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.
And 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.
- 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
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Butter foil (parchment doesn’t need any butter if using).
- 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.
- Bring to a rolling boil and continue cooking, without stirring, until 234ºF (soft-ball stage) on a candy thermometer.
- 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.
- 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.
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. :)