My family aren’t big fudge eaters, so I never learned all the finer points of making real fudge — the kind you need a candy thermometer, pastry brush and nerves of steel to make.
This version, found on the back of Kraft marshmallow creme bottles, is a classic. It’s not a true fudge but tastes wonderfully creamy and is super easy to make. Um, except for dummies like me who don’t read directions well and substitute sweetened condensed milk. Three times. And wonder why the heck it doesn’t work.
There area few secrets to getting the best results.
1. Use a heavy-bottomed pan to avoid scorching the milk. If you have a saucepan that has a copper or thick stainless steel bottom, you’ll end up a happier camper.
2. Use the best chocolate chips you can afford. If you really want to be fancy, you can use block chocolate and cut it up into morsel-sized pieces. I had good luck with Guittard chips. If you like it real sweet, use a combination of milk and semi-sweet.
3. Pay really close attention to the time. You don’t have to use a candy thermometer, but if you cook it too long, it gets grainy.
4. Keep stirring. Burned milk isn’t fun.
5. The original recipe calls for margarine. I won’t let the stuff in my kitchen, but you can do what you like.
6. I’m not a nut fan when it comes to fudge, so I left them out. You could add pretty much anything that tastes good to you…some coffee flavoring, mint flavoring, little crushed up peppermint candies, hazelnuts, marshmallows..experiment and have fun.
Fantasy Fudge (adapted from the original Kraft recipe)
3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter (a stick and a half)
2/3 cup evaporated milk (don’t use condensed milk, it won’t work)
1 lb semi-sweet chocolate chips (about a bag and a quarter)
7 oz. jar marshmallow cream (one container)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (if you want, you can add other fun things)
How to cook it
1. Candy-making goes fast so have all of your ingredients measured out and ready to go. I even went so far as to put my chips in a microwave-safe container and gave them a little softening (about 25-30 seconds). Have a spatula ready to scoop out your marshmallow creme. I’m not kidding here. You’ll thank me later.
2. Line a 13″x9″x2″ pan with waxed paper or foil. I think foil gives it a weird taste.
3. Put your butter, sugar and milk in a thick-bottomed saucepan (about 3-quarts) over medium heat and bring to a roiling boil. Keep gently stirring everything to keep it from burning.
4. Once you’ve got a bubbling boil, set a timer for 4 minutes. Keep stirring. If you have a candy thermometer, watch for it to hit 234 degrees F. If you don’t have the thermometer, four minutes is just about right.
5. Remove from heat and quickly stir in your chocolate and marshmallow cream. Keep stirring until it looks smooth and creamy. Once everything is incorporated, stir in the vanilla and your nuts (or other add-ins).
6. Pour into prepared pan.
7. Cool to room temperature before slicing it up into small pieces.