Homemade fudge has been one of those things that I’ve failed miserably at making. Sure, I’ve successfully made 4-ingredient fudge, Funfetti cake batter fudge, mint chocolate fudge, peppermint cookies and cream fudge and peppermint chunk fudge. But let’s be honest here. Those are all “cheater’s fudge,” which uses sweetened condensed milk as the base. Don’t get me wrong – I love those recipes and would make them again in a heartbeat, but I just haven’t successfully made any fudge that required a candy thermometer.
I tried peanut butter fudge but they turned out grainy and dry. I needed to prove to myself that I could actually make this candy successfully. I found Martha Stewart’s recipe and saw that she asks for the fudge mixture to rest before beating. The reason for this is to allow the sugar crystals to relax. When I made the peanut butter fudge, I whipped the mixture too quickly after it hit soft ball stage that the sugar crystals seized up and made my fudge grainy. So why not give Martha’s recipe a try? I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
Halleujah – my fudge turned out! It was soft, full of chocolate flavor and had just enough chew but also melted in your mouth. You’re probably wondering how it tasted compared to the other fudges that use sweetened condensed milk. Well, it’s less sweet and has a more authentic flavor, if that makes sense. Martha’s fudge definitely tasted like a homemade candy since it was slightly more pliable.
I’d still happily eat any fudge that came across my way, but it’s so satisfying knowing that I made this without any shortcuts. Maybe now I’ll have the confidence to try other types of non-cheater fudge. Maybe.
Martha's chocolate fudge
- 1 Tablespoon cold unsalted butter plus more for greasing the pan
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped finely
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Place the slab of butter in a large bowl and set in the refrigerator.
- Generously grease and/or line a standard 8x8 inch square pan. Set aside.
- In a medium heavy saucepan, mix together the chopped chocolate, sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup and salt. Put the saucepan on medium-low heat and keep mixing constantly until the sugar has dissolved (about 10 minutes).
- Increase the heat to medium and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Stop mixing at this stage. Allow the mixture to come up to a boil and hit 238 degrees F (soft ball stage).
- Once the temperature reaches 238 degrees F, immediately transfer it to the large bowl with the butter. Gently pour the mixture on top of the butter but do not stir! Also, do not scrape the bits of mixture from the bottom of the saucepan into the bowl. Clip the candy thermometer on the large bowl and allow the chocolate mixture to decrease to 110 degrees F. This will take about 1 and 1/2 hours.
- Once the mixture has cooled to 110 degrees F, remove the candy thermometer and begin stirring the mixture with a rubber or silicone spatula. Keep mixing and increasing your speed until the chocolate thickens and loses its shine (about 4-5 minutes).
- Transfer the mixture to your prepared square pan and use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Allow the fudge to cool on a wire rack for about an hour before covering with plastic wrap and transferring to the refrigerator for another 8 hours.
- Once the fudge has set, cut into 64 one-inch squares and serve