Written by Roar Elias
Looking for a chocolate fudge recipe? Whether quick and easy or authentically old-fashioned, a batch of fudge can conjure good memories: the deep, rich chocolate smell from a booth at the county fair, a buttery pan sitting and cooling on your grandmother’s front porch, or the taste of gooey melted chocolate as you lick your fingers and reach for one more piece.
When it comes to a chocolate fudge recipe, whether you whip up a quick batch in the microwave from ingredients on hand or expend some time and definite arm muscle to beat it by hand, homemade fudge can be fun to make and sweet to eat.
A basic old-fashioned fudge recipe, like this one rated with 4 1/2 stars at allrecipes.com (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/old-fashioned-chocolate-fudge/) calls for the following:
After greasing a square baking pan, heat the sugar, cocoa, and milk to a boil, then reduce the mixture to a simmer.
True fudge connoisseurs agree that making fudge the old-fashioned way is an art. Making fudge this way usually requires the use of a candy thermometer, although practiced fudge makers also say you can forgo the thermometer and test the “doneness” of the fudge in ice water. The idea behind either method is that the sugar, milk, and cocoa mixture that is the basis of your fudge needs to be heated just right in order for the candy to set properly.
For those who prefer the precise measurement of a thermometer, this recipe recommends that the mixture reach a temperature of 238 degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can sprinkle some of your melted mixture in ice water until it forms a soft ball. Once you’ve decided your mixture is ready, allow it to cool briefly before adding the butter and vanilla. Either way you go, once you get the recipe to this stage, you’re ready to beat, beat, beat with a wooden spoon before pouring the mixture into a greased pan to set and cool.
How long you should beat the fudge seems to vary according to most fudge makers. Most agree that it will take a few minutes for the fudge to lose its “glossy” look. Once it does that, you can spread it in your pan to let it cool before you cut.
If you don’t care about old-fashioned quality, or you just don’t want to have a stiff arm, an easier chocolate fudge recipe (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/foolproof-chocolate-fudge-2/) calls for:
The chocolate, milk, and salt can be melted on low heat on the stove top or even microwaved. Once that's blended, you can add your vanilla or other optional ingredients before spreading the mixture on a wax paper lined paper to cool. While fudge made this way is quicker, it’s got a less typically creamy, fudgy texture. But if you’re in the mood for a quick fudge fix, it might be just perfect.
An easy way to vary the chocolate chip based recipe is to swap out a cup of the chocolate chips for white chocolate, peanut butter, or even butterscotch chips. All chocolate fudge recipes, though delicious with just basic ingredients, lend themselves to yummy additions. Chopped walnuts, peanut butter, or mint extract are creative possibilities. Find out what kinds your family and friends favor, then whip up a quick – or slow, old-fashioned – batch. Chances are they’ll be impressed.
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