I can’t believe Christmas is two weeks away and I haven’t even had time to share some of my favorite candy recipes. Cocoa fudge is without a doubt my all time favorite chocolate fudge. Why? Because cocoa fudge doesn’t contain any corn syrup, chocolate chips or marshmallow creme. What you get is the pure taste of rich unsweetened cocoa. Just pure chocolate deliciousness!
There’s a few crucial things to keep in mind when making fudge…
- You need a candy thermometer, and
- You need to make sure your candy thermometer is accurate. To make sure your candy thermometer is accurate see my post on how to Calibrate Candy Thermometers.
- You need a heavy bottomed pan.
After cooking this fudge to a soft ball stage, it will be very thin. I don’t know how many times I’ve had friends make this fudge and they think they have flopped it because it’s so thin when it comes off the heat. So what do they do? They pitch the entire batch!!! No!!! Please don’t be one of them!!!
After the fudge is removed from the heat, butter and vanilla get added. The pan is placed in a sink with cold water until it cools to room temperature. At this point it is still rather thin.
Now comes the hard part… beating…beating…and more beating. Yep…this is the only difficult step of the recipe. You need a good wooden spoon and a little elbow grease. I like to beat it for about 30 seconds and stop for 30 seconds. I keep doing this until it gradually starts to change from a shiny gloss to more of a less glossy but satiny look. The change is subtle and the fudge will start to lighten a little in color.
Make some real chocolate fudge and make sure you get some before you pass it around!
- 3/4 cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa
- 3 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
- Line an 8 inch square baking dish or pan with foil. Allow the foil to hang over the sides. Lightly grease the foil with butter.
- Add cocoa, sugar, salt and milk to a medium heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. This will take up to five minutes. Once mixture comes to a boil, continue cooking without stirring until mixture reaches 234 degrees on a candy thermometer or forms a soft ball in cold water.
- Remove from heat and transfer pan to a sink with at least two inches of cold water. Add the butter and vanilla but do not stir. Allow pan to set in cold water until mixture reaches room temperature or around 130 degrees.
- Remove pan from cold water. Using a wooden spoon mix to incorporate the melted butter and vanilla. Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until mixture begins to lose its shiny glossy appearance and starts to take on a satiny sheen appearance. This can take awhile. See notes below recipe.
- Add nuts if using, and immediately spread fudge into prepared dish. Allow to set for at least an hour before cutting into pieces.
- Store in a candy tin or airtight container.
- Parchment can be used in place of foil. There is no need to butter parchment paper.
- Yield depends on size of cut pieces.
- Here's my tip for beating this fudge. Beat for about 30 seconds. Give yourself a break for 30 seconds and beat again. This is one fudge that will tire your arm. It will slowly change from a shiny gloss to a more satiny sheen. The change will be subtle. Be ready to add your nuts immediately, if using, and spread in dish.