3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped or broken*
1/2 cup light corn syrup (use organic if at all possible – no gmos) **
1/4 cup (1 half-stick) butter
1 teaspoon Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup nuts chopped or broken into large pieces and lightly toasted
8-inch square pan with aluminum foil sling (sheets of aluminum foil that go over all four sides of the pan and are fitted into the sides and corners of the pan)
In a 3 quart saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the sugar, milk, chocolate and corn syrup just to a boil, gently stirring with a whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture almost comes to come to a boil. This means little bubbles around the side of the pan, not bubbles all through the mixture.
Cover and cook 3 to5 minutes to dissolve the sugar crystals on the sides of the pan. (At 3 minutes remove the lid to see if the mixture has bubbled up and the sugar crystals have all dissolved. If not, cook an additional minute or 2. Remove the lid and cook without stirring, to the soft ball stage (240 F for firmer fudge; 238 F for softer). The mixture will rise up in the pan but it won’t boil over.
Remove from the heat, either placing the pan on a cool burner or on a cooling rack. Add the butter to the fudge without stirring. Cool 20 minutes then add the vanilla.
Move the pan to a table or counter where you can easily beat (or stir briskly) the fudge with a heavy wooden spoon until the candy thickens and holds its shape. Don’t take breaks even if your arm starts to hurt; just change hands quickly. Little details like this can cause big problems in the finished product. You will know it’s time to stir in the nuts when you see the fudge become slightly opaque. That’s when you stir in the nuts just until well coated.
Note: This particular fudge remains somewhat glossy.
Pour the fudge into the pan. If the fudge is too thick to pour easily, scrape it out with a rubber scraper. Gently press the candy into the pan. Andrew uses the wooden spoon to “dab” it into place. Don’t try to spread it evenly or it will make a mess.
Cool the fudge at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. The fudge needs to relax for best results. You can then refrigerate the fudge before cutting or proceed with cutting it into squares. Wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap to refrigerate or store fudge in an air-tight container.
* I like Guittard, Valhrona, El Rey or Callebaut. The important thing is to use the best quality you can afford and don’t use chocolate chips.
** This is my personal bias but I feel it’s important. Unless corn syrup is labeled “organic” it is made with genetically modified corn. As there are no tests showing that gmo’s are safe, and because there are studies that indicate that they may be harmful to our health, I strongly suggest taking the time to find organic corn syrup. I suspect that you can substitute agave syrup but I don’t know how it may alter the finished fudge as I haven’t yet tried making the fudge with agave syrup.