Don’t-Give-Up Fudge Recipe: Time & Patience Are the Key to This Chocolate Candy by Terri Kendrick

Don’t-Give-Up Fudge Recipe: Time & Patience Are the Key to This Chocolate Candy

I have a yellowed and worn cookbook that belonged to my great-grandmother, Grace, copyright 1930. Inside the front cover is a recipe for fudge handwritten in pencil in beautiful cursive. My grandmother was always famous for her peanut butter fudge, so I imagined her mother must’ve taught her. I decided Valentine’s Day was a good time for me to grab the torch.

Unfortunately, my first fudge attempt was an epic fail. For a rookie candy maker, this fudge recipe included far too few details, and I ended up with chocolate sauce instead. However, I wasn’t defeated. I went to AllRecipes and found a fudge recipe with similar ingredients but more instruction. This time I got closer – the result was closer to chocolate taffy than chocolate sauce – but it still wasn’t fudge. But the flavor was incredible! I made balls out of part of this taffy-ish mixture and put the rest in a plastic container.

Well, the next morning, my husband dug a spoon into the plastic container and announced that the taffy had transformed overnight into something pretty close to fudge! (I’m sure there’s some scientific explanation, but I prefer to think of it as the magic of cooking!) While I didn't have a full batch and it still wasn’t perfect, I did have something more closely resembling fudge. I counted this as a win!

The lesson I’ve learned is fudge making is not mastered in a day (just ask Willy Wonka!). This decadent candy takes a lot of patience and time, trial and error! Next time, I won’t give up as quickly. And I’ll have bought myself a candy thermometer by then, too!

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Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes plus time to chill 
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 10


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Recipe Notes

  • Achieving the proper temperature is critical to melting the sugar crystals and removing moisture. Some people recommend not reducing the heat all the way to "low" to reach 238 degrees F. Others suggest using less milk.
  • The amount of time to beat the mixture at the end is not defined; however, next time I will beat the heck out of it!
  • If you don't have a candy thermometer (a meat thermometer is not the same), drop a small amount of the mixture into cold water. If it forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from the water and placed on a flat surface, it's at temperature. This didn't work for me, which should have been my first red flag.
  • I did not have an 8x8-inch pan and used a loaf pan instead.

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Before turning on the burner, put sugar and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Add milk and stir well. Set your heat to medium-high and stir the mixture constantly until it starts to boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer until the temperature reaches 238 degrees F, using a candy thermometer. This should take approximately 10 minutes, maybe slightly longer. Do not stir during this time! See Recipe Notes if you don't have a candy thermometer.
  3. Once the mixture has reached this temperature, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool to 110 degrees F. Again, do not stir. Once completely cool, add the butter and vanilla to the fudge, and stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon until the additional ingredients are incorporated and the fudge loses its sheen.
  4. Pour this mixture into a greased 8x8-inch pan and smooth the top.
  5. Let cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator before cutting into squares. This may take overnight. The fudge should have a hard outer surface, which cracks when you cut it, with a soft middle.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 208

Total Fat: 5.5g

Saturated Fat: 3.5g

Cholesterol: 13mg

Sodium: 38mg

Total Carbohydrate: 42.8g

Dietary Fiber: 1.4g

Total Sugars: 40.7g

Protein: 1.2g

Vitamin D: 7mcg

Calcium: 18mg

Iron: 1mg

Potassium: 82mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Elisa Schmitz
I love this story, Terri Kendrick . It often takes much trial and error before getting a recipe right. I also love the origin of this recipe. Grandma recipes are the best (even if it takes time to get them right)! Thank you for sharing with us.

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