Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fudge, Sweet Sweet Fudge

Fudge is a labor of love, but nothing quite compares to that dense chocolatey goodness. As I like to do, I will give you a basic recipe and then my favorite variation. Fudge is best served with a good earthy coffee, like Sumatran or Sulawesi, Indonesians are your best bet. Alternatively, a full bodied Pinot Noir is also excellent, I recommend something from the Willamette Valley, especially Chateau Benoit. Not pricey, they have yet to turn out a bottle of wine that I dislike.

Basic Fudge

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
12 squares of baker's semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme
1 tsp vanilla

In large saucepan on medium heat sugar, butter, and milk to a full rolling boil. Stir constantly. Continue at full boil about 4 minutes (234 degrees F on candy thermometer). Remove from heat and stir in chocolate, vanilla, and marshmallow creme until melted and thoroughly combined. Pour IMMEDIATELY into foil lined 9 inch square pan. Cool at room temperature 4 hours. Cut into squares.

Tango Fudge

Ok, there is an inside joke here which accounts for the name, but this is basically an espresso fudge. To the above recipe add:

2 tbsp espresso grind (or really finely ground) coffee (espresso roast is best)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

stir in at the same point you stir in the vanilla. It's nice to mark those fudge squares out with a coffee bean. Let me also share a bit of hard earned wisdom: do not under any circumstances give this flavor of fudge to a toddler. Ok, unless your aim is for a sleepless night. Duly warned.

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