Have you ever made Old-Fashion Fudge? Well until this past week, I have to admit that I didn’t even really know what was involved or what it meant for fudge to be called “Old-Fashion Fudge”. The only fudge I had ever made was ones with tag lines like “3 ingredient fudge” or “5 minute fudge”.
But Old-Fashion Fudge is very different from those other fudges. There is no marshmallow fluff. No sweetened condensed milk. No powdered sugar. Instead, there is time, careful monitoring of the temperature and A LOT of stirring. But the results are certainly worth it. Because the consistency and texture of Old-Fashion Fudge is leaps and bounds above those other quick and easy recipes, which can sometimes have a rubbery quality that isn’t particularly appealing.
The trickiest part of this process is cooking the fudge to the right temperature (soft ball stage) and then NOT touching it until it cools way down. Then you stir. A lot. I had to stir for about 20 minutes to achieve the right consistency (the fudge should turn from glossy to matte). Thank you Lindsay for issuing this Kitchen Challenge and giving me an awesome upper body workout! But don’t over stir. If you stir too long, the fudge will seize up on you. So pay close attention!
I used a combination of coffee and vanilla extracts here, but if you prefer, you could certainly use all vanilla extract. Or bookmark these for next Christmas and use a little bit of peppermint extract for a Holiday treat.
Recipe slightly adapted from Alton Brown
- For the Fudge
- 2 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (also called baking chocolate)
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. coffee extract
- Sea salt
- Special Equipment
- Candy or instant read thermometer
- In a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, unsweetened chocolate, 2 tablespoons of the butter, the half and half and the corn syrup. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is melted and the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, place a lid on your saucepan and let it boil with the lid on for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes, remove the lid and attach your thermometer. Cook the fudge, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 234 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Do not stir. Just drop in the butter. Let the fudge cool to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not stir it during this time. It may take anywhere from 20-40 minutes to reach the desired temperature, depending on the heat retaining capabilities of your saucepan and the temperature of your kitchen. So monitor the temperature closely during this time.
- While you are waiting for the fudge to cool, prepare your pan. Line an 8 X 8 baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving some overhanging at the edges. Spray it generously with non-stick cooking spray (or coat the aluminum foil with butter). Set aside.
- Once the fudge has reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit, add the extracts. Stir with a wooden spoon until the texture of the fudge turns from glossy to matte. You want to stir fairly vigorously, as this will result in a smoother final product. I had to stir for 20-25 minutes to achieve the desired consistency. Once you reach a matte consistency, quickly transfer the fudge to your prepared baking pan and spread it out evenly. Cover and refrigerate until the fudge is firm and set.
- Once the fudge has set, remove it from the baking pan using the overhanging aluminum foil to lift it out. Cut the fudge into small squares. Sprinkle with sea salt. The fudge can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week.
1. If you want to add chopped roasted nuts or dried fruit, stir them in quickly right before you are about to transfer the fudge to your greased 8 X 8 pan.