My holiday gifts #2 - The many flavors and ways to do Fudge! ***More info***
I have seen several posts about soft fudge so I thought I better post a message about the reality of good fudge. A chocolate fudge really needs at least two days to cure properly and it really all depends on the types of baking chips you use. Some are better than others. I used Ghirardelli once and it took almost a week to cure. Expensive fabulous tasting chips but more oily then the rest.
I use foil pans from the dollar store. I use pam spray (instead of messing with spreading butter) and make several batches all at the same time. I tend to make them at least a week ahead, put them in the fridge with a cookie sheet between the pans. When I am ready to cut my fudge I put wax paper on my cutting board, turn the pan upside down, and completely remove the fudge from the pan. I will then whipe any excess Pam cooking spray off the bottom of the fudge. You can not do this with soft fudge.
If you only cure the fudge two days you may only be able to cut half your pan or so before you put it back in the fridge to get solid again. The longer it cures the harder it will get. If you wait a month to eat your fudge you may as well toss it because it will be like eating chocolate rocks. If you intend to mail it, you really do want to wait at least two weeks for it to get very firm before you mail it.
My yearly schedule for fudge is, First weekend of December: Mint, butterscotch and white chocolate fudge
Weekend before I pass out the fudge gifts: Chocolate fudge and Cherry/chocolate fudge.
Simple Chocolate Fudge Recipe
3 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 Cup or 1 stick butter
1 Can (14oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
Melt butter. Place 3 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips in mixing bowl. Melt 2 minutes on high, then stir, judge how much further melting is necessary, melt on high another 1 to 3 minutes then stir smooth. Should not take more than 5 minutes total to melt, do not over cook chocolate. Add nuts and/or marshmallows as desired. Mix. Pour into well greased dish (8x8) refrigerate until set (usually overnight).
Chocolate Cherry Fudge
Use same recipe but substitute one cup of chocolate chips with cherry chips.
Chocolate Mint Fudge
Use same recipe but substitute one cup of chocolate chips with mint chips. If mint chips can not be found you can substitute mint chips with Ande's mint chips but cut butter in half )1/4 C or 1/2 stick).
3 Cups butterscotch chips
1/4 Cup or 1/2 stick butter
3/4 Can (10oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
Use same directions as primary recipe
Often I will just use the small square aluminum cake pans from the dollar store so that I can make many batches at one time. Sometimes with these if you over grease the sides it is good to turn the fudge upside down, empty tin on wax paper and wipe it down with a paper towel. Depending on your own preferences you can wrap the block or cut down into small blocks, wrap in wax paper and put into a basket or box. I tend to cut mine into bite sized cubes, line a Christmas tin with foil, then put in a X divider using thin card board and put cubes of each of the four fudges into a 1/4 of the tin. Helps keep the chocolate mint and plain chocolate a little seperate as then tend to be the same color. Feel free to experiment with dark chocolate or other flavors of chips to suit your own tastes.