiday Bazaar approached me. Things were going well she said, except for the candy booth. They were in desperate need of some fudge. Could I make some?
I explained politely that I had never, ever made fudge in my whole life.
She explained just as politely that every time she made fudge it either came out a brick you had to break with a sledgehammer, or she had lovely fudge sauce to pour over icecream and pound cake. She begged.
So I agreed.
After heading home and having a slight nervous breakdown (no pressure!) I did what I always do when faced with a new challenge. I looked it up on the internet, and asked my friends online.
Several different people and sources recommended, due to my time crunch and nervousness, using the “Never Fail” Marshmallow Fluff recipe.
Ha! A name like that is just begging to be proven. But I am here to tell you, if you follow the directions, this fudge will come out fine. If however you turn into a space cadet for a few minutes and forget to add 5 cups of sugar*. . . well, let’s just say that the 2nd and 3rd batches came out just fine. . . .
One of the great things about homemade fudge is it makes a great gift. It’s always the right size, and I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t thrilled to recieve some.
Well, ok, except for diabetics.
And my one friend who is the only person I’ve ever met who doesn’t like chocolate.
But for almost everyone, it’s a fun, frugal and appreciated gift. Try making some for those inevitable last minute teacher etc etc gifts this year-instead of yet another apple themed mug. . .
2 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1 5 oz. can evaporated milk (about 3/4 c.)
1 Jar (7 1/2oz) Marshmallow Fluff
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1 12-oz. package semisweet-chocolate pieces **
1 /2 c. chopped walnuts (totally optional)
Grease a 9X9 pan really, really well. I mean well. Honestly, you are
going to want to see the shortening or butter there. . . . otherwise that isn’t
coming out of the pan!
Combine sugar, salt, butter, evaporated milk and fluff in a big pot. Don’t forget the sugar.
Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until combined and smooth. You may want to use a wisk once the fluff stops being super sticky.
Heat to a full-rolling boil being careful not to mistake escaping air bubbles for boiling. Boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Watch out for hot molten fluff erupting from bubbles-that stuff hurts.
Take the mixture off of the heat, stir in vanilla. Stir in chips until completely melted. I recommend using a wooden spoon etc for this, not the wisk. Add nuts, if using. Scrape it into your well greased pan and let cool completely.
Now this is decent fudge-but it isn’t FABULOUS fudge. To get really, truly fabulous thick, creamy to die for fudge, you really have to do it the right way. With a candy thermometer and everything.
I was lamenting the fact that making “real” fudge felt like a dauting task when one of my friends on twitter, “jmfield” said she would write me a fudge tutorial on her blog, JUST FOR ME! Now how nice is that??? So check out “The Perils and Pitfalls of Homemade Fudge“. She not only has the recipe with very exact details, but actually starts out by describing the science behind WHY you have to do things (don’t worry, it isn’t boring).
So soon I will get brave and make some REAL fudge for my family 🙂
Photo is by Phoney Nickle
*Note, I was using the really big jars of fudge and the recipe that makes 5 lbs at a time-a whole 9X13 pan of fudge about an inch thick. For most home applications you are probably going to want to make the smaller recipe.
**You can vary the flavor of the fudge by using different kinds of chips. I made one batch w/chocolate, then another with butterscotch chips. Yum.