Chocolate Fudge

We bought our house and moved to the town where we currently live a little over 2 years ago. Slowly, we’re discovering all of the fun local events, stores, restaurants, etc. One of our first discoveries was a local orchard/farm stand. The orchard holds numerous events each fall and we’ve attended at least one each year. If you ask Shane, he’d tell you that his favorite part about the trip to the orchard is the stop in the store to buy fudge. Though I bake plenty of treats around here, fudge is not one of them so this orchard fudge is a real treat!

Chocolate Fudge

A few weeks ago I saw a fudge recipe in the latest issue of Fine Cooking and I thought maybe I’d give it a shot so fudge didn’t have to be just a once a year treat for Shane. I’ve been talking about making it since then (just ask my buddies on Twitter – I’m sure they were sick of hearing about it). Finally, I got in the kitchen and made it this weekend and now I’m not sure why I waited so long – it really wasn’t very tricky. The instructions provided by Fine Cooking are explicit and clear so I don’t think you can go wrong. I’m not someone who enjoys fudge all that much, but I thought this fudge was tasty plus it had a very creamy and smooth texture! Of course, the only opinion that really mattered was Shane’s and he gave the fudge an enthusiastic thumbs up too! The fudge keeps for a week or more at room temperature so it’s a great make ahead treat for the holidays if you’re looking for ideas.

I did run into one issue with this recipe and I’m hoping more experienced fudge makers can help me out! After I poured my fudge into the baking pan to set, tons of air bubbles formed on the surface. Is that normal? If not, what can I do to avoid it? Thanks!

Creamy Chocolate Fudge
from Fine Cooking, December 2009/January 2010

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
3 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon table salt

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan (I used a 3 qt this time & it was ok but a 4 qt would be even better), combine the sugar, cream, chocolate, corn syrup, and salt and stir with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until the ingredients are moistened. Stirring gently and constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, 7 to 12 minutes. Cover the saucepan and let the steam clean the sides of the pan for 2 minutes.

Spray a candy thermometer with cooking spray and then clip it to the pot, being careful not to let the tip of the thermometer touch the bottom of the pot, or you might get a false reading. Let the mixture boil without stirring until it reaches 236 F to 238 F, 2 to 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and add the butter, but do not stir it into the mixture. Set the pan on a rack in a cool part of the kitchen. Don’t disturb the pan in any way until the mixture has cooled to 110 F, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two opposite sides of the pan. Butter the foil. Set the pan aside.

Remove the thermometer from the fudge mixture. Using a hand mixer, beat the mixture on high speed until it is a few shades lighter in color and thickens enough that the beaters form trails that briefly expose the bottom of the pan as they pass through, 10 to 20 minutes. Pour the thickened fudge into the prepared pan, using a rubber spatula to help nudge it out of the pot. You can scrape the bottom of the pot but not the sides; any crystals that stick to the pot stay in the pot. Smooth the top of the fudge with the spatula. Set the pan on a rack and let the fudge cool completely, about 2 hours. The fudge will be slightly soft the day it’s made but will firm up overnight.

Turn the fudge out onto a clean cutting board and peel off the foil. Turn the slab of fudge right side up and cut it into 25 equal pieces.

The fudge will keep for a week to 10 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.