They say the third time’s the charm, and that’s never been more true than with this fudge experiment I’ve been doing.
First of all, this is the third style of fudge recipe I’ve tried out. You can see the other two here:
Secondly, this recipe gave me a surprising amount of trouble; so much so I almost had to make it three times just to get it right! As it turns out, I feel a lot more comfortable as a baker than I do a confectioner.
Of the three methods of making fudge, this one is by far the most time intensive, and while it’s not that difficult, you need to get it right or else it won’t work. My first batch didn’t get up to the proper temperature, so it never set. I ended up with something a lot more like hot fudge than actual fudge, and that just wasn’t what I was going for.
You very much need a good candy thermometer for this. Accurate temperature readings for a long, slow cooking process is critical. You can even test to see if your thermometer is accurate by testing it in boiling water (since you know what temperature it’s going to be.)
I’ll also say this: a lot of recipes say it only takes 20-30 minutes to come to temp. For me, that was a lie. It took almost an hour with my stove and my dutch oven. Your situation might be different! Keep an eye on the temperature, that’s the critical part.
The results, though? Definitely worth it. You get some delectable fudge, just the kind of slightly-crumbly, set-but-not-hard chocolate you expect. It’s not overly sweet like the marshmallow fudge, and it’s not chewy like the condensed milk fudge; it’s just right. So, here’s how to make it.
Fudge from Scratch
- Dutch Oven Any heavy-bottomed pot will do.
- Parchment Paper
- 9×9" Baking Dish
- Candy Thermometer
- Rubber Spatula
- Wooden Spoon
- 3 Cups White Sugar
- ⅔ Cup Cocoa Powder
- 1½ Cups Whole Milk
- ¼ Cup Salted Butter Room temp, cubed
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- In your heavy-bottomed pan, mix the sugar and cocoa powder together.
- Add in the milk and stir until well combined.
- Cook this mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a rapid boil.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and stop stirring.
- Place your candy thermometer so it's reading the mix, and cook without stirring until the temperature reaches 234℉ degrees. Don't let it get above 240℉ or it will separate. On the other hand, under-cooking it means it won't set. This will likely take 30-60 minutes depending on your setup.
- Once the right temperature is reached, remove your pot from the heat. Add the butter and vanilla, but don't stir yet. Let it cool until it reaches around 110℉. This took about 40 minutes for me, but will vary depending on your home temperature.
- Once reaching room temperature, quickly stir to mix in the butter and vanilla, and keep stirring until it starts to lose some of its shine. Quickly spread it into your parchment-lined baking dish and let it finish cooling to set.