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Dec 12, 2007 09:35 AM

Help with Chocolate Fudge Recipe (crystallized/traditional)

I had never made fudge before and looked up a chocolate recipe online (choc. chips, can sweetened condensed milk, butter, salt). While it was good, it was nothing like what I think ‘fudge’ is; this was more like truffle filling.

What I want I think is what might be considered "traditional" style, with a texture that shears apart if you break the piece (like crystallized a little) but still melts in your mouth when you eat it. The only other recipes I can find either have marshmallow or corn syrup in them; I've ruled out the marshmallow recipes and the corn syrup recipes seem to be right--except I can't eat corn (!). Would it be possible to just substitute normal sugar for the corn syrup (and how much proportion-wise)?

Here’s the recipe I was going to try.
2 Tbsp sweet butter
3 Tbsp GOOD cocoa powder
2 c sugar
2/3 c milk
3 oz GOOD semisweet chocolate
2 Tbsp light corn syrup

(This is a heat to soft ball stage (236 deg.), cool to 120 deg., and stir like crazy method of preparation.)

Also, would I be able to adjust the cocoa powder/sugar with more semisweet chocolate? I have a lot of 70% chocolate bittersweet chips that I would like to use… or would this be messing with the recipe too much?

ps – Wiping the insides of the pan down with cold water to get rid of potential sugar crystals; how necessary is this? How often do you need to do this while waiting for the soft ball temp?


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  1. hi, for such a small quantity of corn syrup, I have successfully used Golden Syrup in equal quantity with good results. There is a brand called Lyle's, and mine is Roger's. Have you seen these before?

    1. My father made the type of fudge you describe every Christmas. Since he died I have missed that fudge! Maybe this is the year I'll try to recreate it. Anyway his recipe:

      2/3 c cocoa
      3 c sugar
      1/8 tsp salt
      1 1/2 c milk
      1/4 c butter
      1 tsp vanilla

      Combine cocoa, sugar and salt in 3 qt pan. Add milk gradually. Mix thoroughly. Bring to bubbly boil on highish heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil without stirring until 232 degrees, or soft ball stage. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. DO NOT STIR. Allow to cool to 110 degrees. Beat until it thickens and loses some of its gloss. Pour quickly into lightly greased 8 x8 pan. Cool completely.

      If you try it, let me know if it was the right recipe for you.

      4 Replies
      1. re: mirage

        I have also been looking for this traditional recipe. I just finished making and testing a batch. It is absolutely delicious!!! It melts in your mouth. I think the key to this type of fudge is the use of cocoa powder rather than chocolate. Thank You!!!!

        1. re: Sassy2u

          I'm so glad you made it! I WILL make it this year. My father made this for me every year for as long as I can remember, until he died. I have such fond memories of him making pounds of the stuff each year. I don't like any other fudge, really, but this one! But I love this one!

          1. re: mirage

            Well he definately had the best recipe. I only like this kind too!!! Thank you so much for posting it. It will be a favorite of my family now! Happy Holidays!!

        2. re: mirage

          Hi. When I add the butter and vanilla - do I stir then? Also does this setup fairly hard without refrigation.

          My wife and I have been trying for days to make pralines and fudge and get it to set up on the kitchen table - so it won't have to be refrigerated. So far we've only been partially sucessful - should we add cream of tartar or caro syrup and what would that do?


        3. I've never made fudge either. But I made a batch successfully with a epicurious recipe. It was for chocolate walnut fudget. It didn't call for corn syrup, instead it was just chocolate, butter, sugar, and non-fat evaporated milk (with other flvorings like vanilla and espresso powder).

          You can search for it on but I think the results is what you describe. The sugar and evaporated milk are boiled until they reached 234 (which by the way I used a digital thermometer with no ill effect). Then combined with chopped chocolate, butter and the espresso powder. Everything is mixed until combined and stir in the walnuts.

          1. Here is my recipe, which I also listed in another post on fudge. It does not have corn syrup. Cook it slowly, don't burn it. Don't immediately stir the butter and vanilla in.

            Chocolate Fudge

            1 cup light cream
            4 ounces semisweet chocolate -- chopped
            2 cups sugar
            1/2 tsp. salt
            2 TBS unsalted butter
            1 tsp. vanilla
            8 ounces walnuts or pecans, chopped. Nuts are optional but I love them, and I usually toast them first.

            1. Combine the cream, chocolate and sugar in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.

            2. Add the salt and let the mixture come to a boil.

            3. Turn down the heat to very low and cook without stirring until the mixture reaches the soft- ball stage, 236ºF on a candy thermometer.

            4. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter and vanilla, but DO NOT STIR.

            5. Let the mixture cool until lukewarm (110 degrees). Then beat the fudge with a wooden spoon until creamy. Add the nuts and mix well.

            6. Transfer the fudge to a buttered 8" square baking pan. Cover and chill. When firm, cut into squares.

            1. Glad I stubbed into your post, as I'm sitting hear enjoying my corn-free fudge-lol. I am severely allergic to corn & all its derivatives, to the point I have to carry an epi pen. The recipe you have is pretty good, minus the corn syrup of course. The one I use is from a 1930's cookbook, plus some techniques I've picked up along the way:

              2 cups sugar
              1/3 cup evaporated milk + 1/3 cup water (or 2/3 cup milk)
              2 squares baking chocolate
              1/8 teaspoon salt
              2 TBSP corn syrup substitute (***see below)
              2 tablespoons butter
              1 teaspoon vanilla (corn free- I make my own with potato vodka & vanilla beans)
              1/2-3/4 cup walnuts or pecans, if desired

              Place sugar, milk, chocolate, & salt in a 2-3 quart sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until sugar is melted, once it boils, cover for 1-2 minutes (to steam the sides of the pan). Insert thermometer, but do not stir once uncovered; cook to soft ball stage (238F). Carefully remove from heat & lay slices of butter carefully on top of the the hot fudge mixture (helps keep top from forming a coat while cooling). Allow to cool to 110F, without stirring, and then add 1 teaspoon vanilla (I add both my own vanilla extract & ground vanilla beans). Stir with wooden spoon until no longer glossy, add chopped, toasted walnuts or pecans, if desired, just before transferring into well buttered 8"x8" pan.

              ***The recipe didn't originally call for any corn syrup or anything to help prevent over crystallization, which can happen. The easiest way to get around this is to add 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar to the sugar mixture, before heating, but the one time I tried that, it seemed like it affected the milk, or else the cream of tartar just wasn't dissolving very well. But considering I use it in all my batches of marshmallows, I'd go for the cream of tartar being an acid + milk = not such a good thing- I'd used brown sugar w/chocolate and it seemed like there was a slightly off taste in the background, not that the fudge went to waste or anything. Now to be safe, I just add a couple tablespoons of fake corn syrup, using this recipe:,1823,1...
              Its nice to keep on hand for sweets too in a corn free household, though fudge is where most of mine gets used.

              You can make a brown sugar fudge, which they call penuche (sp?), by substituting brown sugar for the white. Of course you can make an Opera Fudge, or white fudge, by omitting the chocolate. For peanut butter fudge, stir in 1/2 cup or so peanut butter when you add the vanilla after the fudge mixture cools to 110F. You can make a really decadent fudge by using brown sugar & chocolate & peanut butter! There are tons of other flavor combinations you can come up, if you need any ideas, check any of the websites from the various Mackinaw Island fudge companies (just don't drool too much on your keyboard). As for your extra semisweet chocolate chips, you could stir it into your chocolate fudge as you would nuts....hmmm, using cocoa powder + baking chocolate in the sugar syrup + chunks of whole chocolate stirred in would make for a triple chocolate fudge- sounds good to me! It would also be go in a peanut butter fudge, sort of the opposite of a peanut butter cup.