Basic fudge

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
3 cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 tablespoons Hershey's Cocoa, heaping
1 tablespoon Butter
1½ cup Milk
½ cup Pecans (opt)

Notes: Before you begin, be sure to fill sink half full of cold water.

Also, butter a dinner plate (or similar dish) to the edge to pour the fudge on when it is done.

In a deep, heavy bottomed pan (I use a pressure cooker pan), mix together sugar, cocoa and milk. Cook on high heat, stirring constantly to remove any lumps from cocoa and prevent burning, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches soft ball stage (about 10-15 minutes) and turn off heat (if you have an electric stove, move pan off burner as it will overcook the fudge with the remaining heat on the burner). Add vanilla extract and butter.

Place pan in sink of cold water to speed cooling; do not let the water come over the edge of the pan. Beat with spoon until fudge starts to thicken slightly, it will still have a glossy look to it.

After it has cooled, remove pan from water (be sure and put a kitchen towel on your lap for protection as the pan will still be quite warm!) and continue to beat until the fudge loses its gloss and begins to get stiff. Add the pecans then. Beat a couple more minutes.

Pour out onto buttered plate, scrape the sides and bottom to get as much on the plate as you can, let cool (if you can wait at least 10 minutes), and it is ready to serve.

Notes: Test for soft ball stage by dropping a partial spoonful into a cup of cold water. When the mixture forms a `soft' ball, it is ready or you can use a candy thermometer (I never have mastered those things). If your fudge comes out runny or a bit soft, it was undercooked; if it is hard and grainy, it was overcooked. Mine turns out all ways and we eat it.

This recipe is *not* fail proof and it takes a lot of practice and patience to get the hang of it, good luck and watch the waistline! File

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