American Style Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate Fudge is the classic American confection. In fact, when you say the name fudge, it is chocolate that comes to mind. Unsweetened chocolate is used in this recipe to supply full chocolate flavor when balanced with the sugar in the fudge.
Fudge is without question the quintessential homemade candy; it has been made in home kitchens for over 100 years. Mention fudge, and most of us immediately think of chocolate, but chocolate is not the defining ingredients in fudge; it can be made using a wide variety of flavoring ingredients. The precise origin of fudge is no entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated from a batch of caramels gone awry- “fudged”, if you will! This seems surprising ate first glance, because caramels and fudge have such different textures that they seem to be completely unrelated. The ingredients cooking temperatures, and techniques for making fudge and caramel, however, are nearly identical. It is only after cooking that fudge is stirred rapidly to cause it to crystallize, giving it its short texture, whereas caramels are allowed to cool undisturbed to prevent the sugar from crystallizing, resulting in their chewy texture.
Inclusions:
There are few limits to the types and varieties of inclusions that can be used to bolster the appeal of fudge. From nuts and seeds to dried or candied fruit, or to candies such as hard candy or marshmallows, the combinations are limitless. The only real requirement for an inclusion is that it must not be a perishable item like fresh fruit. Adding inclusions that are not shelf stable will cause fudge to spoil rapidly. So choose any of the nonperishable products that you want and add them to your fudge recipe to create your own unique treat!
Ingredients:
4 cups sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 cup unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups chopped toasted walnuts (optional)
Method:
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, cream, milk and chocolate on a saucepan. Cook over moderate heat to 125.C, stirring constantly.
Pour the mixture into a baking pan or other pan with allows it to spread to created a thin layer. Leave undisturbed to cool at room temperature.
Scrape the mixture into a large mixing bowl or into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the spread, or by hand using a wooden spoon.
Stop mixing when the fudge begins to lose its shine and thickens slightly. If using a mixer, it will require approximately 3 minutes of mixing. If mixing by hand, it will require approximately 6 minutes.
Butter a round or square baking pan, pour in the mixture, an spread evenly with an offset palette knife.
Allow the fudge to crystallize for 1 hour or longer ate room temperature.
Cut into the desired size pieces and serve.
Fudge should be stored tightly covered at room temperature. It can be refrigerates, tightly sealed, for longer storage, or frozen for maximum life.
Note: Stirring fudge is more of an art than a science. No clock can tell you when it is finished. The fudge should start to lighten in color, thicken noticeably, and lose a bit of its shine before you pour it into the pan.

XOXO****

Inês Ribeiro