So remember when I made that Absurdly Easy Chocolate Fudge and I, um, went a little crazy, going off about a city of mini fudge people up in arms? And I vowed to make a more authentic fudge, the kind of fudge my mother remembers coming home from school to?
Well, it only took me about six weeks to finally get to it, and do you have any idea how guilty I’ve felt this whole time with it hanging over my head? Not a day went by without me thinking, I promised them another fudge recipe. They’re expecting it. Every day it’s not there, they’re disappointed. And frankly, I’m surprised I didn’t get any testy emails demanding (or at least inquiring about) another fudge recipe. You guys are so patient and well mannered!
Well here it is: fudge just like mom’s mom used to make, spread onto a buttered plate and waiting for you when you get home from school/work/your paper route/riding your bike/visiting a neighbor/dance lessons/soccer practice. Wherever you’re coming from, this fudge is there in the middle of the table to greet you, begging to be eaten immediately, straight from the plate.
This is the excessively sweet and slightly sandy fudge I’m used to, but it is best eaten right away because it starts to dry out pretty quickly (or at least my version did). There really is a precise moment when you’re beating the fudge by hand and it “begins to lose its gloss,” at which point you’re supposed to quickly (not my strong suit, as I’ve mentioned) pour it onto the plate. I may have overbeaten it by two strokes of the whisk, I don’t know. It didn’t matter. When I began eating square after square of still-warm fudge, I felt like I had traveled back in time, that I might’ve felt in that moment what my mom experienced all those years ago when she came home from school to a delicious plate of fudge. I nearly shed a sentimental tear!
Now I said I would compare and contrast, and I don’t disappoint! Unlike the other fudge, which needs to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours, this one (and this is the third time I’m making this point, so it must be really important) can be eaten while it’s still warm, which is a huge plus in my book. This one is super sweet, while the other one is more rich and chocolatey. This one is thin and sandlike in texture, the other is more like a truffle (the confection, not the mushroom). This one requires a candy thermometer, unless you’re willing to actually perform the soft ball test, the other one doesn’t, but both are easy. This one’s easier to mess up. They both freeze well. They’re both very good, neither one is perfect, but this one feels more authentic and has sentimental value. Both will make you smile.
So there you are, chickadees. Now go make some fudge!
Buttered-Plate Fudge, adapted from an unidentifiable newspaper article
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 (1-oz) squares unsweetened chocolate
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- Butter a medium-size plate.
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, chocolate, and evaporated milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking until the mixture is at soft ball stage (a teaspoonful dropped into cold water form a ball but disintegrates when picked up), 235 to 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (this could take about 10 minutes).
- Remove from heat and drop butter and vanilla extract onto the surface of the chocolate mixture. Let mixture cool to lukewarm, then beat by hand with a whisk or wooden spoon until it begins to thicken and lose its gloss. Stir in nuts, if using. Pour/scoop the fudge onto the plate, and spread.