Fudge you’re thinkin’? Yes! Fudge for June. When I (Olivia) was down south last year for my stepfather Claude’s funeral, I was looking through his things and came across a fudge recipe. It was written on a yellow, tattered piece of paper with chocolate smudges on it. I have a vague memory of my stepdad making the fudge years and years ago. I can’t recall the fudge itself, but only the joy it brought him while he made it. He said he used to make the fudge with his mom when he was a little boy and then made it with his three daughters when they were young and now with me when I was about ten.
Now, Claude didn’t really know his way around the kitchen. He was great on the grill, but other than that, he stayed away from the kitchen – except when it came to washing the dishes! It was always just the two of us in the kitchen by that point and what great conversations we shared over the sink full of dirty pots and pans. One of us equipped with a sponge, the other a dish towel. I always offered to wash, because if I had to dry, it was drying AND putting the dishes away. Washing was just one task! It’s funny to think how things you dreaded doing as a kid turn out to be some of your fondest memories as an adult. If we could only chat and wash dishes one more time…
The first time I made this recipe it wasn’t a huge success. Claude’s recipe was a bit vague. Thankfully, with a little patience and a better understanding about the fudge making process, I made good, fudgy-tasting fudge! I was a purist while experimenting. I chose not to add anything. However, the next time I make it I will definitely add nuts! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we sure do love adding nuts to most of our recipes. And you can add nuts, peanut butter, or candy to this recipe.
Claude noted at the bottom of his instructions, “delicious” and yes it sure is. This fudge is delicious. Thank you, Claude, for everything. Including this fudge recipe. It is only fitting that we share his recipe in this month’s issue. We would like to shout out to all the dads and father figures: Happy Father’s Day. Wishing you all a very sweet day!
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups of milk
3 heaped tablespoons of cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
Line a small square dish with either parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. In Claude’s recipe, he stated using an 8”x8” square pan. I found that this pan was too big and produced thin fudge. We wound up using a Pyrex dish measuring 5”x7”, which was perfect It yielded 15 good size pieces of fudge.
Place sugar, milk, cocoa powder, and salt in a saucepan, stir constantly on medium high heat until the mixture begins to come to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to low and let the mixture simmer without stirring until it reaches 238 degrees Fahrenheit on your candy thermometer. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can drop a little of the mixture into cold water. It should form a soft ball that flattens between your fingers when you remove it from the water.
Once it reaches the correct temp, remove from heat, and allow the fudge to cool to 110 degrees. This takes about an hour, give or take 10-15 minutes. Do not stir the fudge while it cools. Once it has cooled down to the desired temperature, mix in the butter and the vanilla. Beat with a wooden spoon until fudge loses its sheen. Do not under or over beat!
Fudge can be tricky: You need time and patience for this recipe. If you get it right – and I’m sure that you will – you will thoroughly enjoy this old-fashioned chocolate fudge.
If you have any questions, please feel free to DM Olivia.
Olivia and Caroline are enthusiastic foodies and bakers who are constantly in the kitchen, as well as explorers who create their own adventures in our area – and did we mention they are mother and daughter? Follow Olivia on Instagram to see her many creations at @oliviawvalentine.