Oh fudge. So delicious. So addictive. Growing up, fudge was always something my family would enjoy getting when traveling. There was this one shop in Gualala, CA that had some of the best. My family would stay up in Sea Ranch growing up and going into town meant getting fudge and enjoying it for the week. This version comes from an old 1930's cookbook given to me by Chef Dolan. Since it's an older confection I wanted to build my fudge off of a classic recipe. This recipe does make a lot (about 3 lbs.) so make sure to have somewhere to take some of it. This is why I love to make it around the holidays.
565g Granulated Sugar
115g Light Corn Syrup
475g Heavy Whipping Cream
20g Unsalted Butter, cubed
225g Dark Chocolate, chopped
1. In a large heavy bottom sauce pot, mix all ingredients except vanilla and chocolate. (make sure pot is large. Mixture gets 4-5 times its size and can boil over if not big enough.)
2. Stirring with a rubber spatula the entire time, heat mixture to 236°F then remove from heat.
3. Add chocolate and begin to agitate the mixture and stir vigorously scraping the sides of the pot. After the mixture has begun to thicken, add vanilla and mix in.
4. Spread into a greased and parchment lined loaf pan and allow to cool completely before removing and cutting.
Fudge is quite simple to make. The most important thing is to mise en place and stir constantly. Milk solids from the cream and butter can burn while cooking so make sure they are not settling and getting mixed the entire time. I also want to double emphasize USE A LARGE POT. This mixture bubbles a lot and expands a lot. There are very few things worse than sugar all over your stove.
The history fudge is an interesting thing. It has a history dating back to the 1880's. During that time, refined sugar was becoming cheaper and more easily available so people started to make more confections with it. It became popular very quickly and recipes started appearing in magazines and newspapers to spread the word. In modern times I see fudge in a lot a places, especially tourist destinations. Even if they shop isn't specifically candy I find a lot of fudge sitting in a case ready to be cut and sold. Although it is full of sugar and should always be consumed in moderation, I still love to impress others with homemade fudge and no one sees how easy it can be.