I like the delicate crunch of breadcrumbs in the fudge and I also strongly recommend flavoring the crumbs with very finely grated citrus zest or a drip of balsamic vinegar. - h.c.r. —HCR
Test Kitchen Notes
Nothing says county fair like a sugary confection, and this is fudge like we've never seen it. Dry breadcrumbs add a satisfying, nubbly texture without raising the sweetness quotient to red-alert levels the way, say, coconut would. The tang of the buttermilk also keeps the fudge from being cloying, and a whisper of lemon zest lends a little perfume. Make sure to watch the mixture carefully as it approaches 235°F -- you'll want to test it a minute or so before it reaches temperature. - A&M —The Editors
1 1/2 cups
breadcrumbs (use blender or food processor to grind preferably dry, dark bread)
Toast the breadcrumbs with added salt over a medium heat.
Add the lemon zest or vinegar to taste, if using, and set aside.
Combine all the ingredients except the vanilla extract in a large, deep saucepan.
Set over medium heat and stir just until the sugar dissolves.
Watch the mixture carefully as it boils, but do not stir. You will know that it can be removed from the heat when it is golden brown, 1/4 teaspoon of the syrup dropped into ice water forms a small ball or a candy thermometer measures 235°F.
Let the mixture cool to the point where you can touch it, though it's still warm to hot.
Add the vanilla extract and beat with an electric or hand-held whisk until it thickens and is no longer glossy. This might take quite a while.
Stir in the breadcrumbs.
Pour/scrape the fudge into a greased 8-inch square pan.