Sunday, December 19, 2010

Amazing fudge in just 15 minutes -- it's true!

Wait a minute, you might be thinking to yourself. Fifteen minutes for fudge? Doesn’t that go against the laws of physics or something?
   The recipe’s physics-fighting secret ingredient is baking soda.
   I’ve long ago forgotten how Cook’s Illustrated magazine, published by America’s Test Kitchen, explains why the baking soda approximates the same action as the “soft-ball stage” technique usually used for making fudge.
   But let me assure you, it works like a charm for 15-Minute Chocolate-Walnut Fudge (click for the recipe).
   An extra bonus about this fudge: It is not sickeningly sweet as some fudge can be. It’s simply delicious, and it’s family-friendly.
   I always get requests for this recipe when people taste the product. "It's much better than any fudge I've ever made," is usually the comment.
   It will keep well in the fridge for up to five days.
   The recipe I linked to above is on, and is exactly the same as the one I use.
   One pound of semisweet chocolate and two ounces of unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine, baking soda, and salt are tossed together in a medium heat-proof bowl.
   Sweetened condensed milk and vanilla are added, and the bowl is set over a saucepan containing simmering water. The mixture is stirred until the chocolate is almost fully melted, and is stirred some more off heat until it is completely smooth. Coarsely-chopped walnuts are added.
   The fudge is transferred to an eight-inch square pan and refrigerated until set, about two hours.
   The recipe I linked to doesn’t have this awesome variation listed: 15-Minute Peanut Butter Fudge. To make it, 18 ounces of peanut-butter chips are substituted for the chopped chocolate, and the walnuts are omitted.

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