(Picture courtesy of jules at wikipedia commons.)
Since I’m out of town, I thought I’d leave you with a recipe for something I have never been any good at making.
In the faraway days as a kid, I tried using the method of dropping the small drop of cooking fudge mixture into cold water to test it. I should have used a thermometer, probably. My fudge always came out too soft, and since then I’ve used a mix that comes in a box, that never fails.
If you want to have the real thing, buy first rate ingredients, and go for it.
2 3/4 cups sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped, roasted nuts, optional
Grease an 8 by 8-inch pan with butter. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, chocolate, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter, half-and-half, and corn syrup. Over medium heat, stir with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and boil for 3 minutes. Remove the cover and attach a candy thermometer to the pot. Cook until the thermometer reads 234 degrees F. Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter. Do not stir. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes or until it drops to 130 degrees F. Add vanilla and nuts, if desired, and mix until well-blended and the shiny texture becomes matte. Pour into the prepared pan. Let sit in cool dry area until firm. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Candy making is perfect for Easter candies, particularly, and friends and family will appreciate that you went to the trouble to do this for them.
Of course, if it all goes wrong you can still get to the store and get something made by the expert candy makers. Then ‘fudge’ and roll up the failed candy into a big sundae, cover with whipped cream. A cherry on top is just right, too.
Save some for me!