Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yeah, that didn't work out.

Remember the whole going through old books and magazines with Google Books thing? Well, one of the recipes I copied down from that was a fudge recipe from a Baker's Chocolate ad in a 1939 issue of LIFE magazine.

Last night I decided to try it.

fail fudge

I watched the stupid thermometer sit at 200 degrees for the longest time, waiting for it to reach soft ball stage, and then I noticed a slight burning smell. Not good. Turns out the thermometer was wrong* because that chocolate stuff** got really hard really quickly and ended up with the consistency of divinity, only tougher to break apart once set. I think I managed to pass right over two entire stages of sugar cooking without noticing. Drats.

Of course, I'm still eating it. I'm just glad it isn't rock hard and impossible to chew. The taste is off due to the slight burning of some of it. That and the fact that the chocolate stuff was hardening around the spoon as I tried to stir in the butter and vanilla after cooking. The texture is beyond off. But it's chocolate, right? Can't toss it out!

* In the thermometer's defense, I think the issue was one of too large a pan resulting in too shallow a pool of liquid to get an accurate read. My fault, not the thermometer's. Lesson learned. Next time, deeper liquid. Or just test the candy's texture as I go. But ideally, deeper liquid.

** I say "chocolate stuff" because calling the results of this experiment "fudge" would not be entirely honest. Perhaps "fail fudge" would be an acceptable designation.


annette ooyevaar said...

once I was making some kind of candy with the thermometer, but it was a new thermo. and I didn't realize that it was still in its little protective sleeve - the candy mixture burnt beyond recognition while I was standing there looking at the thermometer checking the temperature wondering how come it wasn't getting hot enough

Sarah - this is Annette from slow sewing on flickr - are you entering an apron in the new Tie One On gallery?

Sarah said...

Thanks for stopping by, Annette! I didn't manage to put an apron together for the new theme (bad Sarah!), but I took a look at your submission and it is pretty amazing! And your apron give-away? Very nice!

annette ooyevaar said...

Thank you for liking said peppermint apron concoction.

I really enjoy your blog -

Looking forward to seeing you at the next Tie One On Gallery-

Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

The cold water test is always a good fallback. My thermometer is iffy, too, so once it gets close, I start testing the mixture in cold water bath and just go by that.
Have you tried fudge made w/ only sweetened condensed mile, choc chips and butter? I saw a recipe on Don't know if it's as good as the "real" stuff.

Sarah said...

I was afraid that using the cold water test I'd miss my proper temperature altogether or misjudge my softness/hardness or something. But since I seem to miss the proper temperature altogether using the thermometer, I can't imagine that I'd have any worse luck with the cold water test!

I haven't tried the fudge you mentioned, though I know a lot of people really like it. Given my lack of success with this type, I'll probably give it a go sometime.