Old-Fashioned Fudge Recipe, Please?
December 16, 2010 11:21 AM   Subscribe

I’m looking for a very specific fudge recipe that I haven’t made in many years and now can’t find. It makes what I call “old-fashioned fudge”, with more of a crumbly, almost grainy texture than the creamier, gooey fudge.

I know the ingredients included chocolate chips, evaporated milk, granulated sugar, butter, vanilla and probably a bit of salt. The ingredients DID NOT include marshmallows. It didn’t require a candy thermometer, instead you boiled the sugar/butter/milk mixture for a certain period of time. This recipe made a huge quantity, a 9 x 13 pan full, so it was perfect for giving away at holiday time.

Every recipe I’ve found on-line so far that includes evaporated milk also includes marshmallows, which is NOT what I’m looking for. Anyone have a fudge recipe like the one I remember having?
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Here's one that doesn't require marshmallow. Cook's Illustrated also has a discussion in their recipe (probably in this year's holiday cooking or baking issue) that discusses the effects of temperature and stirring on the formation of sugar crystals that will affect the texture you're looking for.
posted by Hylas at 11:31 AM on December 16, 2010

What you want sounds like Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (google "rich cocoa fudge" or "Hershey's classic fudge also). It doesn't use chocolate chips, but plain non-fancy unsweetened cocoa powder. I've made this frequently since childhood and it has that dry, crumbly texture you speak of. You'll want to double all of the ingredients to fill a 9x13" pan (I have done this.)
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 11:33 AM on December 16, 2010

Also, here's a version using evaporated milk instead of regular milk.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 11:36 AM on December 16, 2010

Maybe a variation on this recipe? That seems like a somewhat incomplete version of the recipe you used (which I remember seeing somewhere myself).
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:39 AM on December 16, 2010

It sounds like your standard British, rather than American, fudge. You might want to try searching for those recipes to find one you like.
posted by tavegyl at 11:39 AM on December 16, 2010

This is a recipe using condensed milk, butter, and chocolate chips; it's cheap and easy to make and people seem to really enjoy it (it's what I gave for holiday gifts last year -- I did a batch with nuts, a batch of plain chocolate, and a batch with crushed candy canes). There's no added sugar, though; the condensed milk is sweet enough.
posted by shamash at 11:47 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

The thing about a condensed-milk fudge is that you don't get the crumble of the sugar crystals, because (as you say) the condensed milk itself provides the sweetness.

I know the fudge that SweetTeaandaBiscuit is thinking of; it's a very old-fashioned style of fudge, like my grandmother used to make. The graininess is a feature, not a bug.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:53 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sidhedevil has it exactly; what I'm looking for is the crumbling and the graininess! Sidhedevil, the recipe you linked to looks very reminiscent of the one I used (except I'd never use margarine!!). If I don't get a better prospect, I'll likely try that one and report back. Keep them coming if anyone has any more ideas!!
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 12:47 PM on December 16, 2010

Best answer: Victory! (I think.)

I thought: This is the fudge my grandmother used to make. My grandmother pretty much only used one cookbook, The Fanny Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook ca. 1920.

So I Google for "Fanny Farmer fudge" and find this, which may be what SweetTeaandaBiscuit is thinking of?
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:26 PM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

Try the simple old-fashioned recipe from my Kansas farm-girl mother, called Four-minute Fudge. I find it gets even better (ie more crumbly) if you let it age for a week or so.
posted by Rash at 1:39 PM on December 16, 2010

The word to google is "tablet". It's a Scottish variety of fudge. Very crumbly, grainy, still melts in the mouth.

(Sorry, no links as I'm on my phone!)
posted by citands at 2:12 PM on December 16, 2010

My family's old fashioned fudge (which sounds like just exactly what you want):

3 cups sugar
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons of cocoa

1.5 cups milk
2 tablespoons golden syrup (or light corn syrup if you can't get golden syrup)

Boil to the soft ball stage (this explains the stages), then mix in "some" butter (your choice how much, it's all for flavor) and a little bit of vanilla (a teaspoon, say). Cool the fudge for a while (20 or 30 minutes) then beat it with a wooden spoon until it begins to harden. Once it starts to harden you have about 3 seconds to get it in to a pan lined with greased tin foil. If you don't care about it being pretty you can beat it in a greased container so you don't have to worry about transferring it as it hardens. If you cooked it too long, it will become a rock. If you didn't cook it long enough, it won't set properly. Sorry the instructions are a little vague - if you need clarification feel free to memail me.
posted by Cygnet at 3:13 PM on December 16, 2010

Sorry, that was REALLY vague. A few things about fudge:
-you really have to keep stirring it the whole time
-it will boil up hugely, you need to use a large pan or else you will have burnt sugar ALL over your stove
-unless you want to be nervously doing the cold water test every 20 seconds, I would HIGHLY recommend a good candy thermometer
-temperature is really important in candymaking; calibrate your thermometer on some boiling water
-when the fudge begins to set and change texture (ie become grainy), it also changes color to a lighter brown; that's a good clue that you need to get it out of the pan FAST
-if it never sets, it makes great ice cream sauce
-if it sets too hard, you can whack it with a hammer and you'll have chocolate hard candies, but if you didn't grease the pan the fudge hardened in you'll have a heck of a time getting it out; i recommend very hot water and lots of soaking
-if it doesn't work perfectly the first time, don't give up - this recipe is worth trying for a second time, and candy-making is a bit finicky. The reason gooey fudge is popular is because you can't screw it up because you don't have to heat sugar to exactly the right temperature.
posted by Cygnet at 3:18 PM on December 16, 2010

Response by poster: By George, Sidhedevil, I think you've got it!! Thanks so much!! That recipe rings a bell in my memory banks, complete with the 6 min cooking time. I can't wait to try it, although I only have 12 oz of chocolate chips at the moment. If I can't bear to wait, I might make a trial half-batch tonight! Thanks to everyone for your efforts and I'll report back on the finished product.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 3:18 PM on December 16, 2010

Although Sidhedevil's fudge recipe is certainly a lovely one, I've actually made that recipe and it doesn't have the grainy crunchy melt-in-your-mouth thing going on like candy-making-type fudge does. Though really, don't let that stop you... can't have too much fudge.
posted by Cygnet at 3:20 PM on December 16, 2010

I too thought it sounded like the fudge we used to make when I was a kid, ie British type fudge. We used to use a recipe from the Dairy Book of Home Cooking, if anyone has a copy and could look up the fudge recipe. It had a bit in here you don't use a thermometer, you just drop a piece of hot mixture in to cold water and see if it sets. We used to make a real mess doing that.
posted by biffa at 7:56 AM on December 17, 2010

Response by poster: I made the Fanny Farmer fudge recipe yesterday and it was easy and exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again Sidhedevil for pointing me in the right direction. Happy Holidays!
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 4:43 PM on December 19, 2010

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