Family Recipe – Daddy’s Christmas Candy – Now the Cocoa Fudge!

Okay, my last post detailed the recipe and method my Daddy uses to make his Brown Sugar Fudge (tastes so much like pralines, my mouth waters just thinking about it!). Now I want to share his recipe for his Cocoa Fudge!  This is the deliciously chocolate fudge that is made with real cocoa powder, and can be made with or without the nuts!

Family Recipe - Daddy's Christmas Cocoa Fudge

Family Recipe – Daddy’s Christmas Cocoa Fudge

Daddy has always used pecans in his Cocoa Fudge, but I’m sure you could use walnuts or other nuts if you prefer!  He has a couple of grandchildren that also love the Cocoa fudge without the nuts, so he likes to please all of us and makes some without just for them!  It is heavenly chocolate either way!

What follows is his recipe for his Cocoa Fudge as he has made it for the last 30 or 40 years, along with the pictures he let me take while he made it this year.  I needed to watch and learn his methods, because they work!  For those of you who are practiced at making candies, this may seem easy, but to me, I needed the extra tutorials from my Daddy, even if I’m 54!

Remember, these are his little tricks and tips, including adding newspaper or some type of covering to line the stove and floor around the bubbling chocolate to make for easier clean-up!  Just make sure the cover you use is not near the hot burner! He also recommends using a long-handled spoon since this chocolate fudge can bubble and pop more than the brown sugar fudge he makes!

Cocoa Fudge

Daddy's Cocoa Fudge - Very Heavenly Chocolate!

Daddy’s Cocoa Fudge – Very Heavenly Chocolate!

3 cups sugar

2/3 cup cocoa

1/8 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups evaporated milk

4 1/2 Tbl. butter

1 tsp. vanilla

Place buttered platter in the fridge to chill while cooking the fudge!

Place buttered platter in the fridge to chill while cooking the fudge!

Butter a large platter and place in the fridge to chill.

Add cocoa and salt to sugar in a very large cast iron pan

Add cocoa and salt to sugar in a very large cast iron pan

Mix cocoa, sugar and salt

Mix cocoa, sugar and salt

In heavy large cast iron pan, room temperature, add sugar, cocoa and salt.  Stir to combine all the dry ingredients. Use a long handled spoon to stir since the mixture will pop and splatter!

Evaporated milk added to cocoa mixture

Evaporated milk added to cocoa mixture

Add milk and stir thoroughly to combine well before placing on the stove.

Cocoa mixture will pop and splatter, so this is how Daddy covers the area to make clean-up easier.

Cocoa mixture will pop and splatter, so this is how Daddy covers the area to make clean-up easier.

Daddy recommends covering the areas of the stovetop and floor with some newspaper to make the splatter clean-up easier.  This fudge can boil and splatter over a foot away!  You might want to put the newspaper on the floor and foil on the stovetop around the burner area.  Make sure no flammable material is near the actual hot burner.

Stirring the fudge!

Stirring the fudge!

Heat over medium heat (Daddy uses “6” of 9 setting) bringing to a boil and stirring constantly.  Do not leave the mixture!

First steps of stirring constantly

First steps of stirring constantly

The cocoa mixture can scorch a little on the bottom of the pan, but will be fine, just don’t scrape it up off the bottom. It will expand to the top of the large pan while boiling and then decrease again when it is almost ready.

Keep stirring! Filling up the pan!

Keep stirring! Filling up the pan!

Check for soft ball stage...

Check for soft ball stage…

 

Continue stirring until it reaches the soft ball stage.  As in the brown sugar recipe, have a cup of water nearby to test when the fudge is ready to cool.

Fudge settled back down and about ready to cool.

Fudge settled back down and about ready to cool.

Fudge is ready to set off the heat and cool...

Fudge is ready to set off the heat and cool…

When it reaches soft ball stage, remove from the heat and place on protected counter to cool.  Add the butter and vanilla and let mixture cool until able to stir and it starts to thicken.

Add butter and vanilla and let sit...Do not stir yet!

Add butter and vanilla and let sit…Do not stir yet!

Remove chilled buttered platter from the fridge and set it near the pan of cooling fudge.

Stir quickly and pour (nuts or no nuts!).

Stir quickly and pour (nuts or no nuts!).

Pour cocoa fudge onto chilled buttered platter!

Pour cocoa fudge onto chilled buttered platter!

 

If adding nuts, make sure they are at room temperature so the mixture doesn’t cool too quickly. Stir nuts into the fudge and pour quickly onto the platter. If not adding nuts. Just stir the butter and vanilla into the fudge and pour out onto the platter.

Cool fudge until ready to slice into squares and store in covered container!

Cool fudge until ready to slice into squares and store in covered container!

Let the fudge cool until able to cut into squares. Don’t wait until it is completely cool, because it will be too hard to cut!  My father uses a sharp buttered knife to make cutting easier.  Place pieces into a covered container and enjoy!

See last post for Pecan Panocha (Brown Sugar Fudge) for more tips and the similar process to this fudge process.

 

2 thoughts on “Family Recipe – Daddy’s Christmas Candy – Now the Cocoa Fudge!

  1. I love the instruction of the “6” on the stove setting, and I love the newspaper lay out on the stove. Totally both of them!

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