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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Fantasy Fudge Fix

I've been testing a couple of popular fudge recipes.  One is super easy and uses sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips and that's about it. The other is called Fantasy Fudge. In addition to using chocolate chips it uses cane sugar, evaporated milk,  marshmallow cream,  lots of butter, and you have to boil it. Not as easy. Both have probably been around for decades .  After taste testing both,  most of my taste testers like the boiled fudge better. I don't know how to describe it exactly, but it just has a  more complex  and in-depth flavor.  Maybe caramel undertones from the boiled butter, sugar, milk mix add to its deliciousness.  If you are in a hurry and you want something super simple,  I would go with the chocolate chips added to the sweetened condensed milk recipes out there.  ***This post is not one of those recipes.***

Fantasy Fudge has been made for decades. I'm new to the fudge making world. That being said, I'm not new to the tweaking or doctoring almost-every-recipe-I-try world. The original FF recipe calls for 3 cups of sugar and semi-sweet chocolate chips in addition to everything else. I believe almost every recipe online has too much sugar. Especially recipes from the 1960s and 70s and earlier. So after  changing the amount of sugar multiple times, adding salt, not adding salt,  adding more butter, and adding less butter, here is my final version which I call Fantasy Fudge, Fixed.  Everyone I have given it to loves it. I see them going back for more so I know they're  not just trying to spare my delicate feelings. No one can believe I cut out 3/4 of a cup of sugar from the original recipe and used dark chocolate chips instead because it is still sweet fudge. In my version of this old recipe you can actually taste the chocolate!!!   Try it and you will be a believer.  So says the Fudge Doctor!!

2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1.5 sticks (12 T or 3/4 cup) of salted butter.
5 oz of evaporated milk. Not sweetened condensed.
12 oz dark chocolate chips (About 2 measuring cups full.) I use Ghirardelli 60% cocoa chips and then need to open up a second bag because their bags only have 10 oz.
7 oz jar of marshmallow cream or the equivalent in mini marshmallows.
1/2 to 1 teaspoon flavored extracts if you want to flavor it. I would start with 1/2 t and taste test for strength.
I have used peppermint and orange.

Do a heads:
To make it easy and so you don't have to run around at the last minute, follow these preliminary steps.
Have a 9 or 8 inch baking pan lined with nonstick foil ready-remember the non-stick side is the dull side.
Open up your jar of marshmallow cream and empty it into a large-sized mixing bowl.
Measure out your chocolate chips into a separate bowl and set them near your stovetop.
Before adding anything to the saucepan, butter the sides and all the way up to the top of a medium-sized saucepan to help prevent sugar crystals from forming when boiling the milk butter sugar mixture.
Have a candy thermometer ready. Or be prepared to guess at the boiling time of between 5 and 7 minutes. It needs to be soft ball stage.
Have your mixer ready or be prepared to beat the fudge by hand with a heavy big spoon for at least a minute. The fudge will be thick so prepare to use muscles.

1. In a medium sized saucepan melt the butter, granulated sugar, and milk together over medium low heat while slowly stirring. Once the sugar and butter are completely melted increase heat to medium. You don't want to bring it up to a rapid boil too fast or it will burn.

2.  Being careful NOT to scrape the sides of the pan, stir the mixture until it begins a rapid boil. Once it begins a rapid boil, constantly continue to stir carefully, making sure not to scrape the sides, for about 5 to 6 minutes. It always takes me closer to 6 and 1/2 minutes, but I use my candy thermometer to get the temperature up to 234 degrees.

3.  Once the correct consistency or temp of 234 of the boiled mixture has been reached, remove it from the heat and stir the chocolate chips into the mixture in the saucepan trying NOT to scrape the sides of the pan. Stir quickly because you want the mixture to remain hot (in order to melt the marshmallow cream later). It should look thick and grainy.

4.Once the chips are fully incorporated, quickly with a spatula and remembering NOT to scrape the sides of the pot , scrape the chocolate out of the pot into the bowl with marshmallow cream. Give it a quick stir from the bottom up so you can get the marshmallow cream up from the bottom.  Add any extracts now.  Then beat with a mixer for about 1 minute or until it doesn't look too shiny anymore.  I use my hand held mixer.

5.  Quickly pour or use your spatula to get the thickened chocolate fudge mixture out of the bowl and into your non-stick foil lined pan. Use a frosting spatuala or some other utensil to spread it out and flatten it out.

I usually let mine set up in a cool room and it takes about 2 hours. You can quicken that setting-up time by covering the fudge and putting it into the refrigerator.
When cutting the fudge, make sure to check that the foil doesn't stick to the bottom of the fudge pieces. Sometimes mine does and I have to peel the foil away.  It peels away easily.