Saturday, March 22, 2003
Fudge without chocolate?
Didn't think it was possible, but Nigella says otherwise. We were doubtful, but in a pinch for something sweet, I tried the fudge recipe from How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking. In a saucepan over medium heat, I put 1 2/3 cups of sugar (okay, I misread and put about 1 3/4 cups), 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, and 1/3 plus 1 tablespoon of evaporated milk. Let it boil and bubble, stirring occasionally, until 225 degrees (5-10 minutes). Not having a candy thermometer, I followed Nigella's suggestion of dropping a bit of the fudge into a bowl of very cold water now and then -- when it holds its shape, it's ready. This actually worked ...I knew to turn the heat off when the drop floated to the bottom as a little ball instead of spreading around. After mixing in a teaspoon of vanilla extract, I poured it into a buttered loaf pan and let it cool.
While the making part was easy, the results were not quite what I expected. First of all, it wasn't, well, fudgy. It's been a while since I had fudge, but isn't it supposed to be soft-ish and sticky? Not brittle. And while chocolate fudge is sweet, this one was really sweet. Basically, it was like eating a buttery sugar cube. With a little vanilla in it. Which is exactly what it is.