My mom graduated from the University of Dayton (Ohio) in 1967 with a B.S. in Home Economics. She then moved to White Plains, NY where she worked in the test kitchens of General Foods. She developed and tested many recipes including popular brand name general recipes such as Jello. My brother used to tell his friends that my mother invented Jello.
This chocolate fudge recipe comes from her typed notes from working at General Foods. It was originally developed for use in a leaflet (for Baker's Chocolate) but have never found it in print/web anywhere. It was made using Baker's Chocolate (which I have altered for better quality) and use butter (not margarine) as the recipe first indicated. Relatives and friends received boxes of these for the holidays. Stories of hoarding and hiding were common. My mother kept a tight lid on them as well and they were painstakingly doled out to my normally sugar deprived siblings and myself. I'm pretty sure my Uncle Bill, grandfather, and neighbor Dennis counted the pieces and kept close track of how many were in the box. Dense and chocolatey without any sweetened condensed milk they were my first introduction to candy making and the use of a candy thermometer. The whole process would go smoothly and at a relaxed pace until it was time to pour the fudge from the pot into the prepared pan. My mother would furiously scrape the fudge out and smooth it before it started to set up. We waited impatiently to scrape the leftover fudge out of the pot and into our mouths. We also saved all the little crumbles from the very small pieces my mother cut to spoon over our ice cream. This is the small batch recipe but it can be doubled. —testkitchenette
Test Kitchen Notes
I've had my hand in more than a few bouts of caramel-making, but I'd never tackled a fudge recipe before so I was pleased to find it to be not difficult at all! Testkitchenette's directions were clear, concise, and accurate; and the fudge I turned out tasted just like the old fashioned morsels found only in the best candy shops. Next time, I think I'd play with the salt level (I think it'd be wonderful sprinkled with sea salt), and maybe try adding some of my homemade caramel. This fudge will certainly be gracing the snack table when I host Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks. —Kate Williams
Butter an 8X4 inch pan. Combine chocolate and milk in a heavy saucepan. Place over very low hear and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth, well blended, and slightly thickened.
Add sugar and salt; stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture boils. Continue boiling over medium heat, without stirring, until small amount of mixture forms a soft ball which can be rolled with the fingers into a definite shape in cold water (drop a bit of the mixture in a bowl of cold water and try to roll the ball) or to a temperature of 234F.
Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Do not stir. Cool to lukewarm (110F). Beat until mixture begins to lose its gloss and starts to hold its shape. Turn at once into a buttered 8X4 inch pan. Put in the refrigerator to chill and cut when chilled.