Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Perfect Fudge

on November 28, 2014

I know it’s something folks struggle with. Perfect fudge is an anomaly that few have mastered.

Is it vain to admit I’m one of the few?

My mom made fudge when I was young and I picked it up from her. She used the marshmallow creme recipe; so do I. Sadly, she’s been gone for over 30 years and I honestly can’t recall much else about how she did it. I just remember how yummy it was.

But I picked it up as a holiday tradition and have been making it myself since high school. With time and practice, I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I don’t even need the recipe. Which is fortunate, because around the holidays the family wants my fudge more than pumpkin pie. My sister prefers it to cake on her birthday. And my dad loves it, as evident in the photo.Perfect Fudge

So … let me tell you how it’s done. Perfect fudge requires the three P’s:

Products
Perseverance
Power

Products:

First of all, as I already mentioned, the marshmallow creme (not fluff!) recipe works perfectly fine. Walmart has small plastic containers of marshmallow creme for only $1. You need one for every three pounds of fudge. I usually make six pounds at a time. Also, make sure you use real semi-sweet chocolate chips* and real butter. (I use salted butter. I haven’t tried it with unsalted so I don’t know if there’s a difference.)

You also need a can of evaporated milk, lots of sugar (1 cup for each pound of fudge) and vanilla. Nuts are, of course, an option but my family prefers it without. Having everything ready to go—butter unwrapped, sugar measured and in a bowl, chip bags cut open, and covers removed from the marshmallow creme—will only make the process easier for you.

Perseverance:

Start by melting the butter, then add the milk and sugar. With the temp at medium-high heat, keep stirring until it comes to a full boil. This will seem like it takes forever. It’s fine to turn the temp up a bit as long as you stir without ceasing and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t scorch.

As soon as it starts boiling, set a timer for 5 minutes. This not only tells you when it’s ready but lets you count down what might feel like the longest 5 minutes of your life. Most importantly, do NOT stop stirring. Persevere, my friends, because this is when sugar and butter become candy. And don’t some of the best things in life come through patience?

I could turn this into a devotional here … but I won’t. You can probably figure out where I’d go with it anyway.

Power:

When the timer goes off, remove the sugar mixture from the heat but keep stirring as it begins to cool. Add the chocolate chips, mixing until melted and incorporated. Finally, add the creme and vanilla.

I’m not going to lie, folks. Stirring all of this together is tough work. At one point, it will look like this:

Perfect Fudge 2

Fortunately, you’re almost done at this point! Not to sound redundant but … keep stirring. As soon as it’s all incorporated and as smooth as pudding, pour into a pan(s) lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. I usually use the disposable tins.

All you have to do now is put it in the fridge to harden and, voila!, perfect fudge.

If you try it, let me know how it turns out. And happy day-after-Thanksgiving!

 

* Any kind of chip works great, so follow your heart, flavor-wise. One of my friends makes white chocolate with bits of peppermint sticks to share with her family at Christmas, for instance.

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