Friday, January 02, 2009

Packing Fudge

Figured I'd get that joke out of the way.

I decided (based on the fact I had a bunch of marshmallow creme in my fridge) to make some more fudge for the New Year's party I attended. After grabbing a couple extra ingredients, I threw it together and once again, it was a hit.

So, I figured I'd share the recipe here. It can be easy or hard, depending how "from scratch" you want to go.

First, it calls for marshmallow creme. I made my own for this since I couldn't get to a store that actually carried any. If you're looking for some at the local grocery, it's usually with the ice cream toppings, at the end of the ice cream freezers. You probably know it was Fluff, but there's usually at least a store brand kicking around too. In this case, you MAY get what you pay for, as I've made batches in the past that came out greasy and crumbly instead of smooth and tasty. However, I can't 100% attribute this to the quality of the marshmallow creme.

So, if you want to make your own marshmallow creme, here's the recipe I used, modified to make significantly less than the original.

Marshmallow Creme

Things you need that you might not have - a stand mixer with paddle attachment, and a candy thermometer

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup light (clear, uncoloured) corn syrup (regular corn syrup will work too, but will colour the creme slightly)
1/4 cup egg whites (a retarded measurement for egg whites, but I'd guess 1-2 eggs' worth)
Another 1/8 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix sugar, water, and the 1/2 cup of corn syrup in a small saucepan. Over MEDIUM heat, cover and heat to a rolling boil. Uncover, stick in a candy thermometer, and cook, without stirring, until it reaches 242F (115C) (or, if lacking a thermometer, until a small amount forms a ball in cold water and flattens when removed - soft ball stage). 4-8 minutes total.

Meanwhile, beat the egg whites and additional 1/8 cup of corn syrup in the mixer until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium, and VERY SLOWLY and carefully add the INCREDIBLY HOT sugar/water/syrup mixture in a thin stream. Add the vanilla extract and crank it to high speed for 3-5 minutes, until it the mixture isn't getting any fluffier.


Makes around 2-3 cups, which is actually a bit more than you'll need for the fudge. Use the leftover for hot chocolate, or melt it for ice cream topping or something.

Chocolate Fudge

(adapted from this recipe)

I strongly suggest measuring out everything beforehand, ESPECIALLY the chocolate chips.

7 oz of Marshmallow Creme (about 200g)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk (I've seen small tins of 160ml or 5.4oz which is perfect)
1/4 cup unsalted butter (2oz, or around 56g)
1/4 tsp salt (1/8 tsp if using salted butter)
1 standard bag (250g or 8.8oz) white chocolate chips
9.2oz (260g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (total white + semi-sweet chips = 3 cups)
1 tsp vanilla extract if using store-bought marshamallow (omit if using homemade, unless you really like vanilla flavour)

- Line an 8x8" pan with foil and set aside

- In a large saucepan (pot), over medium heat (medium-LOW heat if it's a cheap pan. I've used my Le Creuset enameled cast iron pot and my Calphalon anodized one, and both were fine. But a thin-bottomed cheap pot will burn the marshmallow fast), melt the butter.

- Add sugar, evaporated milk, and salt. Stir until combined.

- Add the marshmallow creme and stir CONSTANTLY until the mixture comes to a full boil (don't expect a rolling boil like water, as this is some viscous shit). I suggest using a silicon spatula or wooden spoon. Once you've achieved a boil, cook for 5 more minutes, stirring constantly. If you want a less creamy fudge (I don't know why you would, but whatever), cook for 6-6.5 minutes instead of 5.

- Remove from heat and dump the chocolate chips in. Stir quickly to melt the chips and combine. It should all come together and be smooth and consistent. If it starts to stiffen up before you're done mixing, put it back on LOW heat while stirring, but be VERY careful not to burn it. Stir in the vanilla if you're using it.

- Pour into the foil-lined pan and spread it out evenly

- Put into fridge for 2 hours to set.

Cut it up and enjoy! Best at room temperature.

Problems I've encountered:

Like I've said, twice I've had it turn into a clumpy, grainy, oily mess. This stuff is inedible and unsalvageable and I tossed it both times after trying to save it. I blame either cheap marshmallow creme or stirring in the chocolate while the pot was still on the heat (burning the chocolate). I've had NO problem with the homemade creme and a quality saucepan providing even heat.

Make sure you really stir CONSTANTLY. Don't take a break for a couple seconds to rest your hand or do something else, because this stuff is mostly sugar and will burn quickly once it gets hot. A little bit of brown won't hurt it, but too much will affect the flavour and texture. Stir right down to the bottom of the pan and make sure you cover the whole pan. This is why I suggest a silicon spatula, as its coverage is much better than a more rigid spoon.

Pour as soon as you're happy with the consistency, because it will start to set quickly and can be a pain to get out of the pot if it does. For this reason, make sure you can actually lift and pour from the pot you're using.


You can add 1/2 cup of chopped nuts with the vanilla if you want. I don't, since I prefer not dying. I imagine 1/2 cup of M&Ms, mini marshmallows, peppermint candies, toffee pieces, or anything else you can think of could be used as well.

No reason this couldn't be all white chocolate, or semi-sweet chocolate, or milk chocolate, or dark chocolate, or any combination of the above. I've found this combination gets the best reception though.

You could also use butterscotch chips instead of chocolate if you want butterscotch fudge.

Substitue mint extract for the vanilla extract for mint chocolate fudge. Or any extract (orange, strawberry, rum extract, etc.) to add a hint of another flavour.


lightning36 said...

For those not wanting to take the time or put forth the effort, this "drive-through" quick fudge recipe is from my wife:

One 12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
One can of frosting
Melt in microwave oven or on stove
Pour into pan to cool

That's it. Makes a great quick fudge. Change the kind of chocolate chips or the flavoring of the frosting for different varities.

Astin said...

I find that frosting fudge tends to taste like... well, frosting. Which is fine if you're in a real hurry.

This recipe, if you have the marshmallow creme, takes about 15 minutes to make (plus 1.5 - 2 hours to cool). If you make the marshmallow creme from scratch, add another 10-15 minutes. So it's not that onerous itself.