Advertisement

Microwave . . .

Creating Fudge a New Way by the Old Rules

July 17, 1986|DIANA WILLIAMS HANSEN

Homemade fudge is a perfect complement to a beautiful plate of fresh fruit. It also can add class to an assortment of cookies or salted nuts.

It's not hard to create fudge in the microwave, and you don't have to learn any new rules. The only difference is that microwaved fudge doesn't require as much stirring as does conventionally made candy. And there's no worry about it scorching on the bottom.

You can use a favorite casserole dish for boiling the sugary mixture, but it's best to choose one of glass or Pyroceram. Be sure the bowl is large enough to contain the high boiling so typical of sugary syrups. Like conventionally boiled fudge, microwaved fudge is brought to a boil covered, then cooked uncovered so evaporation can cause the candy to thicken.

Because sugar tends to heat faster than other fudge ingredients, it is important to blend all the ingredients together well before microwaving. With brown sugar, especially, make sure all lumps are dissolved before being mixed into the syrup.

Fudge should be cooked to 238 degrees or to the soft ball stage (when a small amount of the fudge mixture dropped into a cup of very cold water forms a soft ball). If you make a lot of fudge in the microwave, you may want to buy a microwave candy thermometer, available at department store housewares departments or in microwave specialty shops. A regular candy thermometer will not work in the microwave.

When boiling or microwaving fudge, don't scrape the pan when pouring it out to cool. Areas on the sides that have solidified into sugary particles may cause the fudge to be grainy.

Store fudge in a tightly covered container to prevent drying out. And always remember that boiling fudge is very hot. Handle the fudge casserole or dish carefully. PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE

1 (1-pound) box light brown sugar

2/3 cup half and half

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cups chunky peanut butter

In 3-quart microwave-safe casserole or bowl, mix brown sugar, half and half, 1/4 cup butter and vinegar, blending well. Cover dish with wax paper. Microwave on HIGH 5 minutes until mixture boils. Remove wax paper. Stir until smooth.

Continue microwaving on HIGH, without stirring, 4 to 7 minutes until mixture reaches soft ball stage (238 degrees). Cool, without stirring, until outsides of casserole feel just warm (110 degrees).

Meanwhile, lightly butter 8-inch square pan with 1 teaspoon butter. When syrup mixture has cooled, add vanilla and peanut butter and stir with wooden spoon until well blended. Continue stirring until mixture begins to thicken and lose its gloss. Pour into buttered pan. Spread evenly, then refrigerate until cold and set. Cut into squares. Makes about 36 pieces. CHOCOLATE NUT FUDGE

3 cups sugar

1 cup half and half

3/4 cup cocoa powder

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup broken nuts

In 4- to 5-quart microwave-safe casserole or bowl, combine sugar, half and half, cocoa, corn syrup and salt, stirring together well. Cover with wax paper and microwave on HIGH, about 6 to 9 minutes, until mixture boils. Remove wax paper. Stir until smooth.

Continue microwaving on HIGH 7 to 11 minutes, stirring well after 5 minutes, until mixture reaches soft ball stage (238 degrees). Remove from microwave and add 1/4 cup butter and vanilla. Do not stir. Cool mixture until outsides of casserole feel just warm (about 110 degrees).

Meanwhile, lightly butter 8-inch square pan with 1 teaspoon butter. When syrup mixture has cooled, stir with wooden spoon to blend butter and vanilla completely. Continue stirring until fudge becomes thick and begins to lose its gloss. Quickly stir in nuts. Pour fudge into buttered pan. Spread evenly, then refrigerate until cold and set. Cut into squares. Makes about 36 pieces.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|