Brown Sugar Fudge (Penuche)

Recipe by Jellyqueen


  • 1
    cup white sugar, Granulated
  • 1
    cup light brown sugar, Firm Pack
  • 12
    cup heavy cream (Whipping)
  • 3
    tablespoons molasses (This is to taste. The original recipe called for 4 Tbls of Molasses)
  • 2
    ounces unsweetened chocolate, 2 Sqs
  • 4
    tablespoons butter, 1/2 stick
  • 1 12
    teaspoons vanilla
  • 12
    cup nuts, Chopped (optional)


  • Prewarm the thermometer in hot water; use a 2-quart saucepan; butter the upper sides (inside) of the saucepan; measure all ingredients except the vanilla and optionals, and dump into the saucepan.
  • Grease and if necessary, line a 5 X 10-inch pan.
  • Fill glass with ice cubes and water and the sink with 1/2 inch of cold water.
  • Dissolve the sugar, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, over low heat until the butter melts, the gritty sounds cease, and the spoon glides smoothly over the bottom of the pan.
  • Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil.
  • Boil, after washing down any crystals that may have formed, with a pastry brush dipped in hot water from the thermometer bath, using as little water as possible.
  • Introduce the prewarmed thermometer.
  • Reduce the heat while keeping the fudge at a boil.
  • Stir no more than necessary.
  • Test the fudge mixture in the ice-cold water when the mixture thickens and bubbles become noisy.
  • Ball, formed in ice water, should hold its shape until the heat from your had begins to flatten it and should be al dente ~- slightly chewy -- between 230 and 240 (110 and 115.5 degrees C.).
  • Because of the molasses and brown sugar, it can ball at a lower temperature than some other fudges.
  • Shock by placing the saucepan in the cold water in the sink.
  • Seed by adding, without stirring, the vanilla.
  • Then allow to cool.
  • Stir when luke warm and "skin" forms on the top (110 degrees F./43.5 degrees C.).
  • Return the thermometer to its hot water bath to soak clean.
  • Stir the fudge thoroughly but not vigorously by hand, with an electric mixer, or with a food processor.
  • Pause frequently to allow the fudge to react.
  • Watch for the fudge to thicken, lose its sheen, and become lighter in color or streaked with lighter shade, give off some heat, suddenly stiffen.
  • If mixing by had, the fudge will "snap" with each stroke; by mixer, mixer waves will become very distinct, by food processor, fudge will flow sluggishly back to the center when the processor is stopped.
  • Add the optionals (1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts (walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts (filberts)) before the fudge totally candies.
  • Pour, score, and store when cool in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
  • Recipe is easily doubled and can be frozen.
  • HONEY BROWN SUGAR FUDGE: In Step 1, eleminate the unsweetened chocolate and replace the molasses with 1/4 cup of honey.
  • The honey causes the fudge to ball at a higher temperature.
  • CHOCOLATE HONEY BROWN SUGAR FUDGE: In Step 1, replace the heavy cream with light cream or evaporated milk and replace the molasses with 1/4 cup of honey.
  • ORANGE BROWN SUGAR FUDGE: In Step 1, eleminate molasses, chocolate but add 1 Tbl corn syrup.
  • In Step 6, add 1 Tbl grated orange zest, plus if you can get it, 1 tsp of pure orange extract.
  • PEANUT BUTTER BROWN SUGAR FUDGE: In Step 1, eliminate the molasses and chocolate, replace the heavy cream with 1/4 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter.
  • To intensify the peanut butter flavor, add 1/3 of a cup of salted peanuts in Step 9.
  • PRALINE BROWN SUGAR FUDGE: In Step 1, eliminating the molasses is optional -- you'ss get a more Southern praline with it, a milder one without it--or compromise and use only 1 Tbls.
  • Eliminate the chocolate.
  • In Step 3, when the mixture begins to thicken, add 1 1/2 cups of pecan halves slowly so as not to break the boil or cool the mixture too quickly.