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Faux Pa’s Fudge

March 12th, 2010 — 7:00pm

Faux Pa’s Fudge (as opposed to my grandfather’s vintage recipe) saved the day for my daughter in the traumatic wake of putting her foot in her mouth after seeing “Spring Awakening” for the first time. Maybe fudge can’t cure everything but it will certainly make you friends.

This is the recipe I’ve been asked for more than any other. When my kids were small I started making it in big batches for teacher gifts once a year, and it was so sought after teachers who’d never had my children in their classrooms started asking me how they could get on the fudge list. Family and friends must have their fudge needs taken care of, too, so in recent years I’ve made up to 90 pounds of fudge in December and shipped it off as far away as England, Australia, and Italy.

From my perspective, Faux Pa’s Fudge is also the antidote to the despair and frustration borne of struggling to make the real “Pa’s Fudge,” described in Cakewalk –¬†and yes, it has a couple of dirty little secrets. But I bet you do, too.

1 1/4 pounds high-quality milk chocolate
10 ounces high-quality dark or bittersweet chocolate
Optional: 1 heaping cup of walnut halves
4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups marshmallow cream

Butter the bottom and sides of a 10 1/2-by-15 1/2-inch pan. Chop or break the chocolates into small pieces. Set aside. If using walnuts, toast them at 375 degrees for 5-8 minutes, checking every few minutes until the nuts are fragrant and starting to lightly brown. Set aside.

In a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over low-medium heat, cook the sugar, butter, and evaporated milk, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for exactly 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the boiling to subside, then quickly add the chocolates and salt, stirring until the chocolate is thoroughly melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the marshmallow cream and vanilla, stirring until the fudge is thoroughly uniform and no traces of marshmallow can be seen. Add walnuts if using and stir in. Turn into the prepared pan and let cool for several hours or overnight, until completely firm. Score the top of the fudge into 1-inch squares and cut with a sharp knife, dipping the knife in hot water between cuts if necessary. Store the fudge between layers of wax paper in a sealed container in a cool place. Can be refrigerated or frozen.

Makes about 5 pounds of fudge.

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