Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chocolate Fudge with Nuts

The secret to a good fudge is preventing large sugar crystals from forming.  You achieve this by bringing the batter up to temperature then taking it off the heat and continuing to stir while it cools below sugar's melting point.  The recipe is simple and it takes about 15 minutes cooking time.  Press parchment paper into an 8x8 pan.  Get your candy thermometer out and a heat safe spatula. Set out 4 tablespoons of butter and your vanilla extract and measuring teaspoon. Optionally chop 1/4 cup fancy nuts coarsely and separate the dust and very small pieces out.  Put only larger pieces of nuts in the fudge, the dusty stuff will make the fudge taste gritty.

Put 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup cocoa in a pot and stir it around to break up any lumps.  Slowly stir in a cup of milk and make it uniform.   Bring it to a boil stirring constantly.  Once it is boiling stop stirring, if it threatens to boil over turn the heat down a little.  You need to bring it to at least 115C 239F, a little under and it will not set properly. To get it there you first have to boil off all the water in the milk, that's why it takes time.  Set the thermometer on the side sticking into the batter.  Occasionally  scrape the sides of the pot.  When the thermometer reads 115C 239F take the pot off the heat and stir constantly.  Take the thermometer out (don't put it in cold water, it will break) and add the butter. When the butter is mixed in add the vanilla and keep stirring.  The fudge will be glossy off the heat, continue to stir until the fudge has lost it's sheen and add the nuts.  When the fudge has acquired a matte surface pour into the parchment and let it cool.

Here are all the ingredients:

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
optional 1/4 cup chopped nuts

If your fudge is grainy, it didn't get to temperature and won't set properly or you didn't stir it long enough off the heat. Enjoy!

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