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.
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.