October 21, 2012
This is Mama.
Mama had a sweet tooth – I mean a major sweet tooth. She loved having cake, cookies and sweet tea in the house along with truly healthy foods.
Mama loved making fudge with us. It was a process that she had learned from her Mama.
When I grew up and had my own family I loved sweets, too! I even had a business called “Leigh Anne’s Southern Sweet Tooth.”
I found a recipe for fudge that I loved and more important was quite easy. I was excited when I made it and I told Mama about it.
“It’s not as good as mine,” was her reply.
“How do you know?” I asked her. “You haven’t even tasted mine.”
“If it is that easy it can’t be as good as mine.”
Mama’s was a process I remember. Stirring together the sugar and cocoa took forever. It had to be the right shade of light brown – no white or dark brown streaks. They had to be completely a mono-color unit.
Friday was the 8th anniversary of Mama’s death and my sister started a conversation on Facebook about Mama and some of our cousins and Uncle Mike joined in about Mama’s fudge. We all wondered where her recipe was, we wondered if Daddy had it somewhere in the house. And then I remembered – I have it! Mama had dictated it to me years ago in one of our great fudge debates.
So, in honor of Mama, my sister, Traci, our cousins and aunts and uncles I made Mama’s fudge. And guess what? It was delicious! A bit sweet, well a whole lot sweet. The next time I may tweak it and cut the sweetness, maybe add some nuts or peanut butter or espresso.
Here in all it’s glory is Mama’s Fudge the way she made it!
3 cups of sugar
¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa
small can of evaporated milk and enough water to make 1 cup
(5 ounces of evaporated milk, 3 ounces water)
1 stick of butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
The first thing to do is combine the sugar and cocoa in a big pot, stirring it together until it is one color. I wonder if Mama had us do it so long to keep us occupied.
Notice I use a whisk, which works faster than the wooded spoon she would give us. Once these are combined to a light brown add you evaporated milk and water to it and stir.
Put the pot on high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. After about 4 or 5 minutes of boiling you can test to see if it is in the soft ball stage. This was fun.
Mama would pour cold water into a short glass and we would let a drop of the chocolatey liquid fall into the glass – if it formed a soft ball it was ready for the next step. Here again I chose an easier way – I have a candy thermometer and I brought to liquid to 240 degrees – which is the softball temperature.
At this point you take the pot off the heat and add the stick of butter and the vanilla – I always add more than a teaspoon – more like a tablespoon.
Listen carefully and you will hear that vanilla sizzle.
Stir this all together and pour in to a buttered glass loaf pan.
You can let it sit out on the counter or after about 10 minutes cover it and refrigerate.
The fudge comes out beautiful. It has a nice shine on top, it cuts clearly and the texture is just right!
One of the best parts of helping Mama make fudge is licking the spoon.Be careful not to burn your tongue!