is a type of confectionery, usually extremely rich and often flavoured. It is made by boiling sugar in milk to the soft-ball stage, and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency.
I have tried various times to make my own fudge and had had limited success...until now.
My original attempt was a recipe for fudge I discovered over at Wunderland, the home of Loonie Labs - the creators of some great games, like Fluxx (which is good enough to be its own entry). It didn't turn out, as I don't own a candy thermometer, and I probably undercooked the fudge and it never set up. This whole candy-making thing is hard!
Much later I discovered another great site, Cooking for Engineers that had an amazingly simple fudge recipe that used sweetened condensed milk (the same as I use in my Vietnamese coffee...see the connection here?) Even more clever is the way Michael Chu displays his recipes, in a cool, constructive ingredient/process table. The fudge one looks like this:
Michael Chu's Fudge
Some quick research shows that this type of fudge was invented in the 1950's, supposedly by Mamie Eisenhower!
Now trust me when I say this is the easiest stuff in the world to make. I do it in the microwave. Just dump the chocolate chips, butter and condensed milk into a microwave safe bowl and nuke for 20 seconds then stir. Repeat this until it is all even. At that point you can dump in nuts, mini-marshmallows, and any additional flavouring like 1/2 tsp of vanilla or rum extract. Pour it into a 8x8 pan that has been buttered and lined with plastic wrap. (That is important, as the butter holds the wrap in place, and the wrap lets you lift it out of the pan when cooled. Cool it in the fridge completely then remove from pan, peel off the wrap and cut in to squares. Oh - the butter in the recipe is optional...it turns out well without, but don't use margarine, It just doesn't work.
Since then I have discovered various alternatives to this recipe:
"Cookies and Cream Fudge"
Replace the chocolate chips with the same amount of white chocolate chips or 16 oz of white bakers chocolate squares and a pinch of salt. Once it is all melted, stir in a couple cups of coarse crushed Oreo cookies. Yummy!
"White Chocolate Fudge"
This one came from Nabob in a magazine and is just awesome with a dark roast coffee.
Replace the chocolate chips with 12 oz of white bakers chocolate squares, and stir in 1 cup of toasted, chopped almonds, 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1 Tbsp of grated orange peel. Skip the butter on this one, too.
"Hey You Got Chocolate in My Peanut Butter Fudge"
I made this one up myself. It is a little more work, but really good.
Make two half batches of fudge, one with semi-sweet chocolate chips, and one with peanut butter chips. Stir 3/4 cup coarsely chopped unsalted peanuts into the chocolate, and 3/4 cup coarsely crushed chocolate cookie wafers into the peanut butter fudge. Pour the chocolate into the pan first, spread it around evenly, then carefully pour the peanut butter one on top. You can make them both in the same bowl, then the chocolate will have time to firm up slightly before the peanut butter goes on. Cool as usual.