Sunday, March 02, 2014

Kilwin's Style Fudge

One of the great things about Ann Arbor is that it caters to tourists.   And because we are in Michigan, of course we have to have a fudge shop.   Originally part of the Mackinac Island experience, most tourist attractions in our state feature a fudge shop.  I am glad we have a Kilwin's Chocolate Shop here in A2 - they make great fudge and also they are the only place around that sells my favorite old fashioned candy of all time, sea foam.

When I get a hankering for fudge, I make it at home.  If you have a candy thermometer (a must for this recipe) it's simple to make and much less expensive ($2/lb vs $17/lb storebought).  And the aroma is of fudge making is an added side benefit.   I made a batch last night and the teenagers were lured away from their video games like the Pied Piper.   "What are you making, Mom???"  Fudge doesn't take a lot of work, but it does take patience.   However, it's great to make when it is cold outside - I put the pot on the back step to let it cool down and it only took about 20 minutes instead of the usual hour.

Kilwin's Style Old Time Fudge
Makes about 1 lb

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
Half bar of Ghirardelli 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate
1 T. light corn syrup
2 T. butter
1 t. vanilla

Line a loaf pan with foil and butter the foil.   Butter the sides of a large saucepan - it helps keep the fudge from crystallizing on the edges which makes for gritty fudge.  Combine milk, sugar, chocolate and corn syrup (another trick to help prevent crystallization is adding corn syrup).   Cook and stir over medium high heat to boiling.  Insert the candy thermometer and cook and stir using a wooden spoon over medium low heat until it reaches 234 F - it will take about 20 minutes.  Remove the saucepan from the heat, remove the wooden spoon, and add the butter and vanilla.  DON'T STIR IT IN.  Stirring might start crystals forming.  Cool, without stirring, until the temperature is 110 F.   This will take almost an hour or so.

Remove the thermometer and using the wooden spoon, beat the fudge until it begins to thicken.  At this point, a 1/2 cup nuts could be added.   I think roasted black walnuts would be heavenly.   Or marshmallows, like the Wellesley girls.   Continue beating until the fudge gets very thick and loses it's gloss....about 10 minutes.  Spread the fudge in the foil lined pan while it is still warm.  Allow to cool and eat.

Speaking of candy making, I recently received a review copy of an outstanding candy making cookbook, The Sweet Book of Candy Making by Elizabeth LaBau and I am totally loving this book.  It demystifies making candy at home and also is among the first modern day candy making books I've seen.  My cookbook collection's candy is section is made up of entirely books published in the 1950s.   I can't wait to try out some of the recipes in this book - I'll be sure to write about them here.   It's time we all started making candy at home again!

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