Friday, December 10, 2010

Beth's Famous Fudge


"Beth was sweeter than her fudge."  These were the first words delivered at my grandmother's funeral.  And they rang true.  My grandmother, or rather step-grandmother really, though I never considered  her to be "step," was famous for both her loving nature and her fudge.  I've mentioned before that I have the best grandfather in the world, and his devotion to Beth is just one of the many reasons.  She had a series of strokes the day after Easter in 2004.  They left her paralyzed pretty much from the neck down.  She was admitted into a rehabilitation center, and lived there until she died in September of 2006.  Twice a day, every single day, Pop visited her for a minimum of 2 hours.  Every.  Single.  Day.  My sweet Pop was the most devoted husband I've ever seen.  And this was the second wife he'd buried.  I just marvel at that commitment and love, and I can only hope that Joey and I still feel that way about each other when we're old and gray (or bald, as in Pop's case)!

Every year she literally made dozens of pounds of her fudge.  It's nothing out of the ordinary - just a classic chocolate fudge, but there was something special about hers.  It was always the perfect consistency.  And super sweet - which some may complain about, but it's fudge.  What do you expect?  She would "grudgingly" say at Thanksgiving every year that it was time to start the great fudge-making extravaganza, and we all looked forward to Christmas because she always brought it to our gatherings.  And we'd usually smuggle some home.  Luckily, she shared her recipe with my mom, who has now shared it with me.

A candy thermometer is absolutely vital for this fudge:  if the mixture isn't hot enough, it won't set.  If its too hot, it will be grainy and dry.  So 238 degrees Farenheit exactly is what you want.  Other than that, it is very straightforward and simple:  Melt the sugar, marshmallows, butter, and milk together to reach 238, then mix in the chocolate, vanilla, and cream of tartar.  Easy peasy. 

With 5 cups of sugar, this is not for the faint of heart.  However, it is one of the most nostalgic treats out there for me, and I can't help but to feel closer to her when I make it.  In fact, I made a batch recently, and gave a tin of it to Pop for his birthday.  He was quite excited to be able to enjoy this fudge again after all these years, and now that Joey has proclaimed it to be "the best fudge ever," I hope to carry on her tradition for years to come.


Beth's Fudge
makes 5 pounds
  • 1 (15-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 package mini marshmallows
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 (12-ounce) package, plus 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 cups nuts (optional)
In a large stockpot, melt together the milk, sugar, marshmallows, and butter over medium heat, stirring often.  Bring to a boil and heat to 238 degrees.  Meanwhile, line a 9x13 inch bakign dish with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Remove from heat, and using an electric mixer, beat in the chocolate chips, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract.  Fold in the nuts, if using.  Carefully but quickly, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and use a spatula to smooth the top.  Allow to set before cutting into squares.


23 comments:

brannyboilsover.com said...

What a great homage to your grandmother. Happy Holidays, Josie!

Erin said...

I love making recipes that remind me of my grandmother! This was such a nice post :) I am a fudge fanatic and will definitely try this, probably this weekend!

Tien said...

Josie,
I loved the story and the fudge recipe. In the end, all that is left is your memories. What a great tribute to your grandmother. Happy holidays. -Tien

Jen said...

Josie - this brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful holiday post. Thank you for sharing your grandmother's recipe with us.

Hope you are well and enjoying the holiday season.

Cara said...

What a wonderful tradition and story! Thank you for sharing!

Kelsey said...

What sweet words for your grandmother! I bet she's smiling down knowing you are sharing her famous recipe with so many others who will share it with their families.

Roxan said...

Wonderful homage to your grandmother with this post... and the love that your pop had for her - amazing. That is true dedication and devotion! This fudge looks delicious - decadent - and just what the holidays are about. I love the addition of marshmallows. I've only made fudge a couple times but I don't think i've seen one with marshmallows before! Maybe that is the secret ingredient.

the blissful baker said...

what a sweet post :)
time to buy a thermometer!

Rachel said...

Your pop sounds adorable. :) I'm sorry about your loss! Even though it was 4 years ago, it's always hard!

This fudge looks incredible. I'll definitely be trying it soon. I'm glad you have a part of your grandma to hold on through this recipe!

Sarah said...

What an amazing story! Not going to lie, I even teared up a bit reading it! How great to find love like that. I will definitely be adding this fudge to my holiday treats list!

Anonymous said...

how many oz does one package of mini marshmallows equal? i can't wait to try this recipe!

Lizzy said...

Your fudge looks delectable...and such a sweet tribute to your grandmother...

ann said...

What a sweet story to go with this delicious fudge. Thanks for sharing!

Wilde in the Kitchen said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe, and your memories. Such a fantastic story.

Melissa @ Made in Melissa's Kitchen said...

What a touching story about your grandparents! So sweet, and this fudge looks equally sweet!

propertytalks said...

this is good..

Stephanie said...

This looks delicious... I will need to try this soon!

Heather said...

Your fudge was so good! I had a problem with getting it to set right. Next time I make it I will add some cornstarch to help stiffen it up.

Josie said...

Heather,
Is your thermometer calibrated? It sounds like it wasn't quite cooked to 238 degrees. I've never had a problem with it setting. I'm glad you liked it though!

Jenn said...

Also wondering what size package of mini marshmallows? Thanks!

Josie said...

Jenn, it is a 10.5 oz bag of marshmallows.

Jenn said...

Thanks Josie! Can't wait to make the fudge and add it to my Christmas baking trays. I've spent my whole weekend between your blog, Annies and Bake at 350, needless to say I've added a million bookmarks and pins this weekend!

Ginny F. said...

So I made this today, and my fudge came out dry and crumbly :( I used a candy thermometer and followed the recipe to a T. I don't know what I did wrong....

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