How to heal a broken heart with chocolate.
Even romance writers have broken hearts. Not every Valentine’s Day goes well for everyone, nor does writing romance mean your life is super romantic. Of course mine is now, but there have been times when I romance didn’t go well for me. And in my deep, dark past, I used to make fudge.
No marshmallow creme allowed. Just old-fashioned ingredients. Why? Because that was the way I was taught, from a recipe developed before marshmallow creme. That’s how old this recipe is (although it does contain corn syrup). Now it does tend to be a little grainy, so if you can find superfine sugar, you should use that. But I grew up with grainy fudge, because that’s the kind of sugar we bought. We didn’t care. It was fudge.
Thick, rich and simple. Mostly just chocolate and sugar and an endorphin high that must have been kicking. No wonder I made it a ton when I was an adolescent, jacking my system likely got me through all the heartaches.
With real candy you use a candy thermometer to tell when it’s hid soft ball or hard ball stage. Or you can use the old fashioned method of testing for doneness by dropping balls of hot love (your candy) into a glass of water and feeling them for doneness.
(Okay, that sounds like a blog to me.)
For years I had fudge on the brain. I made it a lot. My birthday cake was covered in real fudge icing. Real fudge sets up fast, so you have to move lightening fast to cover a cake. Hard as a rock, but oh so delicious. And perfect. Chocolate cake, fudge icing, and topped with real vanilla ice cream. Mmmm!
But here’s the thing. Fudge doesn’t really nurture your soul. That endorphin kick was a fake. Real love and romance do it so much better. You want to know how I know that?
I haven’t made fudge for years. In fact, I almost couldn’t locate the recipe for this blog, it was buried in the back of my recipe card box. Instead, now, I nurture my soul with real love…friends…and brownies. 🙂
Okay, I still love chocolate and still sometimes have those days where I want it’s soothing touch, but I no longer go for the super sweet taste of fudge. In fact, I’m eat very little sugar at all now. My occasional brownie foray is sweetened with honey or maple syrup. But, because I still have a soft spot for the past, I’m sharing my grandmother’s fudge recipe with all of you. If you want a little adventure into the past, give it a try. And you’ll get to try rolling your own soft balls.
My Grandmother’s Fudge
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 sq bitter chocolate
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbl corn syrup
- tiny pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp butter
Butter a 8×8 pan and put aside.
Melt chocolate on med-low in a thick bottomed pot. Add milk and sugar, salt, butter and corn syrup. Stir occaisionally. Cook until soft ball stage. (When dropped into a glass of cold water the candy forms a soft ball stage and sugar crystals are forming on the sides of the pan. (If you’ve reached a hard, crackly ball, you’ve gone too far!)
Remove from heat and beat hard!
Beat until it is almost firmed up and pour into the greased pan. Fudge should develop a glossy color. If you wait too long, you will not be able to pour it into the pan or over the cake. It will still taste delicious!
This is the tricky part. Be careful, hot candy gives you very bad burns. I had a very bad birthday one year, when the hot fudge slipped over the edge of the pot and burned my hand. You must develop a good bicep muscle and beat it until it is ready. Have a friend on standby to take over. We just don’t have the upper arm strength our grandmothers needed to cook!)
Let cool. If you can! If you can’t, at least wait until it is past the tongue burning stage, we don’t want any trips to the ER.
Hope your Valentine’s day was every bit as romantic as you wanted it to be, but just in case it wasn’t, there’s always fudge!
Or brownies…or chocolate…or wine.