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Fudge – Not Always Perfect

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Day One – 12 Days Til Christmas

Not every project or recipe that’s done comes out perfect.  Some may try to portray a perfect life, but I like to keep it real and let you know, and learn, from my mistakes.

I have talked about how this time of year is great for checking all of your baking supplies and spices for freshness, but think about your baking tools also.  I found out the hard way.  Fudge Fail!!!fudge
A couple of days ago, I wanted to make fudge.  I have always loved the taste of the old-fashioned cooked fudge so much better than any of the quick ones.  That’s not to say I haven’t made  these others, but my favorite is the old-fashioned with black walnuts.
This little cookbook has been around for a while.  Can you tell?  I think it came on a box of cocoa many years ago.  Still one of my favorites for chocolate.cookbook  Well – I had a major fail with it due to my candy thermometer.thermometerI got all my ingredients mixed together, and cooked as instructed.boilingThe longest time in a day is letting this cool down to room temperature without touching it.  After if finally got there, I beat it by hand with a wooden spoon.  Beat, and beat, and beat.  I could tell it wasn’t going to set up correctly even then but still poured it out as it tasted so good.
What went wrong?????
It took me a bit to figure it out but when I was washing the candy thermometer, I got it.  The temperature guide had slipped down from the glass tube with the mercury.  That meant it didn’t cook to the soft ball (234 degree stage).
So the moral to the story is, even if all of your ingredients are fresh and good, if your supplies and tools aren’t working properly, you can still have a fail. 
After a new thermometer is bought, I will show you how to it turns out.  
Here’s the recipe as it comes from Hershey’s Cocoa Cookbook. 

Hershey's Fudge

Hershey's Fudge

What I call Old-Fashioned Fudge.


  • 2/3 C Hershey's Cocoa
  • 3 C sugar
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 1/4 C butter, not spread
  • 1 t vanilla


  1. Lightly grease an 8" or 9" square pan.
  2. Thoroughly combine dry ingredients in a heavy 4-quart saucepan.
  3. Stir in milk.
  4. Bring to a "bubbly" boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  5. Boil without stirring to 234 F (soft-ball) stage.
  6. Bulb of candy thermometer should not rest on bottom of saucepan.
  7. When soft ball stage is reached, remove from heat.
  8. Add butter and vanilla.
  10. Cool to room temperature to 110 F.
  11. Beat with wooden spoon until fudge thickens and loses its gloss.
  12. Quickly spread in prepared pan.
  13. Cool completely.
  14. Cut into 1" squares.


If you don't have a candy thermometer, soft ball is when a small amount of syrup dropped into very cold water forms a soft ball.
Room temperature for pan would be warm to touch.

Adapted from Hershey's Cocoa Cookbook


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Happy Travels, 


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One Comment

  1. Finally a failing baking post!?? Because I am having a hard time baking correctly I find it frustrated to read all those perfect post about their perfect cakes and biscuits!? I hope your fudge was better next time!

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