One of my favorite chefs, for several reasons, is Alton Brown. Once on his television show, Good Eats, he taught us how to make chocolate fudge. I knew I had to give his recipe a go.
Fudge is a type of confectionery dating back to the late 19th Century in Baltimore, Maryland. Fudge is made by mixing sugar, butter and milk, heating it to around 240F (116C), then stirring the mixture as it cools so it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency. You can add fruits, nuts, and candies if you want to.
“Hey! What about the chocolate?” Yeah yeah. I hear you. Now you are asking about American-style fudge and yes, that does contain chocolate. Here is another thing that is interesting, and a fact that makes baking and dessert making so much fun- Alton’s chocolate fudge recipe changes things up a bit. Instead of milk, he rocks the half-and-half.
So… on with the show.
22 ounces sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1) Lube up an 8 by 8-inch pan with butter or spray then line it with parchment paper.
(Here is a fancy trick Alton taught on his show. Make the parchment larger than the pan and cut diagonal slits at the corners of the ‘extra’ paper as noted in the photo. It makes folding the extra paper over the cooling chocolate fudge a bit easier.)
This is also a good time to fill a large pan or bowl with a couple of inches of room temperature water.
2) In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, chocolate, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter, half-and-half, and corn syrup. Over medium heat, stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is fully dissolved and the chocolate is completely melted. Increase the heat and bring to a boil.
3) Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and boil for 3 minutes.
4) Remove the cover and attach a candy thermometer to the pot. Cook until the thermometer reads 234F.
5) Remove from the heat, gently place the pot in the pan of room temperature water and add the remaining butter. Do not stir yet. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes or until it drops to 110F.
6) Add vanilla. If you are adding nuts, this is the time and mix until it is all well-blended and the shiny texture becomes matte.
7) Pour into the prepared pan. Fold the excess parchment paper we made in Step 1 over the top of the fudge and let sit in a cool dry area until firm.
8) Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
I think 1 inch pieces is pretty good. This chocolate fudge is rather sweet and some of your friends may prefer a small size. Me? I go with Depeche Mode when they sang “Everything counts in large amounts” but that’s just me.
After all, it’s a competitive world…