Saturday, October 27, 2007

Retro Recipe Challenge #9: The Candy Man

When Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity announced her theme of candy as host of Laura Rebecca's Retro Recipe Challenge for October and posted the picture of Sammy Davis Jr to go along with it,

I had no choice but mark the due date on my calendar....and promptly get stupidly busy with work and planning my little get away with my sisters, Lisa and Helen. I mean after all...Sammy Davis Jr. IS the Candy Man and nothing says candy like fudge!!!

I spent my entire childhood surrounded by fudge as the area of Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan probably have more fudge shops than any other place in America. Heck, we even call the tourists "Fudgies" because they tend to wander around between the souvenir shops with at least one box of fudge in tow.

When Christmas comes around I always include fudge in my cookie platters and the recipe I use is probably the most famous homemade fudge recipe anywhere, the recipe for "Never Fail Fudge" found on the back of the jar of marshmallow creme best embodied by the classic Massachusetts brand, Fluff. This recipe has been around since the middle 1950's and was originally called "Mamie Eisenhower Fudge", as this was served at the end of every White House meal during the Eisenhower administration. The main ingredients are a jar of Fluff, 1/2 a stick of butter, sugar, chocolate chips, evaporated milk, and some nuts if you like.

This recipe is about as simple as can be, takes less than 15 minutes to make and results in a fantastically creamy fudge.

Heavy on the sugar but full of good chocolate flavour, it doesn't get any better than this...except maybe on Mackinac Island.

No Fail Fudge (or Mamie Eisenhower Fudge)

2 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) of butter (If you use salted butter, don't add the 3/4 tsp salt)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 jar (7 1/2oz) of marshmallow creme
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 12oz package semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Line a 9 inch square pan with 2 pieces of foil so the edges of the foil hang over the sides (makes it easy to remove the fudge from the pan to cut). Grease and set aside. In a large sauce pan combine the sugar, salt, butter, evaporated milk and marshmallow creme and stir over low heat until blended. Heat to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and vanilla (careful, if you add vanilla first the hot sugar mixture will sputter), stirring until chocolate is melted. Add nuts if using. Turn mixture into greased pan and cool until fudge is solid, typically 4 - 6 hours in the fridge.

To cut the fudge into square, remove from the pan and let sit on the counter for about 30 minutes. Use sharp knife and cut into 1" squares. Makes about 2 1/2 pounds.