Thursday, September 3, 2009

Spoon Fudge

I first tasted Spoon Fudge on a trip to Minneapolis about four years ago. There was a little gift shop in hotel lobby with assorted tacky trinkets, postcards and other standard gift store fare. Tucked away in one corner was a small table, draped in a heavily brocaded tapestry and atop set a display of 30 or so tiny jars, no bigger than than the jar my moisturizer comes in. The small crocks had a spoon tucked into a ribbon tied around the lid and the overall image was just too odd for me to pass by. At closer inspection of the labels I saw that they were pots of something called Spoon Fudge and on that table were at least 10 different flavors. Chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, caramel, Irish Cream, Vanilla and then some. Being a sugar addict and on the prowl for my next fix, I knew immediately that I had to try the concoction that resided behind those labels. I gathered up three jars, a mint chocolate, a butterscotch and an Chocolate-Irish Creme.

Once back to room I did what all junkies do, I ritualized my hit. I turned off all the lights, lined up the 3 jars, removed their lids, sunk the corresponding spoon inside each pot and readied myself. The first flavor I tasted was the Chocolate-Irish Creme. The texture was thicker than frosting but creamier than true fudge. It coated my tongue, then slowly melted away leaving the rich flavor to linger in mouth. Each flavor was better than the last, I only took 2 small spoonfuls of each and that was more than enough. If you think fudge is rich, wait until you try spoon fudge!

I brought what was left in the jars back home with me and savored each one, wishing I had bought additional bottles. For months afterwards I searched and researched, looking for a recipe to make my own spoon fudge at home but alas I found none. Eventually I found a recipe for a fudge that was quite soft and had a good flavor, so I tweaked it and came up with a pretty close approximation (though not exact and not quite as good) of what I tasted that day in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

In this recipe you will find I call for a tablespoon of refrigerated coffee creamer in any flavor. I've found that in many recipes, this one included that using (liquid not powdered) flavored creamer is not only an easy way to add interesting flavors to desserts but it also adds a touch of creaminess where an extract or flavored spirit only adds water (and at times, bitterness). You can use an extract in place of the vanilla if you choose, though I would add 1/2 a teaspoon at first and then taste it before adding the additional half a teaspoon to assure the flavor isn't too overpowering. If you don't want to use an extract, creamer or any additional flavoring other than good old fashioned chocolate then just add an additional tablespoon of evaporated milk or even a tablespoon of regular milk.
The easiest way to serve this out of a well greased or buttered 8x8 inch pan and eat by the spoonful, but for a more hygienic approach you can ladle the fudge into small ramekins, Rubbermaid containers or even small jars (like baby food jars). You can tie a pretty ribbon around the lid and add a small spoon if you want to give them away as gifs, if you can stand to part with any!

Have fun with this recipe and Happy Spooning!

Spoon Fudge

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 Tbl. refrigerated coffee creamer (not powdered),any flavor OR 1 tablespoon milk
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla (or flavor of your choosing)

Melt butter in a large saucepan, add evaporated milk, creamer, corn syrup, and sugar. Stir to incorporate. Add chopped chocolate.
Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the chocolate is melted.
Continue cooking until it reaches 235 degrees or the soft ball stage, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
Remove from heat and let stand, until pan is no longer hot but still warm (no need to stir here). Once pan has cooled down, beat in pan with a hand mixer until the fudge loses its gloss, then quickly stir in vanilla (or other extract). Pour into well greased or buttered 8 inch pan or buttered ramekins/jars/containers.
When cool, eat by the spoonful.


Sandra said...

Ok. Like I needed to read about Spoon Fudge like I needed a whole in the head! I have copied and pasted this entire post. I love the idea of putting a ribbon around the jar. Such a great idea for gifts for teachers and other deserving folk!

Anonymous said...

Would this work with white chocolate baking squares?


Pumpkin Tart said...

I think it could work. You will need to decrease the sugar by quite a bit though since my recipe uses unsweetened chocolate. I would start with 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of sugar, adding more if needed. Keep the corn syrup the same, it helps provide the creamy, spoon-fudge consistency. Good luck!

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