Happy Friday the 13th!
And yes, more fudge. My darling Husband says that I’ve turned this holiday into Fudgemas! This fudge is for all you caffeine addicts out there. Instant coffee – the first instant coffee I’ve ever bought, as my darling makes such excellent coffee (really, he’s ruined me for any other coffee!) – is added to a basic chocolate fudge recipe to elevate this into a wonderfully flavourful, well-balanced mocha fudge. (Yes, I said elevate. Chocolate and coffee were made for one another!) I doubled the amount of instant coffee in this recipe to boost the coffee flavour, and the chocolate and coffee magically harmonized. They are in what I consider to be perfect balance, with the chocolate flavour being only just more prominent than that of the coffee. I’m surprised at how good instant coffee tastes in this recipe! It doesn’t taste scorched at all, due to the influence of the chocolate.
This was my first successful cooked fudge recipe, and it turned out so well that I decided to try another cooked fudge recipe. However, there was a learning curve with this recipe. Feeling a bit arrogant after my first successful attempt, and impatient to make it again a few days later (it was just so darned good!), I cooked the syrup over medium-high heat instead of the medium heat called for by the recipe. The syrup boiled over, becoming grainy, yet I added chocolate to it anyway in a desperate hope that it would still turn out well. No such luck! The chocolate seized, and that second attempt became a gloopy mess that refused to coalesce into anything resembling actual fudge. I learned mad respect for cooking syrup that day.
Despite that hideous failure, I still consider this recipe to be fool-proof – as long as the syrup is cooked slowly over medium heat! Do that, and the recipe is highly tolerant of beginner mistakes, such as over- or under-cooking. (I have included specific things to watch for when cooking the syrup, as I felt the original instructions were too vague.) Marshmallow cream is typically used in the cooking stage of fudge making to stabilize the syrup – it’s much more stable than just sugar and / or brown sugar – and so it makes sense that this recipe is pretty stable and reliable (as long as you don’t boil the hell out of it, like I did on my second attempt). Save for that abortive attempt, this fudge has turned out creamy and smooth – the perfect fudge texture – every time.
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7 oz. marshmallow cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter (either salted or unsalted is fine)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. instant coffee**
12 oz. chocolate*
Line an 8×8″ dish with aluminum foil. Set aside.
Combine all ingredients except for the chocolate in a 2 or 3 quart heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Do not exceed medium heat! To do so would cause the mixture to overcook and become grainy, in turn causing the chocolate to seize and become a clumpy mess.
When the mixture reaches a point halfway between a simmer and a boil (if you stop stirring, bubbles should come to the surface within less than 2 seconds), set a timer for five minutes. Keep stirring constantly for the next five minutes while the mixture gradually reaches a rolling boil. The syrup will darken and thicken, cooking down to about 3/4 of its former volume. Once the five minutes are up, remove syrup from heat and immediately add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and thoroughly incorporated with the syrup, with no streaks remaining.
Pour the fudge into the prepared dish, cover, and refrigerate until set, about 3 – 4 hours. Slice into 1″ squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, separating layers of fudge with waxed paper so that the layers of fudge don’t stick together.
*This recipe doesn’t add much sweetness to the chocolate flavour, so feel free to use milk chocolate. If you choose to use semisweet or dark chocolate, keep in mind that the finished fudge will retain the dark character of the chocolate.
**Use a full TBS of instant coffee for a stronger coffee flavour.
Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats