Yes, you read that correctly. It's not a typo. Velveeta. Cheese. Fudge.
Here in the American South, we have a great variety of traditional delicacies*, many of which use unconventional ingredients. Coca-Cola Cake, Shrimp & Grits, and Possum en Croute** spring immediately to mind as examples of Southern cooking which may be considered unusual in other parts of the world, even kind of nasty-sounding. In truth, most of these odd concoctions are quite delicious, once you get past the ingredient list.
Submitted for your approval is one such delightful recipe using Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product in a way that nature never intended. Velveeta Cheese Fudge is a Christmas tradition in many parts of the South, and now it can become part of your traditions, wherever you may be. Give it a try. You can't even taste the cheese, I promise. If you don't believe me, then make up a batch as a joke on your friends and get them to taste it first without telling them what's in it. It tastes like fudge. It really does.
* My friend Chris defines "delicacy" as "icky foreign food".
** OK, I made up Possum en Croute, but the other two are real.
Step 1: You Will Need
8 ounces of Kraft brand Velveeta Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product *
2 pounds Powdered Sugar (aka Confectioner's or Icing Sugar)
1/2 pound (2 sticks, or 1 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts are nice)
2 or more Auntie Mae Cookies
Optional Ingredients for Trailer Truffles:
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
Melted dark chocolate
Melted white chocolate
Anything else you might want to roll or dip a truffle in
*This really does work best with real Velveeta. Other brands may not give the same results. I don't know why.
Step 2: Find or Make a Double Boiler
To make this recipe, you will need a double boiler. If you don't have one (like me), make one by filling a large pot half way full of water and placing some kind of heat-resistant spacer in the bottom. I'm using a metal cookie cutter, but a Pyrex ramekin or an empty tuna can would also work. The idea is just to keep the smaller pot you're about to place inside the big pot from sitting on the bottom. We want the little pot to be heated by boiling water, not from touching the metal of the big pot.
As previously mentioned, place a smaller pot inside the bigger pot, on top of the spacer. The water should come up the sides of the small pot about halfway. Make sure that the small pot doesn't touch the bottom or sides of the big pot, and that there is plenty of room for steam to escape around the smaller pot. You don't want boiling water spraying all over your kitchen. It's OK if the small pot floats a little bit.
Put the pots onto the stove and turn the heat on High.
Step 3: Melt the "Cheese" and Butter
Cut the Velveeta and the butter into cubes approximately 1" square. Put the cubes into the double boiler to melt. Keep an eye on the boiler throughout the next few steps, stirring frequently. Velveeta and butter don't like to combine smoothly, so you're going to be doing a lot of stirring.
If you can recruit a family member to stir, so much the better.
Take a little break and eat an Auntie Mae Cookie.
Step 4: Combine the Cocoa and Sugar
In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder and sugar until well combined. I don't have a real sifter, so I use a mesh colander and a wire whisk. It works just as well.
I had a picture for this step, but the camera gremlins ate it. Bad gremlins. No cookie. Instead, please enjoy this picture of the Village People as rendered in HeroMachine 2.5.
Step 5: Add the Vanilla and Nuts
When the Velveeta/butter mixture is thoroughly melted, whisk very well to get it as smooth as possible. Add the vanilla and the nuts, and mix well. Keep it over the heat while you're doing this, as we want it to be warm when we add it to the sugar and cocoa in the next step.
Step 6: Mix It All Together
Pour the hot Velveeta mixture onto the cocoa/sugar mixture, and mix well. Use your bare hands if you need to. Mix as if the fate of the world depended on it. Nobody likes fudge with lumps of cheeselike substance in it.
Step 7: Put It in a Pan (or a Casserole Dish, or Whatever)
Line a container of some sort with aluminum foil or parchment. Really, any food-safe container will work. Here I'm using a casserole dish, but a biscuit tin or a pie plate or a clean cardboard box will serve just as well. Wipe a thin layer of oil or butter onto the foil, just in case.
With your hands. press the fudge into the container and pat the top smooth. If excess butter is visible on the top, pat dry with a paper towel.
Place the pan into the refrigerator to set for a couple of hours.
Take another break. Have an Auntie Mae Cookie, or possibly a stiff drink.
Thanks to RavingMom for taking these pics. RavingChild was beating Little Big Planet, so he was busy.
Step 8: Plate It Up, Or....
When the fudge has set, remove the pan from the refrigerator and take the block of fudge out, using the foil or parchment to help lift it. It should come out cleanly.
Place the fudge onto a cutting board, and cut into squares with a humongous kitchen knife. About 1" squares are a good size, but hey... it's your cheese fudge. Do whatever you want.
From here, you have two options:
1) Put the fudge on a plate and eat it. Share it with others if you are so inclined.
2) Make Trailer Truffles
To make Trailer truffles, simply use your hands to roll the squares you just cut into balls, then roll the balls in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, nuts, crushed peppermint, or what-have-you. Or dip the balls into melted chocolate of some kind. Go nuts. After applying your choice of coating(s), place back into the fridge until firm, then eat.
Velveeta Cheese Fudge tastes best at room temperature, but can get a little sticky if the room is too warm. It also makes an excellent dessert course after Possum en Croute. Enjoy!
Finalist in the
Homemade Holidays Food Contest