'Fudge' is one of those great food words that seems to perfectly describe itself. When I say the word 'fudge' I immediately think thick, rich, sugary goodness. I've not made a lot of fudge over the years; I don't tend to do a lot of candy type baking/cooking, but when plotting out our must- make holiday treats last week D. suggested we try to make fudge. He was specifically thinking of his grandfather's fudge, which used to be sent to us every Christmas, homemade from Hugh's kitchen in Kenora.
I got the recipe for Hugh's Fudge from my MIL, who had it written down as dictated over the phone years ago. It comes with a few warnings (use a heavy pan, don't stop stirring, keep it at a high heat, it burns quickly) so we were prepared to have to work for our fudge.
First our equipment. We used the heaviest pot we have, which is actually my roasting pan. I wanted to use it for a couple of reasons. It's a Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick roasting pan and when it says 'nonstick' it means it. I swear we've roasted turkeys in the thing and clean up could have been accomplished with a paper towel. Whatever the nonstick surface is made of (which is likely shortening my life span) it means business. So I figured if we did end up with a sticky mess we would at least be able to to clean the pot without too much trouble. Also it is heavy, so I hoped the heat would distribute more evenly then in one of my regular saucepans. Happily my new oven has multiple burner sizes; in fact it has a front burner option that is way larger than the one on my old oven, big enough to accomodate most of the roasting pan.
Here is how things looked once we had combined all of our ingredients and turned up the heat, stirring, stirring, stirring:
And here it is after we had poured it into a dish to set. After about 2-3 minutes I started to cut it, another recipe directive: it's easier to cut when it is slightly soft:
I will admit to having tasted the fudge during several stages of its development. At this stage, it tasted exactly like a Kraft Caramel. Chewier than the fudge D. remembered. As the fudge cooled and set the texture became more granular, and therefore familiar, to D.'s tastebuds. Here is the final product:
We are definitely going to have to gift some of this fudge. It is seriously delicious and I could eat every single square myself, if challenged to do so. Go ahead - dare me.
1 can Eagle Brand Milk
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
5 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Heat on stove at a high temperature 20 minutes, stirring constantly (we started at about an 8, reduced to a 6 and ended up at a 4). Take off the heat and add 1/2 tsp vanilla, continuing to stire 2-3 minutes. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan (we used a Pyrex dish). Let cool; cut fudge before it gets too hard (3-4 minutes after you pour it into the pan).