On Saturday afternoon, M called from her freshman dorm wondering how to make fudge. I gave her a recipe and all evening imagined how it might have been for the girls to smell fudge bubbling in their basement kitchen. Can there be happier smells than fudge-in-the-making or bread-in-the-baking?
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate or 4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
Butter an 8x8 inch pan. Combine the chocolate or cocoa, sugar, milk, and corn syrup in a medium-size heavy pot, stirring to blend all the ingredients. Set over low heat and, stirring slowly, bring to a boil. Cover the pot and let boil for 2-3 minutes. Uncover and wash down the sides of the pot with a pastry bush dipped in cold water, then continue to boil slowly, without stirring, until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage (234 degrees F). Remove from the heat, add the butter without stirring, and set the pot on a cooling surface or rack. Do not stir until the syrup is lukewarm (110 degrees F), then add the vanilla and stir without stopping until the mixture loses its gloss and thickens. Pour it into the buttered pan and mark into squares. When firm, cut into pieces and store airtight.