Introduction: A Christmas Tradition: Old Fashioned Fudge
Grandma was the best fudge maker. When the snow started flying, out came the wooden spoon and saucepan. And, oh boy, did we gather around for the best treat in all of the north woods. FUDGE!!!
Linuxmom will do her best to share this treat with you. Anyone with a sweet tooth will be delighted when they find this treat in their stocking! (The size of the piece of fudge is up to you....BEWARE it's been known to disappear before it's packaged!!!)
Step 1: The Ingredients and Equipment
Baking chocolate (unsweetened)
Milk (the richer, the better....)
Vanilla (pure, not imitation..)
Cream of Tartar or Corn Syrup
Chopped Walnuts (if desired)
Spoon (wooden, of course)
Candy thermometer (not needed ...grandma never used one)
Measuring spoon (don't think grandma used this either)
Step 2: The Recipe
3 Cups of Granulated Sugar
2 Squares of Unsweetened Chocolate (1 square equals 1 ounce)
1 Cup of Milk
2 Tablespoons of Corn Syrup or 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 tablespoons of butter
Butter sides of sauce pan. Add sugar, chopped chocolate, milk and corn syrup (or cream of tartar).
Place over low heat on stovetop. Mix well to dissolve sugar. Stir constantly until mixture boils.
Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 234 degrees on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture forms a soft ball in very cold water. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Cool mixture to until pan is lukewarm to touch. (Do not stir while cooling!) When cooled, beat vigorously until mixture loses glossy appearance. Quickly stir in nuts and pour onto buttered pan.
Spread evenly. Cut into pieces when cool and firm.
Step 3: Hints for Fudge Making..........on the Stove......
Once you've added all you ingredients to the buttered sauce pan, it is very important to stir constantly to ensure the sugar is dissolved before the mixture begins to boils. Be sure to scrape the edges of the pan with your wooden spoon to incorporate all the sugar.
Chopping your chocolate is a good idea. This allows it to melt faster and help it to dissolve into a homogeneous mixture sooner.
While tempting to increase the heat to hasten the process. DO NOT. Fudge making requires a bit of patience!
HOW TO TEST FOR THE "SOFT BALL STAGE" IF YOU DON"T HAVE A THERMOMETER.....
Once the mixture begins to boil, you will note that it begins to thicken and darken (subtle changes). At this time, fill a small bowl with water and a few ice cubes. Pour a small amount of the mixture into cold water in the bowl. Attempt to make a ball with it with your fingers. The mixture should form a ball, but loose shape as you attempt to lift it out. If it does not form a ball, continue to boil. Repeating this process with new cold water until the ball is formed. Remove from heat at this time.
Step 4: .....and After Its Cooled................
Allow your fudge to cool, don't hurry this step either.
I place my saucepan in my frying pan filled with approximately 3/4 inch of water and a tray of ice cubes. Grandma used to fill the sink with a couple of inches of cold water.
Stirring is labor intensive. Use a sturdy wooden spoon and encourage all to lend a hand.
Once you notice the gloss disappearing from the mixture, the fudge will "turn" quickly. With no time to spare, mix in the chopped nuts. Pour onto a prepared buttered pan and spread evenly.
Step 5: .....package...... and ENJOY!
Cut into pieces and place on circles of plastic wrap. Secure with a pretty ribbon.
Share with the ones you love.
MAY THE NEW YEAR BE FILLED WITH
LOVE AND LAUGHTER,
HEALTH AND HAPPINESS,
and PEACE AND PROSPERITY.............
HAPPY HOLIDAYS from the LINUX FAMILY!