Old Fashioned Fudge

4 cups sugar

2/3 cup cocoa

1 can evaporated milk or 1 1/2 cups half and half

1/8 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. butter(I like to use peanut butter)

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix sugar, cocoa, milk, and salt, bring it to a rolling boil, remember to always start out with a medium heat and gradually raise or lower the heat to keep a nice boil. If it spits, the heat is to high. As soon as it starts to boil, start to test it, if you are using the water testing method, or clip on the candy thermometer and watch it closely until it reaches 236° or soft ball stage. As soon as it has reached the right stage remove it form the heat and add the butter or peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir until you start to see your stirring stroke hold shape then spread it into your pan.

*Remember to have your pan all ready to use.  Be sure to spray the bottom and sides of the pan or dish you are going to put the fudge into. If you don’t have a baking spray, use butter.

It is important to use a heavy kettle to make candy as the lighter weight ones will burn easier. I suggest to buy a used 5 quart pressure cooker at a thrift shop, or any good gauge of cookware. If you buy a used pressure cooker, don’t worry if it don’t have the cover, you won’t need it unless you intend to use it as a pressure cooker, and if so you should probably get a new one so you are able to read and follow the instruction that come with it. If you do get a used one and want to use the cover, remove the rubber from the inside of the cover or you will be cooking with pressure, and for that you do need to have a knowledge of pressure cooking. Coat the bottom and sides of the kettle before putting in the ingredients to cook. Be sure to spray the bottom and sides of the pan or dish you are going to put the fudge into. If you don’t have a baking spray, use butter or margarine to grease the bottom and sides. The size of the container you use to put the fudge in will determine the thickness of your fudge. I like to buy the tin foil size bar pans to use, as they are just the right depth and if you are taking the fudge somewhere you don’t have to worry about getting the pan back.

There are two different ways of testing the candy to see if it is ready to set up, one is to buy a candy thermometer, if you use a candy thermometer be sure to take the time and read the direction that come with it. The method I use is water testing. I let my cold water run a little and after the fudge comes to a rolling boil I start testing it by putting a small amount of water in a cup and drizzling a small amount of the fudge into the cold water. Replace the cold water after each test. Then using your finger, see if you can get the fudge to form a ball. As soon as it forms a ball that holds a good shape its ready.

I like to cut mine into squares after the fudge has cooled for about 15 minutes.