Monday, December 18, 2006

Trying a new fudge recipe

White Fudge
Joy of Cooking Copyright 1931, 1936, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1975

Stir in a large heavy pan over medium heat until dissolved:
2 ½ cups sugar
½ cup cultured sour cream
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt

When the mixture begins to boil cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the steam washes down any crystals which may have formed on the sides of the pan. Uncover, reduce heat and cook without stirring to the soft-ball stage, 234 degrees. Pour at once into an electric mixture bowl. Do not scrape the pan. While the mixture is cooling float on top:

2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

In about 1 hour, when cool, beat until the mixture begins to lose it’s gloss. Quickly beat in

¾ cups broken nutmeats (optional)
¼ cup finely cut dried apricots (optional)

Let harden in an 8x8-inch buttered pan. Cut into squares. Store tightly covered.

I had two great, practically fool-proof, fudge recipes (Four Chip Fudge and Peanut Butter Fudge) that needed to be retired due to the nuts and peanuts in them. I could have tried to rework the Four Chip Fudge but if it didn't turn out well, I would have had a huge 13x9-inch pan of bad fudge since that recipe makes a huge batch. I decided to look for all-new recipes.

Let me tell you, it's hard to find nut-free and peanut-free recipes. This recipe for white fudge did call for nuts as an optional ingredient but I didn't use them. I do think this fudge would be better with nuts but it's not bad plain. My original plan was to use dried cherries but they're rather tart and the fudge itself has a bit of tartness from the sour cream so I decided against that at the last minute. Candied cherries might have worked and they would have been pretty but I didn't have any to spare.

Yesterday I told you about the caramel (near) disaster. I wasn't taking a chance with that candy thermometer again so I pulled out the cheapo one and the first batch of this fudge turned out pretty good, albeit a bit skimpy since I didn't add anything to it. It was good enough that I decided to make a second batch. Well, it wasn't until I went to make batch two that I realized I had left the corn syrup and salt out of batch one. I added it to batch two. Batch two turned out too soft. Was it the corn syrup and salt? Did I read the thermometer wrong? Was there a sudden drop in barometric pressure? Do the candy-making gods hate me?

My best guess is that I misread the thermometer. It wasn't soupy or anything, just a bit softer than I think fudge should be. I decided to make dipped vanilla fudge balls out of this batch and as it turns out, I think I preferred the fudge balls to the plain fudge. They were a bit more festive.

From now on, I stick to fudge recipes that use marshmallow creme or marshmallows. My fudge making skills just aren't advanced enough for the old-fashioned recipes.

I also made a (half) batch of Chocolate Chip Brownies for the daycare providers. I like to give them a little something along with a gift card. It's a large center so I try to keep gifts consumable. I used Christmas colored Hershey's Kissables on top, along with the semi-sweet and white chocolate chips, to make them more festive. The great thing about this brownie recipe is that they're not too gooey or too cakey so they can be stacked and transported safely. I used some wax bakery bags I found in the dollar store. Six brownies fit in perfectly.


ThursdayNext said...

Paula, is cultured sour cream different than regular sour cream?

The Cookbook Junkie said...

I think they're the same, Amy. I used the regular, full-fat stuff in this.

Anonymous said...

I Love the balls! Those are SO cute!

Anonymous said...

I thought your white fudge was marshmallows at first! Those would look nice in a package with different fudge flavours... you could also tint it red and green if you wanted to be really festive.

Anonymous said...

The latest Cook's Illustrated has simple 15-minute fusge recipe that uses only semichocolate chips, vanilla, a bit of unsweetened chocolate, baking soda, salt and a can of sweetened condensed milk. No thermometer necessary and everyone who tasted it raved. Lemme know and I can email it.

BTW, I got the F and W Quick FromScratch Chicken cookbook and absolutely loveit!

AJ said...

My kids are also allergic to nuts/peanuts! I enjoy reading the recipes that you are finding that we can enjoy!

contactos madrid said...

Thank you for the post, really useful data.

Unknown said...

My mother first made the "Sour Cream Fudge" around 1952. We had no electric mixer so had to beat it by hand till it lost the gloss. A LOT of work. But it is my favorite fudge. I don't find it tart at all - we've used different dried fruits and didn't think the cherries made it any more tart - in fact, helps cut through the sweetness. We always liked the cherries in it. Shared some with a friend and she wanted the recipe - gave it to her and she called me really upset - she didn't see where, "the chocolate is added or how much, etc." Told her you don't add chocolate to this. It is Sour Cream Fudge, NOT chocolate fudge. "Well, FUDGE means chocolage to her and she's never going to make it again!" Asked if she didn't remember eating it? :Yes - but she thought I had simply forgotten to add the "FUDGE" (chocolate). She ruined it and was super angry with me and never spoke to me again! But we always called it Sour Cream Fudge. It's a family favorite. Sending some to my Aunt for Christmas. She's going to be a happy camper.

Would like to get the 15-minute fudge from Anonymous if she can post it here.