Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

Chocolate Fudge

print recipe card posted in Sweets by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

Valentine’s Day is coming up soon, so it’s time to start thinking about chocolate! (Actually, I don’t need a holiday to think about chocolate!)

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This blogpost is all about learning how to make fudge. Chocolate lovers may also want to check out my post on Chocolate Fondue and…

How to Make Strawberries Dipped in Chocolate.

For the fudge you will need:

    • 1 pound of fine-quality milk chocolate
    • ½ stick of unsalted butter (OR 1/4 cup or 2 oz. or 56 g)
    • One 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
    • ¼ teaspoon of salt
    • ½ teaspoon of vanilla (optional)

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You may have noticed something weird in that list, and be thinking, why do you use unsalted butter and then add salt to the recipe? The answer is that lots of recipes are written that way, because you have more control over the amount of salt in the recipe with that approach. If you want (or if you have to) you can substitute salted for unsalted butter in this recipe, but your fudge may end up with a noticeably saltier flavor.

There is a HUGE difference between sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. This recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk.

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Evaporated Milk and Sweetened Condensed Milk

Evaporated milk has no added sugar and is slightly thicker and richer than regular milk. Sweetened condensed milk is very thick and very sweet. They are not interchangeable ingredients.

Let’s startcooking!

Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or wax paper. (The original recipe I saw said to line only the bottom of the pan. However, if you cut off a slightly larger sheet of parchment paper and do at least two of the sides as well, it will make it much easier to get the fudge out of the pan after it has hardened.)

You can buy parchment paper right next to the tin foil and the plastic wrap at the grocery store. It’s specially made to be used for cooking.

For the next step, I’ll first give you a quick overview and then provide more detail.

The quick overview is that we’re going to place a metal bowl on top of a pan of barely simmering water, and gently heat all the ingredients, stirring occasionally, until smooth.

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Now for just a bit more detail about this step!

You can buy pans that are designed to fit into one another, leaving space at the bottom for water. They are called “double-boilers” and can get pretty expensive. Fortunately, you don’t really need one for this recipe. A regular bowl over a normal pan works just fine. However, you have to make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. The whole point of a *double boiler* is to melt/cook things very gently by having the steam from the water (not the water itself) heat the upper bowl!

Put a couple of inches of water in a sauce pan and bring it to a simmer. (No rapid bubbles, just gentle little bubbles!)

While the water is heating, break up the chocolate into small bits. You could cut it with a knife.

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Or (and this is the fun version) just slam the wrapped chocolate bar against the counter. When you unwrap it, it should be broken up into bits.

Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Add the butter, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and the salt to the bowl.

Set the bowl over the simmering water. Give the chocolate mixture an occasional stir. When everything is smooth, blended, and all melted, pour it into the prepared pan (the one with the parchment paper.)

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Put it in the refrigerator. DO NOT COVER THE FUDGE! (If you cover it, too much condensation will form and ruin your beautiful fudge!) Let it chill for about 4 hours or until it is totally firm.

Run a butter knife around edges of pan and invert the fudge onto a cutting board.

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I do hope you put the parchment up at least two sides of the pan! Otherwise, right about now you are saying: “She’s crazy, I’m never going to get this out of the pan”! If you can get your knife to the edge of the parchment paper, that should be enough to loosen it. If that doesn’t work, after you have run your knife around the edge of the pan, cut out a small corner. Taste it. (Yes, it’s delicious, and no, you can’t just eat it from the pan!) Now slip your knife under the parchment paper and the fudge should come out of the pan. (This is the hardest step of this entire recipe!)

Remove the parchment paper.

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With a ruler, score the fudge with lines about one inch apart. This way you will get nice even pieces.

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You can slice your fudge ahead of the time you plan to serve it, but store it in the refrigerator!

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Storing and Serving Fudge:

My kitchen tends to get very warm so I always store fudge in the refrigerator. Store fudge in an airtight tin, with a piece of wax paper between each layer. It should keep on the counter (out of the sun) about 2 weeks, in the refrigerator about 2-3 weeks, and in the freezer about 2-3 months. To keep it really moist, you can store the entire “block” of fudge and only cut it when you are ready to serve it. It’s best eaten at room temperature.

Enjoy!

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48 Comments

Shaula Evans said:

Kathy, this looks absolutely lethal!

I can’t imagine any lasting long enough in this house to be used as gifts…no matter how big a batch we made.

Incidentally, I always have parchment paper on hand, because I like cooking with is much more than tinfoil. Since I almost only ever cook for two, we do a lot of cooking and reheating in our convection toaster oven, and I use parchment paper to line the oven tray.

will said:

Hi Kathy,

Can I use Dark Chocolate for this recipe ?

Are there any other “add-ins” that can be added to give a batch of fudge a unique flavour ?

What would you recommend ?

Kathy Maister said:

I’m sure you could use dark chocolate, if you prefer. As you probably noticed, I like Lindt chocolate. Their dark chocolate is as equally delicious as their milk chocolate. This fudge is very smooth and rich tasting. Almost like a truffle. You could add nuts or even raisins if you want some *add ins*.

Gavin Sheehan said:

Kathy, If you are ever in Connecticut, there is a place on route 6 in Bolton called Munsons Chocolates. If you like Lindt, I think this place will knock your socks off!

Kathy Maister said:

Oh Gavin! (I’m on my way to mapquest!)

Everaert Patrice said:

Ooohh Kathy!!! You just made my mouth water.

Sincere Greetings,

Everaert Patrice.

Stephanie said:

Salivating here! Oh how I love fudge! Who doesn’t? Thanks for the entry into Make It From Scratch!

Santhosh said:

should have given a sample chocolate to taste

Kathy Maister said:

Maybe next time! :)

Becca said:

Hi Kathy-

I just tried the fudge recipe and love it, LOVE IT! However I ended up substituting butter for Imperiel butter spread and adding some marshmallow cream to it. It has set up good and is sinfully smooth and silky. My daughter who is 3 loved it so well that she begged me and plead me until I gave her the cooking pot. With left over fudge. I look forward to using this reciepe for the holiday’s yet to come.

May God Bless you and have a happy Thanks Giving.

Becca-Grants Pass, ORegon

Kathy Maister said:

Oh Becca, how wonderful! Thank you sooo much for letting me know how your fudge turned out! Just think how lovely that fudge would be wrapped up as a Christmas gift to someone special!

Pam said:

I was looking to package 5 or 6 squares of this fudge to give as gifts. You have a picture of a box with with fudge stacked on top of each other. I tried that, and it stuck together and was definitely not as pretty as your picture!

Can I dust the squares with something – or do you have any suggestions?

Thanks!

Kathy Maister said:

Pam, layer the fudge in a single layer between wax paper. Cut the paper the same size as the box just to make it look tidy. That should solve the sticking problem!

Pam said:

Thanks Kathy! I ran out of wax paper and used some parchment paper and it worked really well! Looks like a professional – thanks for your help!

Marie said:

Hi Kathy,

How long can these chocolates store for?

Marie

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Marie, store the fudge in an airtight tin, with a piece of wax paper between each layer. It should keep on the counter (out of the sun) about 2 weeks, in the refrigerator about 2-3 weeks, and in the freezer about 2-3 months. To keep it really moist, you can store the entire “block” of fudge and only cut it when you are ready to serve it. It’s best eaten at room temperature.

Nadine said:

Hi Kathy,

I wish I had found this site last night when I was looking for a quick and easy fudge. Well, I tried my own, melted morsels and mini marshmallows and poured it onto wax paper. Now they are stuck to the wax paper. Any suggestions? I tried to peel it off, but it’s too sticky. Help….

Kathy Maister said:

Oops! Not good! Put the fudge back into the pan with the stuck wax paper on the bottom. Put about 1 inch of warm-hot water in the sink. Dip the pan in the sink so that the fudge starts to soften on the bottom. (This is actually how you would remove jello from a jello mold.) Let it soften just enough to pull off the paper. it should not loose it’s shape. Be very careful not to totally melt the chocolate. This “should” work! Good Luck!

Nadine said:

Thanks Kathy, you’re a cooking genius. That worked to get the wax paper off, unfortunately, I think I used too many marshmallows as it is still sticky and didn’t hold the mold. I put it in a glass pan w/ butter, now it’s stuck in there. Oh boy…next year it’s your fudge all the way. Thanks again for your help.

Bon McGill Ames said:

Would love a Munson’s dark chocolate recipe for fondue for my holiday party……..thankyou ………Bon crom Columbia Conn.

Nora said:

Thanks Kathy, you make things look easy!

Kathy Maister said:

Hi BMG, sorry but I do not have a specific recipe for Fondue using Munsons Chocolate. Here is their contact information. They might have some recipes for you…you never know!

Nora, that’s because it is easy! (Thanks)

mihi said:

wow these look great!

finnaly got the metric conversions done.. so off to the store to buy supplies..

thks 4 da recipe Kathy

Kathy Maister said:

Hi mihi, someday (soon I hope!) metric conversion will be just a click away. Good Luck with the Fudge

Shevon Bell said:

What is Chocolate made from?

Clarissa said:

Hi Kathy!
I’m from Brazil and made the fudge yesterday. I don’t know if it was because of the condensed milk that we have here but I couldn’t slice it. The texture is more soft… Even so, it’s absolutelly delicious!!
Sorry for my english! ;-)

Kathy Maister said:

Shevon, wiseGEEK has a great description of how chocolate is made.

Hi Clarissa, I’m glad it at least tasted good! Are you sure it was condensed and not evaporated milk you used? Condensed is VERY thick. (In my post on Pumpkin Pie I have a photo that shows both.)

Clarissa said:

Hi Kathy!!! It still taste delicious. I’m sure that it was condensed milk because in Brazil we don’t have the evaporated kind.

But thanks anyway!

sharon said:

Kathy,
I have just found you for my Easter roast and searched for FUDGE.
I have not had good luck with other fudges and STOPPED trying.
I will try this soon. I am a chocolatier, and a chef ONCE told me that UNsalted butter is a much better quality, that’s another reason it’s used widely by experts.
I love your site and will be a regular visitor….

SaraD said:

Hello Kathy

I tried this recipe and it turned out GREAT!! :)

I also wanted to know if I can add nuts to this? Or any other suggestions?

Thank you! <3

Kathy Maister said:

SaraD, Nuts would be great! As would M&Ms, mini marshmallows, Heath Bar bits and ….

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Gareth said:

Hi Kathy! Mmmm….I like fudge….

Oops, er, my question is… if you are adding nuts or MnM’s to the fudge, at which point do they go into the mixture?

Kathy Maister said:

Good question Gareth! Nuts can get added just before you pour the fudge into the pan to set. If you add something like M&M’s while the fudge is really hot, they will of course melt! Let the fudge cool down quite a bit while it is still in the bowl. It will almost have to get to room temperature so as not to melt the M&M’s. Then pour it into the pan to set. Good Luck and be sure to let me know how your Fudge turns out!

Gareth said:

Thanks, Kathy!

Will do.

Jim said:

You’re absolutely right- you don’t need a holiday to remind you delicious homade chocolate fudge. I could eat it every day, except that my teeth wouldn’t last too long! :-)

Homemade Chocolate fan said:

Wow, awesome post. I love photos. They are so informative and detailed.

Homemade Chocolate fan said:

Anyway I’ve just created this homemade chocolate lens on Squidoo. What do you think? I just love chocolate and I’ve decided to learn how to make my own.

Kathy Maister said:

I have no doubt that your homemade chocolate is delicious BUT we do have to remember that this site is called startcooking.com. Making your own chocolate would be quite daunting for many of my readers.

Alyssa said:

Kathy,

Is there anything else i coud replace the evaporated milk with?

and would regular milk affect it much?

Kathy Maister said:

Alyssa that is a very good question!

The answer is NO! :-)

This fudge recipe is made with condensed milk not evaporated milk, both of which are very different from just plain milk!

Evaporated milk has no added sugar and is slightly thicker and richer than regular milk. Sweetened condensed milk is very thick and very sweet. They are not interchangeable ingredients.

In my Pumpkin Pie photo-tutorial there is a photo comparing evaporated and condensed milk.

This recipe calls for condensed milk and will not work if you try to substitute it for anything else!

Good Luck!
Kathy

robert said:

Miss Kathy what is this fudge i read here on computer and is made with chocolate??

Sabrina said:

OMG!! That fudge looks sooo good!

Gabrielle said:

I tried this and added an additional 1/2 c of MINT chocolate chips and it’s delicious!!!!

Linda said:

The fudge recipe sounds delicious and I want to try it. I was wondering about the chocolate being tempered first. as I have had problems before and usually just use baking chips. By using the good quality chocolate and simmering the ingredients are you actually tempering the chocolate?

startcooking said:

Hi Linda,

No this is not tempering chocolate.

Tempering chocolate is a fairly complicated process. It involves heating and cooling chocolate to very specific temperatures so that you end of with chocolate that has a really glossy finish and has the perfect “snap”. It is great for dipping things like strawberries.

Yesterday on TV I watched Ina Garten making Chocolate Bark. She said that most tempering processes are way too complicated. All she did was melt 3/4 of the chocolate, in the microwave, in 30 second increments until it was just melted. It took just one minute for the chocolate to melt. She then stirred in the remaining 1/4 of chocolate and continued stirring until everything was melted. As far as she was concerned, that was enough “tempering”! (I do love The Barefoot Contessa!)

Cheers,
Kathy

Linda said:

Thanks Kathy. I really plan to try this fudge as soon as I get some chocolate. I like the Barefoot Contessa, too; and thanks for the link.

Happy New Year.

Linda

Rock said:

Nice Article.

Carol said:

Do you think I’d have to change any of the other ingredients to make a dark chocolate fudge? I think dark chocolate is much healthier for you. Saw your recipe and it’s totally different from the one I usually make and I’m going to try it. Thanks for sharing.