Sunday, November 14, 2010

grandpa's fudge . . .

I took a little flack for posting this picture in my Holiday Traditions, Part 1 post, without posting a recipe! So I decided that would be a great blog entry for today. But with it comes a little history . . .

When my grandpa retired from the Department of Agriculture, my grandma retired from the kitchen. Mostly because he had moved into it! He loved to experiment with recipes, and often made a recipe over and over until he'd gotten it just the way he liked it. I do believe that it is from grandpa that I get my penchant for cookbooks and kitchen gadgets!

The fudge recipe was one that he worked with and tweaked for quite some time before he got it just how he liked it. I can remember him making a batch in his kitchen, not being quite happy with the way it set, and starting a whole new batch. I was so happy to be there that day. I was his chief taste tester -- it all tasted good to me!

When I was ready to make the fudge on my own, I pulled out the Better Homes & Gardens cook book I'd seen him pull out, and proceeded. I could never, never get my fudge quite right. It was good, but it just wasn't grandpa's. It wasn't until after he passed away that I got a copy of his 'tweaked' recipe, as he'd dictated it to my sister. Ah, what a world of difference it made!

Grandpa's Fudge

2 squares (2 oz.) bittersweet baker's chocolate
1 tablespoon Karo syrup light
3/4 cup whole milk (do not substitute skim)
2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 full teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts - walnuts, pecans, etc. (optional)

Butter the sides and bottom of a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Over low heat, melt chocolate. Add karo syrup and milk. Stir until well blended. Increase heat to medium and add sugar, stirring until sugar completely dissolves. Increase heat to medium high and bring to boil, stirring frequently. When mix begins to boil, add candy thermometer. Boil mix until temperature registers 236 degrees Fahrenheit (softball stage). Stir occasionally. At 236 degrees, remove from heat and allow temperature to cool to 160 degrees. Do not disturb during the cooling process! At 160 degrees, add butter and vanilla. Remove thermometer and add nuts. Beat until candy just loses its gloss. Quickly pour into a 8"X8" pan and smooth. Score while warm.

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I admit that it took me a couple of tries before I got the end part right -- beating it until it lost its gloss, and getting it into the pan and smoothed out before it set! But, just like the old days, I didn't mind the practice it took to make perfect -- and neither did my children!

Bon appetit!


3 expressed . . .:

Pat said...

Oh, my....SO tempting!

june at noon said...

My dad created his own fudge recipe once upon a time, and it's still a family favorite. It's a nice way to remember him now that he's gone. :)

Paula and Mel said...

Oh Thank you, Denise! I shall enjoy this and think of you with each bite. I think the 20 pounds I just lost are gonna find there way back!