“Can you find me a recipe for dark chocolate cocoa fudge?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff thought this was a mouthwatering request, appropriate for the upcoming holidays. We began the search by looking through our many cookbooks.
The Bon Appétit Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild had a very rich Classic bittersweet chocolate fudge recipe (p.731) which required bittersweet chocolate, marshmallow cream, unsweetened chocolate, condensed milk, whipping cream and butter, but no cocoa. Just looking at the cover of Candy Making Basics by Evelyn Howe Fryatt was tempting. There is an entire chapter of Fudge Delights (pp. 16- 28). Members of the staff decided to check this book out when the patron was done using it. Who could resist such treats as Caramel Fudge Fantasy, Piña Colada Fudge, Layered Cream Cheese Peppermint Fudge, and the very seasonal Spiced Pumpkin Fudge.
Having no success finding the correct recipe in the cookbooks we looked through, we began an online search using the terms: dark chocolate cocoa fudge. The first site that came up was www.hersheys.com. Their recipe for Rich Cocoa Fudge included Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa and seemed to be exactly for what our patron was looking.
Rich Cocoa Fudge
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Line 8-or 9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter foil.
2. Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in heavy 4-quart saucepan; stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to full rolling boil. Boil, without stirring, until mixture reaches 234°F on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water, forms a soft ball which flattens when removed from water. (Bulb of candy thermometer should not rest on bottom of saucepan.)
3. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. DO NOT STIR. Cool at room temperature to 110°F (lukewarm). Beat with wooden spoon until fudge thickens and just begins to lose some of its gloss. Quickly spread into prepared pan; cool completely. Cut into squares. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.
About 36 pieces or 1-3/4 pounds. NOTE: For best results, do not double this recipe. This is one of our most requested recipes, but also one of our most difficult. The directions must be followed exactly. Beat too little and the fudge is too soft. Beat too long and it becomes hard and sugary.