Sunday, December 13, 2009

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge

This is the fudge of my "knee high to a grasshopper days" or at least the one I remember the most clearly. It was from the back of the Hershey's Cocoa can!

Yes, I even remember when Hershey's came in a can, and you had to pry the metal lid off with a spoon... Yea, then they switched to a cardboard 'can' with foil lining, but the top and bottom were still metal and you had to pry the lid off of that one too... Yeppers. Then about 10 years ago they switched to a plastic container with a really boring plastic lid... and thus went the bygone good old days.....

Even more sad is the fact that this recipe is no longer printed on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa container and has not been for years. Total bummer... a whole generation is growing up, never knowing the joy of having to stand in line in the kitchen to take their turn stirring the fudge pot... Yep, there are WAY too many No-Cook fudge recipes out there. All based on sweetened condensed milk, and all ya gotta do is heat it just to a boil and dump it in a pan and toss it unceremoniously into the refrigerator for 4 hours...

(sigh) it's just not the same... your not forming sugar crystals when you do that, which is what fudge is... teeny tiny itsy bitsy sugar crystals... That is why so much stirring is required, to keep large crystals from forming. The constant agitation breaks up the formation so you end up with a whole pot full of tiny crystalline goodness that not only feels like silk on your tongue, but melts almost immediately in your mouth.

I have to admit, this fudge does take a lot of elbow grease, but most great rewards require great effort and your efforts will be rewarded. As far as I know, this fudge DOES have to be stirred by hand and will not work if you attempt it with an electric mixer. And after having made it myself, I fully realize why my mom quit making it after she developed arthritis.

I have tried to convert to metric weights, I just hope they are correct, depending on humidity 2/3 cup of cocoa powder may weigh more... But I tried.

Hershey's Cocoa Fudge

3 cups (600 g) Granulated Sugar
2/3 cup (75 g) Hershey's Cocoa (or other Natural Cocoa Powder, not Dutch processed)
1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) Whole Milk
4 TB Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Line 8 or 9 inch square pan with foil, then butter the foil. (or cheat like I did and use a square silicone baking pan)

In large heavy saucepan stir Sugar, Cocoa and Salt together;

Stir in milk, with a wooden spoon.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until mixture comes to a full boil.

Remove spoon, place the candy thermometer (without touching the bottom of the pan) and boil without stirring, to 235 degrees F (114 degrees C) on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage - or until syrup forms a soft ball in cold water which flattens when removed)

Remove pan from heat and add the Butter & Vanilla extract, then let it cool to 110 degrees F (43 degrees C), without stirring... Seriously.... Again, just like the Gelatin Fudge... No Touchy!!

Stir with wooden spoon (no Kitchen Aid or Oster Kitchen center, just a good old "butt swattin when you've been a bad boy" wooden spoon.... OK, you can use a bamboo one too)

And Stir.... And Stir..... did I mention Stir?? Good, then stir some more.....

Until fudge thickens & loses some of its gloss; looking kind of like chocolate frosting, then quickly spread into prepared pan and let continue to cool to room temperature. (Nope, I don't add nuts to this one... Just pure unadulterated fudgy cocoa goodness)

Meanwhile, the cook gets to scrape all the yummy bits from inside the pan... YAY! Now that I'm all growed up and stuff, it is *I* who gets to eat the scrapings from the pan... AWESOME!!!

Cut into squares. (Unless you used a silicone pan like I did, then you must remove the whole thing from the pan before you cut; Although my cuts were a little off on this one)

Wrap loosely in aluminum foil or in a waxed paper lined tin and store in the refrigerator.

I LOVE this fudge... It is my total favorite kind... (sigh) Heaven, I'm in Heaven....



Bob said...

Oh wow. Drool.

I have to agree, no-cook fudge isn't right. It should be spelled different, like chocolatey instead of chocolate on all those cheap candies.

Patti T. said...

I too remember those CANS of Hershey's cocoa. It is sad that it seems like almost everything comes in plastic now, catsup, mayo, cocoa etc. Your fudge looks delicious again. They both look so good I don't know which one I want to try?!

Danielle said...

I have one of those cans!! It was in the kitchen cupboard when I moved in 20 plus years ago (leftover from mother in law) so I kept the can :). I'll have to check the recipe on the can..hee hee

Karen said...

I have been making this for 45 years. I really enjoyed your narrative and photos. My batch is almost ready to beat-smells great!

Monique Perretano said...

Thank you so much for this! I've been looking for this recipe for years. I really love the photos and the narrative complete it! My husband is so a little kid waiting to lick the beaters!

Shane Wingerd said...

Your very welcome Monique. I would love it if you let me know how it turns out.

Anonymous said...

This is the same recipe my mother made growing up and passed on to me (I'm 66 now and it's still the fudge I make when I have a craving). Supposedly, it was the only recipe my mother knew how to make when she got married. She learned quickly and became a good cook.

Miss Peabodi said...

In the butter step, do you literally just let the butter sit there until it's time to stir again like the picture shows? Or do you stir in the butter then not stir for a while?

Sorry for the dumb question but I don't want to mess it up haha

Shane Wingerd said...

Miss Peabodi, that is an excellent question. I usually add it and let it just sit there. Itiws the butter to melt while the fudge is resting, so when you DO begin to stir, the butter incorporates quickly.

Miss Peabodi said...

Ok, yes I found a video on YouTube and it shows the butter just sitting there as you mixed well one it was time to stir.

My only fail in my adventure was not stirring long enough. My fudge came out with a great taste, it just didn't set hard. It has not gone to waste though, it's just gooey to handle :-)

Thank you for your help :-D

Rhonda Whitehead said...

mine never lost its shine. i stired till I almost lost my arm. Guess i will stick to the no cook type

Jerry Reffner said...

Yeah, you really have to let the butter just sit there until the fudge cools to 110°. Then you don't have to stir quite as long, because it's already partially cooled. My question is: does anyone know when the recipe first appeared on the Hershey's Cocoa tin?

Shane Wingerd said...

I know that it was on the can in the 50s, cause my mom told me she and her sister use to make it at Christmas when they were younger. But how long it had been on the can at that point, I am not sure.

Debbie Luttrell said...

Thank you for the Fudge recipe. It is delicious and a keeper. My mom always used a recipe like this. I'm sure it was probably the same one. I didn't make it because I always thought it was grainy . I followed most of your instructions but I have to admit that, since I was also making divinity and caramels, I cheated and used my stand mixer to beat it. The texture is divine. Thank you so much for the picture tutorial too. Merry Christmas!


My mom made a very similar one using Hersheys but she dropped it by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Very yummy shiny circles of thin fudgy goodness. Try it !!

Anonymous said...

I am the youngest of 8 children and times were hard for my mom. She use to make this fudge for us but being we didn't have much my mom would put cheerios in it to make it stretch. This was one of my favorite childhood treats! I just lost my mom this July and I miss her tremendously! I'm so happy I came across this recipe. Will defiantly be making this for Christmas this year! Thanks for sharing!!