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DECEMBER 1999
RECIPES



Chocolate-Almond Petit Fours

Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie

Chocolate Spritz Cookies

Sour Cream Fudge

Gateau Rosie O.



Sweet Spot

 


Sour Cream Fudge

Tips: Genuine, long-cooking, temperamental fudge that yields a dark chocolate, less-sweet, very creamy candy. The finished product is a little softer at room temperature than some others I've seen. You'll need a candy thermometer; mine is mounted on a metal frame and made by Taylor. You'll also need a broad-bladed, heat-resistant rubber or wooden spatula for stirring, as well as a pastry brush. This fudge can be stored (airtight) at room temperature for up to a few days or in the fridge for up to a week, and it freezes very well. I wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap, which looks nice in a presentation but also helps to keep the fudge from drying out. Do not attempt this recipe on humid days, nor on days when you're short on time or patience. Should you like nuts in your fudge, have ready 3/4 cup of chopped, toasted, cooled walnuts or pecans. when fudge begins to lose its gloss (just before you turn it into the pan), stir in the nuts until evenly distributed. If you enjoy the special tart flavor sour cream can bring to foods, this fudge is for you.

Ingredients:

  • 3-2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sifted or strained unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 5 squares (5 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup dairy sour cream
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup, preferably at room temperature
  • Ice and cold water
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small bits and chilled, covered, until needed
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla

Thoroughly butter the sides of a heavy-bottomed, nonreactive four quart pot. If your candy thermometer is a "clip on" type, adjust clip so that the bulb does not rest directly on the pan bottom, then remove thermometer from pot. Place thermometer in a two quart pot about three-fourths full of cold water. Have ready a larger, shallower pan into which your four quart pot will fit without touching the edges (my pan measures 15 by 11 by 2 inches). Fill a glass with hot water; set near stovetop and have pastry brush ready.

In large bowl, combine sugar, sifted cocoa powder, and salt. With large whisk, mix gently until well-combined and evenly colored. Pour carefully into prepared four quart pot without getting too much of mixture on pot sides. Set aside.

In medium heatproof bowl, place chopped chocolate. In small saucepan over low heat, heat cream to a simmer, stirring occasionally; remove from heat. Pour about two-thirds of hot cream over chocolate. Allow to stand for a minute or two, then stir or whisk gently until smooth. Gradually stir in remaining cream. Add melted chocolate mixture to sugar mixture in four quart pot; do not stir. Add sour cream, water, and light corn syrup; stir to blend.

Place pot over low heat. Stir almost constantly with large spoon until sugar is dissolved. This will be a fairly thick mixture, and there will likely be a layer of foam on top from the cocoa--OK. When sugar is completely dissolved (this may take 8 to 10 minutes or longer), increase heat to medium.

Dip pastry brush in hot water; squeeze out most of water. Starting at the top and working your way down, wash down the sides of the pot, working in small sections at a time and making sure you re-dip the brush into hot water and squeeze out any excess frequently. Stir fudge occasionally until it comes to a boil, washing down the sides as above once or twice more before it does so.

When mixture boils, adjust heat so that a strong boil is maintained. You MUST stir this fudge frequently; I stir mine every three minutes. You'll need to scrape the bottom and sides of the pot thoroughly when you stir, thus the broad-bladed, heat resistant rubber or wooden spatula. Note that it's a good idea to wear long sleeves or a long-sleeved pot holder mitt while stirring, as the boiling mixture can spatter. While fudge boils, place pot containing water and candy thermometer on low heat; if the water boils, shut it off, but leave thermometer in pot.

As fudge boils, it will reduce in volume and become thicker. After 30 minutes or so of boiling, remove candy thermometer from its "bath", shake off excess water quickly, and clip onto side of four quart pot (you can introduce the pre-warmed thermometer into the fudge as it starts to boil if you like, but I find this frustrating, as the temperature increases only slowly). Keep stirring the fudge frequently; you may want to stir it a bit more often as it becomes thicker.

When fudge nears end temperature (235 degrees F), fill the larger, shallower pan with about an inch of cold water. Add some ice cubes if you like (I do), but this mixture should be mostly water, not mostly ice; you cannot cool fudge too quickly. When fudge reaches end temperature of 235 degrees F (for me, this requires 45 to 60 minutes of boiling), remove from heat and place into pan of cold water/ice. Do not remove thermometer; do not get any cold water/ice into the fudge. Add cold butter bits and vanilla, but do not stir.

While fudge cools, line an 8 inch square pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil or a double length of regular-weight foil. Smooth out as many creases in the foil as possible. Have ready a large, clean spoon. Butter the blade of a large, broad-bladed rubber spatula; chill till needed. Have ready a small amount of butter (at room temperature) to butter your hands if necessary.

The fudge should cool undisturbed. However, if you are careful, you can periodically remove some of the water in the larger, shallower pan (I use a small cup to do so) and replace it with fresh cold water and a few ice cubes. This will help to speed cooling a bit. Again, though, the larger, shallower pan should contain mostly cold water. Check the thermometer in the fudge periodically; the fudge must cool to 110 degrees F. This may take 30 to 50 minutes or longer.

When the thermometer shows a temperature of 110 degrees F, remove fudge pot from larger, shallower pan and place on a folded kitchen towel on a table or work surface. Remove thermometer from fudge. The fudge will be incredibly thick--OK. Remove buttered spatula from refrigerator and set nearby. With large, clean spoon, slowly start to stir the fudge. It will be so thick and stiff that you'll really only be able to fold it over on itself, and it will take several minutes to incorporate the melted butter and vanilla. Keep stirring/folding, but pause frequently to allow the fudge to react. Because you were careful to scrape the pot sides frequently during cooking, you can incorporate some of the fudge on the pot sides while you stir, but only if it is near the bottom of the pot; try not to incorporate any fudge more than about one-third of the way up the pot sides. Periodically, scrape the fudge off the spoon with the buttered spatula.

After 15 to 25 minutes (more or less) of stirring/folding and frequent pausing, the fudge will stiffen further and begin to lose its gloss. Work quickly now! With buttered spatula, turn into prepared pan, scraping out the pot bottom and any fudge near the bottom on the sides. If necessary, butter your hands and flatten fudge with knuckles or fingertips to an even layer. Cool completely before cutting.

To cut, use a large, sharp, straight-edged knife. You'll have to run the blade under hot water and dry it frequently to prevent the fudge from sticking. I cut this into 36 pieces, but it is very rich and you may cut it smaller if you wish. Wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap, and store as described above.

One 8 inch square pan, 36 or more pieces


© Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror" or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You MAY: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your own computer for your personal use only; reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.
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