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Dark Chocolate Fudge

(recipe, Ethan Becker, Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma S. Rombauer)


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Introduction

A classic fudge recipe that's easier that it looks.

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups sugar
  2. ¼ cup light corn syrup
  3. ½ cup half-and-half
  4. ½ cup heavy cream
  5. ⅛ tsp. salt
  6. 6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  7. 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  8. 1 tsp. vanilla
  9. 1 to 1½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

Steps

  1. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, half-and-half, cream, and salt in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Brush down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in warm water and remove from the heat.
  2. Stir in the chocolate until melted and completely smooth. Brush down the sides of the pan again, then set the pan over medium heat, place a warmed candy thermometer in the pan, and cook the mixture, without stirring, until it reaches 238 degrees, the soft-ball stage. Remove from the heat. Add but do not stir in (stirring at this point can cause graininess) the butter and vanilla.
  3. Cool the candy up to 110 degrees by placing the bottom of the pan in cold water to stop the cooking. Alternatively, pour it out onto a marble slab or baking sheet (inverted over a rack) sprinkled with cold water, without scraping the bottom of the pan.
  4. When it is cool, stir the fudge in the pan with a wooden spoon or work it on the slab with a candy scraper just until it "snaps" and begins to lose its sheen. Or transfer the cooled fudge to the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the fudge on low speed until it begins to thicken and lose its sheen, 5 to 10 minutes. Watch the mixture carefully or it may thicken too much and become unworkable. Stir in the nuts, if using.
  5. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil and butter the foil. Turn the fudge into the pan. Smooth the top with a spatula dipped in hot water as needed. Let stand for at least 1 hour. Using a large, heavy knife, score the fudge into 1-inch squares. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Remove the fudge from the pan, peel off the aluminum foil, and finish cutting the fudge into squares. Serve in candy cups.
  6. Store the pieces between layers of wax or parchment paper in an airtight container. Fudge keeps well for up to 10 days at room temperature or for up to 1 month in the refrigerator.

Note

Culinate editor's note: You don't really have to refrigerate this fudge for 24 hours before eating it. It'll be easier to cut into clean squares if you wait the full day, but for, ahem, sampling purposes, the fudge sets up just fine within a few hours.