Grandma's Secret Famous Fudge
2 cups white sugar
1 cup whole milk (2% is only for wimps)
2 rounded tablespoons of HERSHEY COCOA Baking Powder. (is there any other kind?)
1/3 cube/stick of butter (again, margarine is for wimps only) 1/3 Stick is equal to 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter.
1 teas. vanilla flavoring (that would be REAL vanilla flavoring.)
pinch of salt.
Procedure (including Grandma's secrets to good fudge, most of which may be only old wive's tales, but I never risk leaving out any steps LOL)
1. Use the 1/3 cube/stick of butter to grease the inside top half of a large sauce pot (this is supposed to keep it all from boiling over later.) Use the same cube to grease a pie pan. Then just let the remaining butter sit in the pan until later.
2. Mix the sugar, Hershey's Cocoa and salt in the sauce pot (NOT over the heat) until it's all blended and no Hershey lumps. Add about 1/4 cup of milk and stir well to moisten the sugars and dissolve any lumps, then add remaining milk.
3. NOW put the pot over a medium heat and stir as it heats up. Once you get a "rolling boil" turn the heat down. Remove your stirring spoon and WASH IT. (This is so you don't get tempted to STIR again - stirring rolling boiling fudge will seriously mess it up - Grandma says.) Adjust the heat so that the rolling boil keeps up but not so high as to have it boil over.
4. Leave it alone at is puts that delicious aroma thru-out your house but go visit it once in a while - you're looking for the fudge to "look" like it's about half gone. That is, it will boil down to about half the volume that it appeared to be when you began the rolling boil. (I guess it's really the same about of stuff, but it should look like about 1/2 as much.)
The "cooking" part takes about 20 minutes when I make it. My sister makes it much slower and she can take up to 40 minutes. Also, this is where most recipes tell you to check for the soft ball stage - so go ahead and do that if it makes you more confident. Use a glass measuring cup full of COLD water and drizzle a teaspoon worth into the water - it's done if it holds together on the way to the bottom of the cup - if it looks floaty or whispy it's not done.
4. When it's "half gone," and/or you get a soft ball, remove the pan from the stove. Drop in the remaining butter. Wait about 3-5 minutes THEN add the teas. of vanilla (add vanilla too soon and it'll burn it - bad taste). Wait another 3-5 minutes until you can comfortably put the palm of your hand on the bottom of the pan - grandma says that's the right temp to start beating.
5. Use a sturdy wooden spoon to beat it like crazy to a count of 300 (apparently not 200, not 500. No, only 300 strokes will make good fudge.)
6. Pour it quickly into the greased pie pan. If you did it right it will be firm enough to require a sturdy stir stick but runny enough to fill out the whole pie pan WITHOUT spreading. Tell-tale "spread" marks on the top of your fudge will prove to everyone that you are an amateur.
7. Finally, use a sharp knife to score the top of the fudge into pieces. You can't really push the knife all the way down as it will gum up (again - amateur!) but if you score it now you can break it apart when it fully cools.
8. Scrape the sauce pan and wooden spoon to satisfy immediate cravings because you can't eat any from the pie pan for about an hour.
Well - that's it. My cousins are cringing and/or cursing me for divulging Grandma's secret Famous Fudge, but I figured you chocolaholic Swampies deserved the best (surely NOT that marshmallow imitation! LOL)
It's a little tricky, but well worth learning to do it right.
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