Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Sometimes what seemed like a good idea at the time can come back and haunt you.

When I was in my 20s I began giving homemade fudge at Christmas.  Always from the recipe on the Marshmallow Fluff jar and loaded with sugar and butter.

Over the years, Durkee-Mower adapted their recipe for microwave ovens, eliminating the need to stand at the stove and stir – a good thing – except, if you didn’t pay attention, the mixture would bubble up and spill all over the inside of the microwave.  And, cleaning up that sugary, buttery mess is not fun.

Some years I would entertain the idea of substituting cookies, or buying the fudge, only to reminded by my own family it was a ‘tradition’ and I had to make the fudge. Be careful what traditions you start.  It has been over 30 years now and I’m really tired of making fudge…..

This year I tried a new recipe – with great success. Returned to standing at the stove and stirring – and using a candy thermometer.  To my surprise the process was not as bad as I recalled. And, I discovered that I prefer the taste of this fudge recipe to the Fluff one. Just don’t tell my friends at Durkee-Mower….

Chocolate-Walnut Fudge

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
½ cup half and half
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate bits
½ cups chopped walnuts

Lightly butter an 8-inch square pan.
In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, half and half, and salt. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Brush down any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in hot water.  Boil for 2 ½ minutes and then stir in the chocolate until melted and well blended. Continue to boil, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 234 degrees F, 7 to 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool until almost room temperature or 110 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the fudge until the color dulls and the fudge is creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the walnuts by hand.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and refrigerate until firm, about 6 hours. Cut into 2 inch  pieces.

Makes 16, 2 inch bars.

1 comment:

  1. Now I want fudge! I'll have to try this one on vacation in August. Thanks, Nancy!
    -- Sarah SSM