It’s fall, which means there’s a new crop of fresh apples coming ripe. We’re especially spoiled to have such great apples here in Washington, the nation’s biggest apple producer. If you’re looking for something different to do with all those apples, why not try Apple Pie Fudge? This recipe uses applesauce, so if you want to go the easy route you can buy a jar of it, or you can certainly make your own.
Apple Pie Fudge
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans (optional)
Grease a 9×9 pan (or line it with parchment paper). In a medium saucepan, bring the applesauce, butter, evaporated milk, sugar, and salt to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil the mixture to the softball stage, 234-240°. Stir constantly to avoid scorching. Remove from the heat and mix in the remaining ingredients. Pour the fudge into the prepared pan and let it sit for several hours until cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
You can also drizzle the fudge with caramel or stir in dried fruit or raisins.
As good as it is by itself, fudge can be more than just fudge. Once your box arrives you can do several different things with it. Most of the time people just eat it as is, but a little creativity can enhance the experience. One of my favorite ways to enjoy fudge is melted and poured over ice cream. It’s even better if you put the ice cream on a piece of cake or a brownie, especially when it’s topped with some nuts, berries, candy or anything else you’d like. Use your imagination to create a hot fudge sundae, banana split, or whatever dessert you can come up with. And you don’t have to just use plain chocolate fudge, either–try any of our 40+ flavors. Maybe pour orange creme fudge over vanilla ice cream for a treat that will remind you of a creamsicle, or peanut butter fudge with chocolate ice cream. Cappuccino fudge with coffee ice cream is a great choice too.
Making hot fudge sauce is really easy. Simply melt the fudge in the microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring after each, until it’s completely melted and smooth. Then stir in a tablespoon of water per quarter pound of fudge. That’s it! Drizzle it over your favorite flavor of ice cream and you’ve got a quick, delicious dessert that the whole family will love.
So, deep fried fudge. I know, but hear me out. It actually works. It works in such an artery-clogging, heart-stopping, crazy-delicious way that I have to share it with everyone. Deep fried fudge is crispy on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside, and all kinds of awesome. Give it a try! *Disclaimer: SendFudge.com will not be liable for any health-related consequences if you do indeed give it a try.
You can use whatever flavors of fudge you’d like. I chose chocolate, vanilla, and peanut butter chocolate, but feel free to try it with your own favorites. A one pound box of fudge can be cut into about a dozen pieces. Here’s the recipe:
Deep Fried Fudge
1 pound of fudge
2 cups flour
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cut the fudge into bars about 1 inch thick. Freeze the fudge for at least an hour. For the batter, mix all the dry ingredients, then add the milk. If it’s too thick to easily coat the fudge, add a little more milk; too thin, add flour. Dip the fudge in batter and deep fry at 350° until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Deep fried fudge can be served with dips like caramel sauce, hot fudge, or butterscotch, or simply with your preferred cholesterol medication on the side.
I ran across a fudge recipe that I’ve never seen before, nor could I have ever imagined that it even existed, so I thought it might be interesting to share. I’ve made fudge with a lot of different ingredients, from nuts to coconut to marshmallows to fruit, but it’s never crossed my mind to add carrots. I don’t generally come to work every day wondering how I can find exciting new ways to put vegetables in the fudge. But if you like carrot cake, this probably doesn’t seem too off the wall and might be worth a try.
1 ½ cups carrots, peeled and grated
3 ½ cups sugar
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
½ cup water
½ teaspoon lemon extract (not lemon juice)
½ cup walnuts
Put carrots, sugar, condensed milk, and water in a 3 quart saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until the sugar is melted. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Use a pastry brush dipped in hot water to brush crystals off the sides of the pan. Don’t stir while it cooks. Heat to the soft ball stage, about 238°. Place the pan in the sink with enough water to come half an inch up the side of the pan; leave it to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from the water, add lemon extract, and allow to cool to about 110°. Stir until the fudge thickens and becomes duller, then add the nuts. Pour into a buttered 8×8 pan.
If you make carrot fudge, or if you’ve had it in the past, let me know how you liked it. I’m still not quite sure what to think about this one. It just seems so weird, but it might be weird in a good way. At least we can finally say that fudge is healthy!
When asked to define fudge, most people will think of the smooth, creamy, slightly soft chocolate confection that their grandma made (and that you’ll find on our site). This kind of fudge is a uniquely American invention, and a relatively new one at that; the oldest known recipe dates to the 1880s. But there are quite a few other candies that resemble fudge, with origins all over the world.
The Scottish have been making a candy called tablet for more than 300 years. The ingredients are very similar to an old-fashioned fudge recipe: sugar, condensed milk, and butter. Everything is boiled together, then poured into a pan and allowed to set. Like fudge, tablet depends on the crystallization of the sugar to become firm. Also like fudge, tablet can be a miserable failure if you don’t do it perfectly. Tablet is usually harder than fudge and has a somewhat gritty, crumbly texture. The flavor is kind of like butterscotch. Some people like to add vanilla, nuts, or even whiskey, while others find any deviation from the basic recipe blasphemous. If you make it yourself, you can stir in whatever you want. As long as there aren’t any Scots around you can probably get away with it.
A version of tablet made with golden syrup (which is like corn syrup, but made from sugar instead of corn) is called Russian fudge, but it’s actually Scottish too. Don’t ask me why that little bit of golden syrup makes it Russian, but apparently it makes a difference. Note that neither recipe contains any chocolate.
Sucre à la crème, which translates to “sugar with cream,” is a traditional French-Canadian form of fudge. It’s a lot like the Scottish tablet, except that it’s made with brown sugar. Many cooks add maple syrup–a very Canadian ingredient. Sucre à la crème is popular in Quebec, especially around Christmas, but you probably won’t see it anywhere else. If you want to make your own, here’s a typical recipe.
In the Dominican Republic you’ll find a treat called dulce de leche en tabla. Dulce de leche is made in many parts of South America, Mexico, and Latin America, but it’s usually more like pudding or sauce than fudge. In some regions, though, it’s cooked longer to create a firmer candy that can be cut into squares. It has a very sweet caramel flavor; it’s also common to add cinnamon. Dulce de leche en tabla can be eaten plain or topped with jam. Want to try it at home? Check out this recipe.
Many countries have their own versions of fudge and I’m sure there are lots that I haven’t mentioned. Leave a comment telling me which of your favorites I left out! So far, though, I haven’t seen any foreign recipes that include chocolate. That’s an American innovation, and I think it’s one we can all be proud of.
In addition to being an expert fudge maker, I’m also a nerd. So this week I’m going to explain the chemistry behind fudge. I know you probably slept through high school science class, and some of you have already stopped reading, but I promise it’s not as boring as you think. Pay attention, there might be a pop quiz at the end.
Making a good batch of fudge is hugely dependent on getting all the variables just right. Even small mistakes can result in a disaster. (Ironically, fudge itself was originally a result of botching some other candy recipe). If the ingredients, technique, and temperature are all perfect, you’ll have smooth, creamy fudge. If not–well, let’s just say that instead of fudge you get something fudged up.
Fudge depends on supersaturation and crystallization. Remember learning about those in school? No? Well, keep reading. Controlling these two processes is the key to making traditional fudge. Supersaturation means dissolving more of a substance (in this case, sugar) in a liquid than would be possible under normal conditions. This is achieved by heating cream, which allows us to add more sugar, which in turn allows the cream to reach temperatures well above its normal boiling point. For fudge, the temperature needs to reach 234-240°. This is called the soft-ball stage. If the temperature is too low the fudge will be runny; too hot and it will be too hard. Humidity and altitude both affect the exact temperature required, so it takes some skill to know when the fudge is really done cooking.
Sugar doesn’t like being in a supersaturated solution. It really prefers being a solid and will try to become one at any opportunity. Controlling sugar’s natural desire to crystallize is very important for getting smooth fudge instead of a grainy texture. Even a single sugar crystal–called a “seed”–can cause the rest to rapidly crystallize. Fortunately, there are a few ways to avoid that. Many fudge recipes call for a little corn syrup, which is mostly glucose. These extra glucose molecules get between the sucrose molecules and prevent them from forming crystals. Think of glucose as the chaperones at a school dance, keeping the kids from getting too close. Letting the fudge cool completely undisturbed until it reaches 110° is another important step. Then when it’s cool it needs to be stirred constantly. At that point we want it to crystallize, since that’s what makes it firm up, but the goal is to keep the crystals as small as possible. As the crystals form the fudge will go from being shiny to a bit duller, a signal that it’s ready to pour into a pan to set.
I’ll bet you didn’t know there was so much science behind a seemingly simple treat like fudge! And I didn’t think you’d read this far, so we’re both surprised. The next time you want to try a chemistry experiment, make a batch of fudge. And then eat it all, in the name of science.
While the original fudge recipe had humble beginnings in a college dormitory, this time I’m making a fudge with a presidential pedigree. This recipe comes from former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, whose style and grace inspired American housewives in the 1950s. “Mamie’s Million Dollar Fudge,” as her husband named it, was a hugely popular recipe reprinted countless times in newspaper and cookbooks, so the odds are pretty good that this is the fudge your grandma made.
You’ll probably have to make a trip to the grocery store before you can make this fudge, unless you let your 5-year-old stock the pantry. You’ll need:
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
1 can evaporated milk
a pinch of salt
12 ounces chocolate chips
12 ounces German’s sweet chocolate (chopped)
1 jar marshmallow creme
2 cups nuts
Boil the sugar, butter, evaporated milk, and salt for 6 minutes. Combine everything else, then pour the boiling syrup over it. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is completely combined. Pour into a buttered 9×13″ pan and let it cool.
The recipe is easy to make, but here’s a tip Mamie neglected to share: use a bigger pot than you think you’ll need. Otherwise it will boil over, filling your kitchen with smoke and forcing you to spend the rest of the evening cleaning burnt sugar off the stove. (It’s not important why I know this, just trust me on this one).
So how is it? You’ve probably already tasted this before, whether you realize it or not. It’s very sweet and very rich–a little goes a long way. Mamie’s fudge isn’t quite as creamy as my own chocolate walnut, but this was Ike’s favorite, and who am I to argue with that?
It occurred to me the other day that, even though I’ve made thousands of pounds of fudge, I’ve never tried any of the really old-fashioned recipes. So I decided it was time to try something new–or should I say something old.
The first recipe I made is literally the first recipe. Fudge is a surprisingly new invention; the earliest records referring to fudge date to the 1880s, when the first batch was most likely a failed attempt at a different candy. Emelyn Battersby Hartridge, a student at Vassar College in New York, made fudge for a fundraiser in 1888. The idea quickly caught on. Those wild Vassar girls often got together to make fudge in their dorm rooms using oil lamps as a stove, hurrying to finish before lights out at 10 PM.
The ingredients are very simple: 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of cream, 1 tablespoon of butter, and 2 ounces of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate. Even though I was tempted to substitute a high-quality chocolate instead, I stuck to the original recipe. The process seems easy enough: Heat the cream and sugar, then add the chocolate. When it begins to boil add the butter and cook until it reaches 235-240°. Stir constantly until it cools and pour into a buttered pan to set.
But fudge is notoriously tricky. If you don’t stir enough it can get grainy, if the temperature isn’t exactly right it will be too hard or soft, and even the weather can have an effect. Fortunately I seemed to have found favor with the fudge gods and my batch turned out pretty well, although maybe a bit softer than I would have liked. The flavor wasn’t so impressive–kind of flat, not very sweet, and the cheap chocolate definitely brings it down. I suppose if I was making this in a dorm room over an oil lamp it would be good enough, but fudge has certainly come a long way in the last century.