Love and Olive Oil

February Kitchen Challenge Results: Old-Fashioned Fudge

Old-Fashioned Fudge from @loveandoliveoil

Fudge: been there, done that, probably won’t ever be able to do it again.

But it worked.

For one batch at least, it worked.

Old-Fashioned Fudge from @loveandoliveoil

kitchenchallenge-february14And it is divine. Velvety smooth. A texture unlike any fudge I’ve ever had before.

The taste is determined solely by the quality of your cocoa powder. Which, for this batch, I used the cheap kind, as I was convinced I was going to fail (again) and didn’t want to waste my expensive stuff. A shame.

That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy this batch. We did, very much so. The fact that it all disappeared is testament to just how good it was, so I can imagine how much better it’d be with fancy cocoa.

While I would have loved to share process photos or a video of this challenge, we all know what happened last time I stopped to take a picture. Maybe that’s the key here: DON’T STOP STIRRING WHATEVER YOU DO. It’s an arm workout, that’s for sure, that rivals even the taffy-pulling experience. In fact, I’m considering making both the first official workouts in my genius new fitness plan: “The Confection Method: Sweet Moves for a Better Bod”. Although, it is slightly lop-sided: we may all end up with perfectly toned arms and bulbous bottoms, because as far as I know there are no thigh-powered mixers on the market right now. Ok, maybe not so genius after all.

Back to the drawing board.

Old-Fashioned Fudge

Did you make this recipe?


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Butter foil (parchment doesn’t need any butter if using).
  2. Combine sugar, cocoa and salt in a heavy saucepan. Stir in half & half and corn syrup until incorporated. Add butter cubes and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any stray sugar crystals.
  3. Bring to a rolling boil and continue cooking, without stirring, until 234ºF (soft-ball stage) on a candy thermometer.
  4. Remove from heat and dip bottom of saucepan a pan of ice water to stop the cooking process. Let stand, without disturbing, until mixture cools to 130ºF.
  5. Add vanilla and beat mixture by hand or with a hand mixer until thickened and shine just barely begins to disappear. This can take quite a while so you may want an extra set of arms ready. When you feel like the mixture just barely begins to lose its shine (it is very subtle and often ambiguous as to when this actually occurs) quickly pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Let sit for a few hours at room temperature or refrigerate until set. Cut into squares to serve.

Recipe from Land ‘O Lakes.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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Let us know what you think!
Leave a Comment below or share a photo and tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #loveandoliveoil.

I was pleasantly surprised at the number of brave souls who attempted this challenge with me, even after my pessimistic introduction. You guys have no fear, and I love that. And your fudge looks AMAZING! I love that some of you tried variations other than plain chocolate. Peanut butter is most definitely going on my “to-make” list.

Remember we are now on a bi-monthly schedule for Kitchen Challenges, so I’ll be announcing April’s in a few weeks time. I’ve already got a few ideas, but I want to know: what challenges would you like to tackle this year? Sweet, savory, or just plain crazy… it is called Kitchen CHALLENGE, after all. :)

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  1. Hi I wonder, what is,,,1 1/2 cups half and half

  2. For those who said their fudge smelled like it was burning, I assume you used a thin or light weight pan. I used my 4quart caphalon sauce pan. This is a heavy thick comment cial grade pan. No burning and a nice rolling boil. I did stir it a few times.
    Most of my baking stuff is in storage, waiting to build a new home. However, I did have a food thermometer that only went to 220%, so I let it boil another few minutes. I put about 3″ of ice cubes with water and set the pan in it. It cooled quickly. I drained the water and finished beating it on the remaining cubes. I used a hand mixer, my kitchen aid was in storage and beat it for at least 10 minutes on high. I found that if you watch the color, it starts off very dark. The more you beat it, the more it looks like milk chocolate. At that point I poured it into my pan. It’s setting up in the frig, but it is like silk. Hopefully it will set up correctly and I’ll make another batch.
    Hope this helps. I have a wonderful recipe, but they don’t have the correct ingredients in Houston like they did in Chicago. So I’m hoping this will be a great replacement.

  3. So, I’ve tried this a couple times, nether was perfect although they tasted great. My question is how long do I leave it in the ice water bath, a couple seconds, minutes or until it gets to the 130 degrees? Seems like the edges get cool to fast.

    • The time it takes to cool depends on a lot of factors, including the bowl you use and the temperature of the air. So unfortunately my only advice is to watch the temperature!

  4. Never mind. Googled it. Half milk half cream right?

  5. Errr sorry but what exactly is half-and-half?

  6. This is my Mama’s recipe as well. Love it!!

  7. I would love to see a Penuche fudge recipe (hint, hint) :)

  8. I just tried this recipe and smelled it burning before it reached 225 degrees on the candy thermometer. It seems to me that it really should be stirred constantly. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out and tasted burned.

  9. I just tried this recipe and smelled it burning before it reached 225 degrees on the candy thermometer. It seems to me that it really should be stirred constantly. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out and tasted burned.

  10. my family has been making this fudge for 2 going on 3 generations :)  it was originally released in the Betty Crocker cookbook in the 50’s and yes it is a hard fudge to get right, every year my sister (2nd generation)  ruins at least 1 batch  LOL usually the first one of the season.  we call this fudge Sugar Fudge.  I hope you don’t give up on making this fudge it is a great recipe  and its a heritage fudge ^_^ at least in my book it is 

  11. I have to brag about my Grandmas  fudge. Grandma lost her battle with enphazema when I was 19. When she was healthy, my 80 pound Grandma made all 5 of us in my family a SHOEBOX full EACH of the best fudge ever!  She would make different types and all of it would be perfect ! I have her recipe and it is pretty much the same as yours. I  have never been brave enough to try to make fudge.. Now seeing this, it might be my year to try. I am 49 now and a Grandma so it may be time for me to keep the love of Grandmas fudge alive. 

  12. I really like the outcome. I’m looking for a nice treat to give the family for Easter. Will probably do that and wrap it nicely.. Thanks for posting all the different outcomes.

  13. Oh I wish I had seen this earlier! I made fudge on my blog in late Feb and can soooo relate to the challenges. I finally got it right – phew!
    I’m thinking about the eclair challenge  – sounds like fun!

  14. My mom made fudge every year for Christmas, and she always said it was a two person job. You needed on person to stir constantly, and one person to add stuff. She and my dad would switch off stirring.

  15. Okay so really I ought to be sticking to my allotment based baking/cooking adventure, but this looks so good, yum yum yum. I really have  the weakest arms ever, so it would be good for me, right??! RIGHT???! ?

  16. Well, we all know how MINE turned out (I’m sure my garbage disposal thought it was delicious). 
    Can’t wait to hear the next one! Surprise me! 

  17. Thank You! I’ve been wanting that recipe. It’s the kind my mom used to make and I didn’t know what it was called. Old Fashioned does make sense lol.

  18. Thanks so much for including my fudge to your post!!!!

  19. I love this recipe, and it brings me back to eating fudge during my summers at the Jersey Shore. Yummy :)

  20. Best workout ever–you get fudge at the end. WAY more exciting than my runs on the treadmill!

  21. This is my kind of exercising!

  22. I am so enjoying your fudge-journey …and tickled that your perseverance paid off so handsomely! Gorgeous fudge …hooray for you! :)

  23. Le sigh. I so wanted to be heroic in this endeavor. After four failed attempts and A LOT of swearing I gave up. However, a friend of mine who’s mother is a genius at fudge is going to try a batch with me soon. Hopefully success is in my future! Better late than never, right? ;)

  24. Your fudge looks so creamy, Lindsay. Yay to all who succeeded. I’m still working on my fudge. Let’s just say, it’s not playing nice.

  25. You are a brave lady for trying this! I am feeling inspired…so maybe I will too!  
    This could go terribly wrong.

  26. Good for you… fudge is a tricky thing… like candy. I will give your recipe a whirl and see what happens

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