My grandma made fantastic fudge. As I may have mentioned in a previous blog, Phyllis subsisted entirely on a diet of compliments, and her fudge drew a gob of them every Christmas. Once you offered the well-deserved fawning over the yuletide batch – duly noting taste, texture and portion size – my Grandma would (WITHOUT FAIL) sigh, and say (as we mouthed the words along with her) “Aunt Mary never cared for my fudge.” Indeed this was your reward for offering a compliment, a still point in a turning world if you will.
My Great Aunt Mary’s acute and unexplained aversion to my Grandmother’s fudge was still felt from beyond the grave, since my Grandmother persisted in reciting this line long after my Aunt Mary was laid to rest. I get my Grandma’s miffed bewilderment though because a close relation of mine doesn’t like my trifle. Who doesn’t like trifle? Homemade custard, ladyfingers, lemon mousse and blackberries – HAND PICKED – who wants to endure that torture right? Yes, some slights transcend death…
Where was I? Oh! Fudge! I made some. I didn’t use my Grandma’s recipe because – forgive me Phyllis – her fudge had too much marshmellow whip in it (and maybe a bit of a grainy mouthfeel but don’t tell her you heard it from me).
My girls complained, initially, when I handed them each a half-inch square and patiently explained that due to the sugar content, eating more than one Borrower-sized square would actually make them die.
One more thing: this recipe is speedy and simple, causing humorless fudge makers to consider it a cheater recipe since it doesn’t involve a thermometer. Cheater fudge it is but this is one of those rare times a cheater prospers. I really don’t think the addition of a thermometer with all the attendant stress produces better fudge.
Aunt marycake’s fudge
3 cups bittersweet chocolate chips or buttons (Ghiradelli is my favorite)
2 cups mini-marshmallows
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
Melt mashmallows on stove over medium-low heat – mind you don’t scorch it! – while melting chocolate chips in microwave. I used to melt them together but they melt at different rates so I find this is better.
Once both are melted, combine and add can of milk while stirring on the stove. When all is combined and smooth, remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Press into a greased 8×8 pan and chill for a couple hours. Freezes well.
Serve it for Christmas dessert and consider taking Boxing Day off.
P.S. One year the whole mess separated and I was beside myself; I spent an extra 20 minutes at the stove top and even ended up calling my mother who was flummoxed. Oddly enough, after a long period of cooking and stirring over low heat the whole thing reemulsified and voila – no harm done! So don’t faint if something goes awry. This fudge, unlike my Grandma, is pretty forgiving.