Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oh Fudge! Carnation's Classic Chocolate Fudge

This video recipe for chocolate fudge is the first of two I've been commissioned to do for Carnation Evaporated Milk.

They've hooked up with a select group of food bloggers to promote this classic American ingredient for the holidays.

I don't want to spoil the surprise for what the second video will be on (and I have no idea yet), but the choice for this first one was very easy. When I think of Carnation evaporated milk, I think of chocolate fudge.

There are hundreds of different recipes for chocolate fudge, most requiring a candy thermometer and a good bit of finesse to achieve that elusive rich, creamy-smooth texture. This recipe does not. As you'll see in the video, this is boil, turn off, stir, chill, and cut.

The holidays are a time of celebration, but with the festivities comes the occasional need to "bring a dish." What better way to impress your hosts than with a plate of chocolate fudge? Remember, it's not about how much effort you spent making something special for your friends and family, it's all about how much effort they think you spent. Enjoy!

A Message from the Sponsor:

It's that time of year when we’re all looking for a little more inspiration in the kitchen. You’ll find plenty of that in this Holiday Recipe Guide from Carnation Evaporated Milk, sponsor of this post.

One delicious idea is to substitute Carnation Evaporated Milk for regular milk in your go to recipes. It makes all kinds of dishes richer and creamier.

Get your Holiday Recipe Guide as a downloadable PDF or by email
.





Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (4 ounces) miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

68 comments:

scallywag said...

aww you didn't show us the teeth marks it left behind... i mean how can you tell a good fudge from an ordinary one

Tom said...

Thank you for this easy recipe Chef John! Now i have one question, what is the difference between evaporated milk an normal milk, i mean, i know the name says it all, but as fare as cooking with it, does it effect the taste at all if i use normal milk !? i have never used evaporated milk except for my coffee!

regards from Austria

Chef John said...

yes, it's a totally different thing. I'm running out to an event... google for details! :)

Connie said...

Yummm. You are right, who has time to evaporate milk.

Mike said...

Hey chef, I was planning on forming a little wine tasting party. Are you a wine drinker? If so what's you're favorite kind. By the way, I'm totally going to make this fudge, I used to make peanut butter fudge in a similar fashion. Love it.

milkshake said...

can one use chopped cannabis buds instead of walnuts in this recipe?

robyn said...

Hi chef John :) I've just made mine, but to cut down on the sugar, i used 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup regular size marshmellow. The mixture turned out pretty runny so i add about 1/2 cup of flour to thicken it abit. Is that ok?

Chef John said...

No! This only works if the amounts are as written. The texture depends on it. There is no way to make this lower cal. Also, raw flour would taste very bad in a candy. Sorry!

Chef John said...

milkshake, yes

Anonymous said...

This looks amazing. Do you think I could use this recipe for frosting?
BTW, I have to think Robyn was kidding around.
Jackie

Also, I'm using anonymous to send comments because for some reason, my original ID doesn't work any more and when I try to set it up again I get a message that says I'm already signed up. I'm pretty much computer illiterate. Can someone help?

Anonymous said...

Annonymous - same thing happened to me, on a different website. Apparently the marker is your computers ID so that is how the page is recognizing you - and only the original info you set up from that computer is allowed.

The page where I had this problem did not permit anonymous sign ins, so I am shut out as long as I use my same computer! If you find a work around - please post it here - I'd love to know how to fix this!

Anne Marie said...

Hi Chef John! I stumbled upon your blog, and I just stoped by to say that I love it!

Anonymous said...

Ah, thanks for responding.
If I figure it out (or if some one does it for me) I'll certainly post it here.
Jackie

easy recipes said...

This recipe just look perfect.

Anonymous said...

Hey if you don't add the marshmallows will it still come out the same or are the marshmallows important for the end result?

Chef John said...

see previous comments

Phanzy said...

Good job Chef! This is definitely one for the recipe box. Although it was easy enough to remember. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I want to gift this at xmas. How long will it keep after making? how about packaging? Thx chef.

Chez Us said...

Chef John, I love that you are making a traditional chocolate fudge, one from my childhood. Even after all these years, I think this recipe is the best!

Anonymous said...

Cool recipe, I'll have to try it. Why does the vanilla bubble up when you add it, I've never seen that happen before...

Chef John said...

Thanks Denise! yes, a very nostalgic recipe for many

Matits said...

The vanilla bubbled up because I am sure the temperature exceeded the boiling point of the alcohol in the vanilla extract. I have seen that happened before. Ethenol alcohol has a boiling point of 173.1 F (or 78.4 °C for peeps outside the US :) )

Vanilla extract is produced by soaking the vanilla "beans" in water and alcohol to extract the full range of esters and flavors out. If they didn't add some amount of ethanol alcohol, you wouldn't get much flavor at all. Since it contains the alcohol and water, the small percentage of the alcohol in the mixture became higher than the alcohol's boiling point thus making it instantly boil off.

Matits said...

Jackie,

What were you using to login? Google Account, OpenID, or which method did you use? If it was google, you can go to gmail.com and type in forgot password and answer your security question it asked you to put in when you started the account.

Open ID allows you to log in with multiple different accounts types including AIM or WordPress. You would have to go to their main site to do the same as with the google. If you had AIM then go to America Onlines mail portal and click forgot password.

If you still are having problems, let me know. I will help you people out. I went to school for computer networking infrastructures. I will try to explain better. If you need to you can email me. Let me know, I clicked follow up on posts.

Matits said...

And finally to Chef John, if I may call your highness by his first name. Love your podcasts. I found a way a long time ago to auto download your video feeds directly to my podcatcher Miro. When you post a video it goes and gets it so when I click it the video plays with no lag.

You humor is along mine. I know that you take your cookery very seriously and would never joke around about anything. I wouldn't make such a mistake taking you so seriously. The first episode I watched a long time ago blew me away. You cook all sorts of stuff and aren't afraid to let us know what you would do differently than what you did in the videos. I wouldn't dare make the mistake of even thinking that you have made any mistakes before. We all know that is just not true.

I think there should be a site dedicated to 1000 True Facts about Chef John, like that poser Chuck Norris had.

Thank you for your delicious food porn podcast. I can't wait to see what you will cook up next. I should send you a recipe for my Texan family Cowboy muffins. Kind of like a mix somewhere between biscuits and dinner rolls, with a little sour dough thing going on. They are wonderful.

Chef John said...

thanks everyone! (i like all wines! no fav)

Rusu Vlad said...

Hello! I just got in contact with you're blog, it is absolutely awesome! I really like you're recipes and videos.! We call this Fudge: Blackie (I am Romanian, in my native language, it is called "negresa"; My grandma does this delicious "cake" (that's how i call it, even if it isn't a real cake).
I am very happy that I found you're blog. I am a big fan of cooking. I have a few recipes myself. Caramelized Oranges with beef steak :) I am 15 years old:D

Jackie Reynolds said...

Thanks, Matits!
I think i'm good to go.
Jackie

Anonymous said...

this is way to sweet! next time ill make this with 1/2 cup sugar. since there is already semi sweet chocolate. X.X its killing my throat!

Brad said...

Hey Chef John, et al,

I've made a lot of your recipes quite successfully, but this one failed dismally. I followed your instructions to the letter (with the only exception being the brand of evaporated milk).

The end result was a chocolate mixture that wouldn't harden. I left it in the fridge for a day and it still came out soft and runny.

Any suggestions on where I may have gone wrong? Could the brand of evaporated milk be the cause?

Thanks for this and the rest of your great recipes (I'm now making your version of the no-knead bread on a daily basis. Love it!)

Anonymous said...

Hello chef john this fudge was absolutely delicious and I was planning to mail some to a friend but if the fudge is not cool it becomes very soft and gripping soft fudge isn't one of the best things to try to pick up. So is there a way to compensate that so when the receiver gets the fudge so its nice and firm and easy to eat with out cooling it?

Simone said...

Hello chef! i have been religiously following and trying ur recipes for about a month now...i recently gave the Tres Leches a try and it was a hit! would u believe i made a cake as big as what u have done on the video and as soon as it was ready to eat (i soaked it overnight)and my family got the chance to taste it...it was ALL gone! It was beyond being a hit! hehehe! Thanks again! i love it! :)

I do have a question for this Chocolate fudge recipe....It seems that even if i have stored it overnight and even tried storing it at the freezer..it doesnt seem to hold up its structure...it because runny and turns like frosting and not as candy bars! why is that? How can i make it like candy bars so that it can be held and eaten properly without dropping or being runny? I am planning to make some for my friends as giveaways so i would really like to know any tips on how to make it more "hand held friendly" much like a candy at is suppose to be? hehehe!

Thanks! i love ur blog! keep it up more power and Godbless!

Chef John said...

thanks! sorry, ive never had one turn runny. no idea, makes no logical sense

Anonymous said...

Hey,

I made this last night and I had the same problem as Simone. I left it over night in the freezer, and this morning the fudge was all stuck to the plastic wrap and it was really mushy. It still taste amazing, but we have to eat it with a spoon instead of cutting it into bars. The only change I made to your recipe was that I doubled it, but that really shouldn't have made a difference. This is the easiest fudge recipe I've ever seen, so I'd love to know why it turned out like this.

Chef John said...

I have no idea! I swear I used no trick photography! ;-) It is a very soft fudge, but you saw how firm it was when I cut it.

Kasey said...

Would it turn out just as good if I were to use milk chocolate chips?

Chef John said...

works, but semi is much better! milk's too sweet

Matits said...

What you are doing when you are making fudge is creating a cocoa and sugar crystal block. If you add some water to a lot of salt, the water is oversaturated to the point where no more salt can dissolved in the water. If you have a lot of water to a little salt, you will have what looks like just water, but if you evaporate it out, it will take a long time, you will be left with as much salt as you started with, by weight that is. Theoretically.

What is most likely the case is, you live in a more humid environment. Or the conditions were a certain way.


They way to remedy it would be to cook it a little bit longer.

One trick my mom taught me was to instead of using a candy thermometer to see when it gets to the stage you are looking for... Take a small teacup and fill if about half way full of cold tap water. Take your stirring device and spoon a small amount into the water. Then with your finger touch the stuff in the bottom and see if it forms a ball. When it is ready, as soon as it hits the water it should form a ball easily and feel sort of like a really really soft taffy.

Going back to the salt analogy. What you are doing when you make fudge, is you are cooking the moisture out of the sauce to make it thicker and thicker. As more moisture leaves the mix, your sugar concentration gets higher. When your finished cooking and the fudge in the water makes a ball, you have reached the right amount of moisture. It is then a guessing game with the weather. When you let the sugary mixture cool, you will do so gradually. You will pour it into your container. Then the mixture will be allowed to cool in the room temp air. The slower the mixture is allowed to cool, the finer the crystals will be. Thus making the texture very smooth and pleasant, instead of grainy, or runny.

My moms family fudge recipe uses milk and canned milk. By using the condensed milk you are taking a shortcut so you don't have to stand there stirring constantly. A lot of the moisture content is already evaporated out.

Also, never store your fudge in the refrigerator. I mean, your fridge is a great food preservation device, but it tends to be a little too moist. Sugar is hydroscopic meaning it likes water and will attract it. If it gets too much moisture from the air or fridge, you will lose what you worked so hard to get. It will make it runny. Once you make those crystals you want to try and keep it cool and dry. So the fridge would not be your friend.

If you still have any questions, write back.

I will try my best to explain.

And my suggestion would be to try my method, or just cook it a little bit longer. But you will want to watch it cause fudge is one of those things that a few seconds can make a huge difference between runny and burnt to a crisp.

Matits said...

And chef john, what is a good e-mail to send you a recipe. I will send you my moms fudge recipe and maybe you can make it on the show. It does take longer to make it but it is WELL worth it. But hey, no pain, no gain. And it is so amazing. Also I have a caramel fudge that is super fantastic and super rich. Let me know, I will send both your way. You will be blown away. Even if you don't put on the show, you should try to make it for yourself. Everyone you know who tries it will go insane and want the recipe.

Chef John said...

thanks, it's foodwishes@yahoo.com

Toufas said...

chef! my fudge did not set :(
i think i missed the 5 minute shimmer but i am not sure. also it might be because i used some strawberry syrup (the one they use in cocktails) instead of vanilla...
no wonder i am not a pastry chef :D

fapsa said...

we have do it but the problem we face it does not come hard ????????? any idea

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John. Listen, I followed these direction to a T and it came it goopy, it NEVER hardened. I boiled the Milk, Sugar, and Butter for 3-4 Minutes, then added the Vanilla, Chocolate Chips, and Marshmallows. I wrapped it and put it in my fridge for 8 hours. It just never hardened. I used EVERYTHING you used. Perhaps this recipe needs some tweeking? Any suggestions would be awesome! Thank You!

Anonymous said...

Can I add a cup of peanut butter morsels to this recipe? or should I just leave it alone?

Chef John said...

You could maybe at the end, but if they melt, this already soft fudge would be too soft

Anonymous said...

Could you use Jet-Puffed marshmellows instead?

Anonymous said...

Chef, this is the 2nd time I commented. For some reason, this fudge does not turn out right. It is much too soft and never sets. I even put it in my freezer, after it being in my fridge for 12 hours. I think this recipe might need tweaking, considering my mother, with 20 years of cooking experience tried it, and she couldnt get it right. Thanks

Chef John said...

wish i knew! This isn't my recipe, its carnation's and its been they're basic recipe forever. All i can say is it worked for me!

Matits said...

Actually, the fridge is probably the worst place to store fudge. Fudge contains tons of sugar. That is what makes the crystals that make up a fudge. Sugar is extremely hydroscopic and when put in the fridge, it will pick up ambient moisture. When you open and close the door all day, it causes condensation inside the fridge. I would only use it as a last resort, and if that doesn't work, you didn't evaporate enough of the liquid off increasing the sugar concentration. Cook it a little longer than you are. Let the soup condense down. Let it evaporate more of the liquid leaving it a little thicker. Try the cold water in a cup trick. That was before thermometers, and it works for me all the time with Hershey's cocoa fudge. Cold water in a cup (coldest from your tap). Dab a little of the chocolate slurry in the cup of water and push it with your finger and if it pushes into a clean ball on the bottom, it is perfect. Pour the fudge into your prepared pan of choice.

broylim said...

Hello Chef~

My friend and I tried out this recipe and we were really glad that it's so simple to make and it tastes good~

Thanks for sharing this recipe~

Mike said...

Maybe the people who aren't able to get this to work are using salted butter, effectively making it liquid for longer? Make sure you use unsalted butter!

Mary said...

Dear Chef John!

Hello there! My name is Mary and I´ve been following your blog and cooking your recipes with great success :)But I have a question: Since I live in Germany and for me its hard to get my hands on marshmallows, is there any possibility to replace it, or is it a "key"- part of the recipe? And do I understand correctly that the evaporated milk is UNsweeneted?

Little Trivia-fact here :We have something here called Milchm├Ądchen (literally translated to "Milkgirl") and that is OUR sweetened condensed milk, I always confuse those two.

Chef John said...

not sure about the evaporated milk question. Yes, the marshmallows are key, and I don't know of a sub for this recipe. If you google u can find different fudge recipes without them.

Aditi said...

Chef, Can I substitute sugar and evaporated milk with condensed milk...here in India evaporated milk is not available. Even marshmallows are not available very easily. It would be very helpful if you could suggest a substitute for them.

Chef John said...

I wouldn't use this recipe. Google a traditional fudge recipe which is boiled sugar, cocoa, and milk.

Andrea said...

Hi Chef John,
I have a question: I live in the Netherlands and we don't have anything like those chocolate chips you use here, so what can I use instead?

Chef John said...

just use 9-oz of chopped chocolate. (or 9 x 28.35 = grams)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John,

is it possible if i substitute the evap milk with regular milk? thanks before

Chef John said...

Not sure, never tried

Anonymous said...

I think I did something wrong >_< when I added my chocolate it firmed up really fast and turned into this ball of chocolate.... do you know what I did?

Chef John said...

I really don't :-)

Cookie said...

Hello, Chef John! I tried to make this fudge, but since we don’t have evaporated milk here in Brazil, I evaporated my own!!! (2 1/4 cups of milk until they turned into to 1 cup). I don’t know if that’s the reason why it was not like yours... It didn’t “run” into the pan like yours did... It was really firm and when i was cutting, it started to break. Can you help me? Thank you!!! I love your recipes and youe videos, by the way!!!

Angelina said...

Yay! I had enough milk in my can as well as ingredients to make TWO batches! Yum, yum! :)

Anonymous said...

First of all, thanks be to Chef John!

Second I think I can help the people who are having the "too stiff" problem. I had one batch turn out very brittle. I think the problem was that I overcooked the evaporated milk. So, when you reach that step, don't take it up to a boil and then down to a simmer. Take up to a simmer and don't let it get any higher. You do not want it to reduce, you just want it to get hot enough for the chocolate and marshmallows to melt into the mixture.

Lastly, for those of you who think this recipe is too sweet, don't reduce the sugar, use unsweetened chocolate like I do. It works very well.

Unknown said...

Made this for my wife for Valentines Day . She loved it, I did not have any Valina, so I used Coconut Extract and it tasted great with a hint of coconut.

Unknown said...

Made this for my wife. She loved it a lot. I did not have any Vanilla Extract, so I used Coconut Extract and it was fantastic with the chocolate.

Megan Lehman said...

i am going to try this, this week i am excited about that. XD

Albert said...

Hi chef, have some question about this recipe.
i already made it and it was success,
if i switch the chocolate chips with 99% chocolate bar is that ok? because i find it too sweet for my taste.
does it will make difference if i temper my chocolate first than added the chocolate to the marshmallow mixture to give a shinny chocolate finish when its harden?
im using vanilla extract that i made from 1 bottle of vodka with around 12 stick of vanilla and keep it for more than 6 month, is this vanilla extract valid for using or i have to add water to this vanilla extract of mine?

Chef John said...

Sorry, I'm honestly not sure! I've never tried anything like that.