Kitsnacks: Catie’s Basic Fudge Recipe

fudge for octocon

3 c sugar
2/3 c evaporated milk
3/4 c butter or margarine
1/2 tsp salt
12oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 c marshmallow creme (or 1 small jar marshmallow creme)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c walnuts if desired

NOTES: for persons in Ireland or UK who wish to make this, the sugar must must be caster sugar; granulated makes grainy fudge. Boo, hiss. Also, semi-sweet chocolate is called plain chocolate with about a 54-60% chocolate content here, so you’d be using 12oz/2 cups of chopped plain chocolate instead. I frequently end up using 6oz darker chocolate & 6oz milk because it’s gotten harder to find plain chocolate. DO NOT use milk chocolate only, because the fudge will end up not even tasting like chocolate. It’s nasty.

If you’re in Dublin you can buy marshmallow creme (also called fluff) at the Candy Lab in Temple Bar, sometimes at Fallon & Byrne, and, quite randomly, at the Fresh grocery store on Camden Street. If you are not in Dublin/can’t find marshmallow creme, a recipe for it is at the bottom of this increasingly long post.

It is particularly important in Ireland (& possibly the UK, IDK) to use margarine instead of butter because the fat content in butter here is much higher than in the States and it wants very badly to burn when you’re making fudge. Margarine takes longer to burn, does not affect the taste, and is a much safer bet, especially for a novice fudge-maker.

Sugar cannot melt properly in non-stick pans, so it really has to be a stainless steel saucepan.

Years of experience assure me that the best and easiest way to make fudge is to have every single item you’re going to need pre-prepared: butter the pan ahead of time, have the bag of chips open (or the chocolate chopped) and sitting ready to be poured in, have the vanilla measured out, have the creme measured out/the jar opened & the inner seal taken off. Everything has to happen quite quickly at the end, before the sugar mixture loses its heat, so you really have to have everything prepared.


Mix sugar, milk and butter in a sturdy stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly, and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add chocolate, stir like a son of a bitch until the chocolate is entirely melted. Add marshmallow creme and repeat the stirring like a son of a bitch until the creme is thoroughly mixed in. Add vanilla, and if you like walnuts, add them; repeat the stirring until it’s all smooth and lovely.

Pour into a 9×13″ buttered pan and allow to cool. Cut before it’s entirely cool, but not when it’s too warm.

Peanut butter fudge can be made by substituting a cup of peanut butter instead of 2 cups of chocolate.

Generally speaking it takes some practice to get the fudge consistency just right. I’m very good at it (I said modestly). If you cook it too long it gets hard and crumbly; too short a time and it’s squishy. I usually start the timer when the sugar mix hits a rolling boil, cook for five minutes, then give it another 20 seconds to make sure it was *really* a rolling boil when I began. :) And you really do need to stir constantly, and scrape the pan sides, because the whole mix will burn very easily and quickly if you don’t. :)

(Frankly, I don’t recommend this unless you’ve got a stand mixer.)

1/2 c sugar
1/4 c water
3/4 c corn syrup (lighter in color the better)
1/4 c egg whites (like…2 egg whites)
1 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar, water, and 1/2 c corn syrup in a stainless steel pan. Cook to 245 degrees F (firm ball) and cool for 15 minutes. While it’s cooling, place egg whites and the remaining 1/2 c of corn syrup in a metal bowl and mix to a standing froth. Pour, and by pour I mean ‘dribble in a thin stream’ in the sugar syrup VERY, VERY SLOWLY, while running the mixer constantly, and mix until the creme is light and fluffy and of marshmallow-creme-like consistency. This takes AT LEAST several minutes, even with a stand mixer. Add the vanilla in near the end.

Jar or can (or put in the fridge in the bowl, which is what I did).

Do not cover until cold.

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3 thoughts on “Kitsnacks: Catie’s Basic Fudge Recipe

  1. This recipe looks very much like the one my mom used when I was growing up.

    I remember one particular attempt where she got interrupted thrice while making it – each time she was in the midst of getting everything melted and coming up to the critical moment – she had to shut off the flame and go pick up a part for my father at the shop (he was a mechanic and this was before parts stores started offering delivery)

    The third time, she managed to finish it – but it didn’t set (shocking!) and she ended up putting the pan in the freezer to at least try to solidify it.

    That was really the only time *we* got to eat fudge – she generally only made it to give out as gifts. We got to eat that fudge with spoons :D

    Thanks for triggering that trip down memory lane!

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