Milk, milk, lemonade.
Round the corner, fudge is made.
Instantly, I had an uncontrollable urge for fudge. Imagine that. Here it is the beginning of summer, and I am craving an ultra-fatty confection that I typically associate with the Holidays.
Is this what is meant by Christmas in July? Highly doubtful, but it's an excuse for fudge, isn't it? Taking the old rhyme to heart, I popped around the corner to see where the fudge was made.
Sadly, whoever made up that charming little bit of nonsense does not live in my neighborhood. There isn't any fudge being made for public consumption within a mile of my apartment. If these alleged fudge-makers were perhaps making it in the privacy of their own homes, I was uncertain as to which doors I should knock upon.
Asking total strangers for fudge just seems a bit of an imposition in my book, so I decided to just go ahead and whip up a batch myself.
Hazelnut Fantasy Fudge
This is an adaptation of Elise Bauer's father's favorite fudge recipe. Now, I know neither Ms. Bauer nor her father, so I don't think they would be too upset if I changed things up a little, since it is highly unlikely that they will be consuming any of it. Rather than the traditional walnuts, I've instead added hazelnuts, since they are my current nut-of-choice. And I have halved the recipe, since the idea of having three pounds of fudge on my hands gave me a phantom sugar headache.
The addition of marshmallow-- specifically marshmallow creme-- even more specifically Kraft® Marshmallow Creme-- makes this particular style of fudge "Fantasy Fudge." Apart from, say, Chuck Berry, I can't think of a single person who would ever entertain fudge fantasies, but there you have it. Fantasy Fudge it is, and Fantasy Fudge it will remain.
Sort of. Not only is there a paucity of fudge makers in my neighborhood, but hunting down a jar of marshmallow creme turned out to be a royal pain in the place 'round the corner, too. So, for this recipe, I made my own "creme" by melting down marshmallows gently over the steaming heat of a double boiler. It worked very well. If you cannot find marshmallow creme, I suggest you do the same.
Makes about 1 1/2 pounds of delicious fudge. You can more than likely squeeze about 40 chunks out, if you cut them into little, bit-sized squares.
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/3 cup evaporated milk
A pinch of salt
1/2 pound semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or in chip form, if you're into that kind of thing
4 oz marshmallow creme (about one half a jar)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of chopped, toasted hazelnuts
1. Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan. Butter the pan to prevent future sticking. Make certain you have everything chopped, measured, and ready to go. You really don't want to be caught with your pants down when making fudge, believe me.
2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan (3 qt. is excellent), bring sugar, milk, salt, and butter to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Let the mixture come to a boil, stirring all the while to prevent burning. When it reaches the much-desired temperature of 234°F, remove from the heat and immediately stir in chocolate and marshmallow creme. Incorporate all ingredients until uniform in color, then add vanilla and hazelnuts. Fold in nuts.
3. Pour hot fudge into your prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Refrigerate for about two hours before serving. Or let set at room temperature for much, much longer than that. Your call.
4. When the fudge has a nice, firm texture, run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan, invert onto a cutting board and cut into desired pieces.
5. To serve, pick up a small piece and raise it to mouth level. Open mouth, insert fudge, close mouth, and chew. It's really that easy.
If you do not trust yourself with so much fudge around the house, I suggest you pack some for your friends. They'll thank you for it later, believe me.