Monday, February 15, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: Heaven on a Plate

When I was growing up it would not be unusual to see Dad in the kitchen after dinner, after the dishes were done, cooking up a batch of fudge. He’s not one for baking, and although he and Mom are getting to be quite the adventurous cooks these days, fudge is still his specialty. This isn’t a complicated recipe; in fact, it’s one that he remembers his mother making. The recipe used to be on the back of all the Hershey’s cocoa packages; why on earth did they take it off?  I always thought everyone served fudge on a plate. In case you haven’t, it’s a nice use for that pretty plate/platter in your china cabinet. Your late night chocolate cravings have met their match!
Dad’s Fudge
2/3 c. cocoa
3 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. butter
1 t. vanilla
1 c. pecans (I know. I should have called this “chocolate and pecan month”!)
Mix cocoa, sugar, and salt in a heavy duty saucepan. Stir to get rid of all the lumps. Stir in milk and bring to boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue a slow boil. Keep the heat low enough to prevent boiling over. If you have a candy thermometer, you are aiming for 235 degrees (soft ball stage.)  We like to use a wooden spoon for stirring. While you’re waiting, you can keep yourself busy: butter a platter or plate, fill your sink halfway with cold water, get a coffee cup out and fill it with cold water, get the pecans, butter, and vanilla out.
When the temperature is 235, a small bit dropped into the cup of cold water will form a ball that holds together when taken out of the water. Turn the heat down to low and add the butter, pecans, and vanilla to the fudge. Return to a boil (turn the heat up a little and stir – it’s ok.) Next, put the pan in the sink of cold water and stir, stir, stir. Give that wooden spoon a workout! When the fudge becomes noticeably firmer, pour onto the plate/platter and let harden.
It’s pretty, but it’s empty. Let’s give it a purpose in life, shall we?
pot in sink
The star of this show. Oh Hershey – One of these days I’m coming back to visit!
pot on stove
Just beginning to heat up. Stove, pot, spoon – don’t you love simple recipes?
fudge in sink
Cooling off in the sink. Look how shiny it is once the butter is incorporated!
more fudge
Beautiful! (And delicious!)


Nola @ the Alamo said...

I love that old fashioned cooked fudge. All the quickie recipes they have out now just don't measure up!

Cassandra Frear said...

I think I understand your blog theme better now. You come from a long line of chocolate lovers, don't you? The fudge looks and sounds wonderful, BTW.

southerninspiration said...

I'm not sure about that until I taste should probably invite me over to taste it next time you make I can vouch for it, you know??? :D


Renee @ AddMoreChocolate said...

Hmm....Suzanne, I think we need a pajama party and fudge night. We don't have to wait another year for a womens'retreat do we??

Cassandra, I have more chocolate loving relatives to introduce!

Nola, I couldn't agree more :-)

LoneStarLifer Paula said...

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PS-It may cost me alot of calories to be your blogging friend!

Kim @Denim and Curls said...

The name of your blog caught my eye...and my taste buds. I found you on Texas Blogging gals and I really liked your blog so I am going to follow you. :o) Kim