Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Ask Jan: Fail-Proof Microwave Fudge

December 19th, 2008 · No Comments

From Teresa L, a former colleage at The Palm Beach Post:

Hi Jan: Can you share an easy, goof-proof chocolate (and butterscotch, if you have it) fudge recipe with me? I’ve tried a few that never seem to harden short of freezing them into nonedible ice blocks. Thanks!

Fudge and candymaking in South Florida is a real trip. I pray for cold, dry holidays and seldom get so lucky. Humidity makes even the pros go crazy working with sugar — the root of most candy. It takes forever to boil, it won’t set up, it gets sticky or runs . . . a plethora of problems beset candymakers thanks to our weather here in paradise.

The following recipe for fudge was one of the first I received as food editor of The Post. I asked readers for favorite holiday recipes and this one came in from a science-oriented guy who made several pounds for friends annually.  It’s simple; I’ve made it numerous times over the years with great results every time.

The second one is a variation using morsels instead of powdered cocoa. I prefer the cocoa; but for peanut butter and butterscotch fudge, the morsels work best.

You can be a little flexible with the cooking time and it doesn’t hurt much. Use a glass bowl. (Use microwave-safe glass — Corning and Pyrex are two big names for this — every time you cook in the microwave. I never microwave plastic.)

Behave, and follow the recipe as written for perfect results — don’t stir the liquids before cooking!

Easy, Fool-Proof Microwave Fudge

  • 1 pound box powdered sugar (3-1/2 cups, sifted)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (I use Droste)
  • 2 tablespoons whole or evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or stick margarine – do not use a spread
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts

With a whisk, combine sugar and cocoa in a glass mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add milk and butter and pinch of salt. Microwave on high power (100 percent) for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on your microwave’s wattage. Remove and stir well to combine. Stir in vanilla and nuts.

Pour into well greased 8-by-11-inch pan or 9-inch square pan. (You also can line with waxed paper as desired.) Cool completely. Turn out on cutting board and cut into small squares; store in tin with waxed paper in between layers. Save any “chips” left from cutting and sprinkle over chocolate or peppermint ice cream. Freezes well.

Makes approximately 1-1/3 pounds.

Variations: I add 1 teaspoon finely ground espresso powder to the sugar-cocoa mix before cooking; coffee always intensifies chocolate in any recipe. In a small amount, you can’t taste it.

After mixture has cooled slightly, you also could add 1 cup miniature marshmallows for a rocky road fudge.

Or – use a bag of chips

This version of the fudge uses chocolate chips and marshmallow creme instead of cocoa powder.

Microwave Fudge With Chocolate, Butterscotch or Peanut Butter Chips

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cups butter (1-1/2 sticks)
    1 (5.5 oz.) can evaporated milk
    1 (12 oz.) bag chocolate (or peanut butter or butterscotch) morsels
    1 jar (7.5 oz.) marshmallow creme
    1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
    1 teaspoon vanilla (use maple extract with butterscotch for a nice flavor)

Combine sugar, butter and milk in a microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave on high power for 7 to 10 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved. Stir once during cooking time.

Add candy morsels, marshmallow creme, vanilla and nuts if using. Stir well until morsels are melted and marshmallow creme is incorporated. Pour into greased  Add remaining ingredients and stir until butterscotch is melted. Turn into well greased 8-by-10 pan. Cool completely; turn out onto a board to cut into squares. Freezes well.

Store in a tin with waxed paper between layers.

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