this is the best Fudge recipe ever. My dad made this for many many years and taught me to make it. I have been making it now for about 50 years.. It always takes my stove 45 min at least to get it to the soft ball. Do not stir to much while cooking.. We bring it to a small boil and keep it boiling. use ONLY A WOODEN spoon..(.Check your candy thermometer before to see if it is accurate by boil water and see if it boils at exactly 212. then you know if your candy thermometer is right.) We always also checked candy by dropping a small spoonful in a cup of very cold water when we thought it was done. it would form a small ball with your fingers. Then you knew it was done. We never let our set as long as these directions. Cooled in a pan of cold water about three to five min and then beat with a wooden spoon only till it loses its shine. This is no doubt the best candy in the world.. my son gets ever year at Christmas time.. at his request. :) ..This is a hard candy to make but well worth the effort..
This is a post script to my review. Add a big handfull of walnuts with the butter and vanilla at the end of the cooking portion not after it is cooled down as that will bring the temp down and make the fudge grainy instead of creamy.
This is a hard recipe to do if you have never made candy before.The soft water test can be a little tricky because the ball has to come together first to make a true ball but at the same time not too hard in feel and touch because then the fudge can become hard and crumbly. Use cold water to test candy in for water test. We always add 1 TBSP Karo syrup to cooking potion to keep candy from turning too hard from over cooking. And 1/4 cup peanut butter when adding vanilla keeps it from being too sugary. pour on buttered dinner plate it does make it thin but so good this way.
My mother always made this. I was so excited to find the recipe on-line. I must say, following the directions to the "T" worked excellent. I used a candy and digital thermometer, and even tried the softball test when it reached temp. All three were in agreement.
Soft Ball, take a small teaspoon of the fudge and drip it into the cold water. The cold water will set the fudge, remove the fudge and see if you can roll a soft ball in between your fingers.
As for the Butter USE REAL BUTTER, Margarine will not work. Also when this recipe came out milk was Whole Milk. Im not sure the reduced fat versions will work.
Electric Stove. Had my stove know set between 6 and 7.
Add Butter and Vanilla at the end when removing from heat. Do not stir in till it has cooled.
I love this recipe; however, the version on Cooks.com has the taste I remember from childhood. Instead of whole milk, it calls for 1 c. evaporated milk and 1/2 c. water. If you are following this recipe it is easy to overbeat; it should just be beaten until it loses some of the gloss - not for 10-15 minutes.
My favorite fudge recipe since I was a kid - I do not like the easier marshmallow fudge. It is a little tricky, but well worth it. I finally bought a thermometer, but use the soft-ball test too. The slow boiling to proper temp is critical (don't try to bring up temp too quickly). You have to learn to cool and beat to the proper stage also (practice makes perfect). My one tip would be to not use too small a pan - I use a 4 or 5 qu dutch oven so the fudge mixture is not too deep when cooking. This large pan also reduces the splatter.
I make this recipe all the time and never have any problems unless the pan is too small and it boils over. I bring the fudge to a softball stage by testing it in cold water. No thermometer. After it reaches the softball point, I remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla and immediately begin stirring with a mixer. It takes approximately 10-15 minutes before i start seeing wrinkles in the fudge after that I know that it is almost ready to pour into the pan for cooling. Everyone wants me to make this, it is quite time consuming though. Total about an hour. I also make peanut butter fudge this way but instead of the cocoa I substitute 2/3 cup of peanut butter and add it at the end with the butter and vanilla.
My mom used this recipe to make fudge for me as a little girl. Now, home for the holidays, I hinted to her that I would love to have some of "her" fudge. She had this disappointed look on her face & told me she couldn't remember the exact temps and such. Also, to her disappointment, Hershey no longer printed the recipe on their cocoa box/can. She (AND I) were thrilled to find the recipe using a quick Google search.
She's making it today! I can't wait...
Just made this for the first time and IT IS THE BOMB!!! EXACTLY what mom used to make.<br/>I mostly followed the instructions (after reading some of the reviews posted here). I do not have a candy thermometer, so I just let it boil and started testing it for soft ball every three minutes (used a timer). I watched a couple of youtube videos on how to do the softball test (which was helpful). I only allowed it to cool for about ten minutes before I started beating...only beat for about 5 minutes. I did substitute a mixture of half & half/water for whole milk because I was out of milk! Worked for me! LOVE IT!!
TIPS FOR NEWBIES MAKING THIS:
I just made this for the first time yesterday. My first batch went..horribly. I ruined my pot and had to buy a new one.
My second batch came out absolutely perfect!
1. Use the lowest heat possible, even if it will take a long time to reach a boil, you will not burn your fudge.
2. Use a candy thermometer, but don't rely on it. Test for softball stage the old fashioned way (recommend searching for videos of this so you can see). My candy thermometer was off by about 20 degrees even though I tested it beforehand, and testing frequently for softball stage really helped. It did not take long at all to reach softball stage, maybe 12 minutes for me.
3. Cooling (for me) only took an hour
Those were my biggest mistakes.
Happy fudge making!