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A Super Easy Recipe for Homemade Chocolate Fudge With Walnuts
So many social events are centered around food!
People love to get together for picnics and barbecues, tailgate parties and birthday parties. We love to gather around holiday tables and share delicious food.
Food may not be the ‘reason’ for a party but food is always central, expected, and sets the tone for any event.
We are all so busy nowadays, and often we rely on restaurant foods or premade meals to put food on the table. Often, the only time we really “pull out the stops” is when we are preparing food to serve for a special event. These are times when we want to show people we really care but putting extra time and effort into the ingredients we bring to the table!
Homemade treats are always popular with family and friends. Who doesn’t enjoy dessert? Below is a recipe for homemade Fudge that has always been a popular dish at our get-togethers. Even though this treat is homemade, this is still a “cheat recipe”, which means that it won’t take a lot of time or special cooking skills to put together.
Nearly everyone loves Fudge, and nearly everyone is going to love you for bringing it to the party!
What Is Fudge?
Fudge is a candy, or confection, quite popular in the United States. The standard ingredients are cream, butter, white granulated sugar and chocolate.
The recipe for “American” Fudge was first popularized at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York in the 1880s when a student brought the recipe with her to school and it spread like wild fire. You can Google "Vassar Fudge" and find the original recipe.
Vassar Fudge was not likely a “new” creation, however, as there are a number of recipes from around the world are very similar to Fudge: Sucre a la Crème (Quebec), Krówki (Poland), and Penuche (Italy), - made with brown sugar, butter and milk.
Chocolate is the “go to” flavor in the U.S., however, other flavors are also popular, such as peanut butter or maple. We also like to add ingredients to our Fudge, such as nuts, toffee, or pieces of cookie or candy, for instance, Oreo cookies or peppermint candies.
What Is So Special About Fudge?
Fudge is very sweet and if made properly, has a very smooth, rich texture. It should not be grainy.
If your Fudge is grainy, it will still taste good, but you will have failed the task!
Making traditional homemade fudge requires cooking the sugar, cream and chocolate, bringing the mixture to a boil, and monitoring it until it reaches what is known as the “soft ball” stage in candy-making (234 to 241°F or 112 to 116 °C).
This requires a thermometer, testing in a glass of water and patience.
You have to know when to let it cook and not stir, and you have to know when to stir until the glss disappears and the candy takes on a matte finish.
This is why there are cheat recipes for making reliably smooth Fudge. The primary “cheat ingredient” is sweetened, condensed milk, which allows the candy maker to bypass the fussier aspects of achieving a smooth product.
Below, is my favorite "go to" fudge recipe. It is quick and easy and always turns out brilliantly.
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 14 ounce can
- 3 cups Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 1/2 m- 12 ounce bags
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 teaspoons vanilla or vanilla extract
- dash table salt
- Line an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan with foil; allow foil to extend over the edges of the pan. Oil the foil with cooking spray or with a small amount of oil and a paper towel or brush.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the chocolate chips with the sweetened condensed milk and salt over low heat. Allow this mixture to become loose and glossy; it will never be a liquid.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and walnuts.
- Spread evenly into the prepared baking pan.
- Chill in refrigerator, two hours or until firm. Remove fudge from pan by lifting foil from pan.
- Cut into squares. We prefer 1-inch squares because this fudge is very rich and larger pieces are “too much”, or so I am told.
Fudge is made for sharing!
A little goes a long way, and even a small piece of Fudge is likely to be more than enough for even the heartiest sweet tooth!
It doesn't refrigerate well and will become grainy if left uneaten for too long, so make a batch to take to a party and share with your family and friends!