Wednesday, January 30, 2013

MeeMaw's Fudge

My grandmother (MeeMaw) made the best fudge.  It is not a marshmallow type fudge that you can find in candy shops or on the back of the marshmallow puff jars.  It is a harder fudge that most people don't make.  The recipe has been passed down and I now make it for my children.  Hopefully, my children will make it for their children one day.

The fudge is only made in the winter months and typically served with popcorn.  I normally pick one of the colder weather nights to make this special treat. 

My mother will make the fudge for Christmas.  Everyone loves fudge!  The only problem is some like their fudge with nuts and others without.  So, the solution is to fix two batches - one with and one without!

MeeMaw's Fudge

3 c White Granulated Sugar
1 c Milk (2% or whole works best)
3 heaping tbs cocoa powder
1 tbs Light Karyo Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tbs butter
1 c chopped pecans (optional)
wooden spoon 

I forgot to snap a picture before the kids took their share.
Take a dinner plate and using stick butter, rub the butter over the entire plate.  This will keep the fudge from sticking to the plate.  This is job the kids love to do.

In a large pot, add the sugar, milk, cocoa powder, light karyo syrup.  Cook on medium heat and stir constantly with the wooden spoon.  (Not really sure why a wooden spoon, but that is what has always been used.  Keeping the tradition alive!)

The ingredients will liquify and slowly start to boil.  Make sure you continue to stir.  Slowly the mixture will begin to rise in the pot.  You may need to turn the heat down at this time, if the mixture is reaching the top of the pot.  Continue to stir.

Slowly, the mixture will begin to come back down and start to thicken.  As the mixture starts to thicken, you will need to do the water ball test.  Fill a small coffee mug with cold water.  Using the wooden spoon, collect a small amount of fudge and dribble into the mug.  If the fudge forms a soft ball in the mug, remove the fudge from the heat.  If not, continue to stir and test again after a minute.  Use fresh cold water for each test.  Continue testing until the soft ball is formed.

After the fudge is removed from the heat, add the butter and vanilla extract.  My grandmother and mother would then beat the fudge in the pot it cooked in.  (Beating the fudge means that you take the wooden spoon and angle the pot with the fudge mixture inside it.  Then slowly you whip the fudge with the spoon.  This allows the air to cool the fudge.  This takes time and is a great arm workout!)  I prefer to transfer my hot fudge into a large stainless steel mixing bowl.  This speeds the beating process to set the fudge.  The heat of the original pot is gone and the thin wall of the mixing bowl allows better heat transfer.

Add the nuts to the fudge at this point, if you want nuts.

The hot fudge has a glossy appearance.  As the fudge is beat, it looses its gloss.  You will know it is time to pour the fudge on the plate when the gloss diminishes and the fudge starts to thicken.  This is a learned process.  If you pour to soon, the fudge will not set well.  If you pour to late, you will not be able to spread the fudge. 

The best part of fudge making was getting to lick the fudge spoon.  My children love this part, so I always leave a bit of fudge in the bowl.  I give one child the fudge spoon and the other child the bowl.  This is what makes memories!

Yummy, fudge and popcorn for a cold winter night's treat.