Brown sugar fudge. Recipe is easily doubled and can be frozen.
- Yield: 1 pound of fudge
- 1 cup white sugar, granulated
- 1 cup light brown sugar, firm pack
- ½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 3 tbsp molasses (This is to taste. The original recipe called for 4 tsp of molasses.)
- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1½ tsp vanilla
- ½ cup chopped nuts, optional
- Pre-warm the thermometer in hot water; use a 2-quart saucepan; butter the upper sides (inside) of the saucepan; measure all ingredients except the vanilla and optionals, and dump into the saucepan.
- Grease and if necessary, line a 5 x 10-inch pan.
- Fill glass with ice cubes and water and the sink with ½ inch of cold water.
- Dissolve the sugar, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, over low heat until the butter melts, the gritty sounds cease, and the spoon glides smoothly over the bottom of the pan.
- Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil.
- Boil, after washing down any crystals that may have formed, with a pastry brush dipped in hot water from the thermometer bath, using as little water as possible.
- Introduce the pre-warmed thermometer.
- Reduce the heat while keeping the fudge at a boil.
- Stir no more than necessary.
- Test the fudge mixture in the ice-cold water when the mixture thickens and bubbles become noisy.
- Ball, formed in ice water, should hold its shape until the heat from your had begins to flatten it and should be al dente -- slightly chewy -- between 230°F and 240°F.
- Because of the molasses and brown sugar, it can ball at a lower temperature than some other fudges.
- Shock by placing the saucepan in the cold water in the sink.
- Seed by adding, without stirring, the vanilla.
- Then allow to cool.
- Stir when luke warm and "skin" forms on the top (110°F).
- Return the thermometer to its hot water bath to soak clean.
- Stir the fudge thoroughly but not vigorously by hand, with an electric mixer, or with a food processor.
- Pause frequently to allow the fudge to react.
- Watch for the fudge to thicken, lose its sheen, and become lighter in color or streaked with lighter shade, give off some heat, suddenly stiffen.
- If mixing by had, the fudge will "snap" with each stroke; by mixer, mixer waves will become very distinct, by food processor, fudge will flow sluggishly back to the center when the processor is stopped.
- Add the optionals (½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts (filberts)) before the fudge totally candies.
- Pour, score, and store when cool in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
- Honey brown sugar fudge: in step 1, eliminate the unsweetened chocolate and replace the molasses with ¼ cup of honey. The honey causes the fudge to ball at a higher temperature.
- Chocolate honey brown sugar fudge: in step 1, replace the heavy cream with light cream or evaporated milk and replace the molasses with ¼ cup of honey.
- Orange brown sugar fudge: in step 1, eliminate molasses, chocolate but add 1 tbsp corn syrup. In step 14, add 1 tsp grated orange zest, plus if you can get it, 1 tsp of pure orange extract.
- Peanut butter brown sugar fudge: in step 1, eliminate the molasses and chocolate, replace the heavy cream with ¼ cup of milk and ¼ cup of creamy peanut butter. To intensify the peanut butter flavor, add ⅓ of a cup of salted peanuts in step 6.
- Praline brown sugar fudge: in step 1, eliminating the molasses is optional -- you'll get a more southern praline with it, a milder one without it--or compromise and use only 1 tsp. Eliminate the chocolate. In step 6, when the mixture begins to thicken, add 1½ cups of pecan halves slowly so as not to break the boil or cool the mixture too quickly.
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