It’s that time of year again, when the weather in most of the United States is turning toward the dry and cold–FUDGE-MAKING TIME!
I posted this recipe last year, but here it is again, in case you missed it. This is the fudge–at least it is in my imagination–that Bertie makes in Chapter Seven of The Sisters in anticipation of Alma’s Christmas visit. The flavor of black walnuts permeates everything it comes near–which makes the black walnut the perfect signature nut for Bertie. If you dislike the flavor of black walnuts, you can substitute any other nut, but if you don’t like nuts at all (say it isn’t so!) you can leave them out altogether and still come away with a devastatingly dark chocolate fudge.
Here’s the recipe!
Bertie’s Black Walnut Fudge
A Recipe by Nancy Jensen
(in honor of Chapter Seven of The Sisters)
3 T. butter (6 T total for recipe)
10 T. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
–Melt butter in 3 qt heavy saucepan over low heat. Add ½ of the cocoa and stir into the melted butter.
¼ cup heavy cream
¾ cup whole milk
–Measure the cream and milk into a single cup. Add ¼ to the butter and cocoa mixture, stir in, then add the remaining cocoa, stir, and then the remaining milk and cream.
–Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the milk is scalded and the cocoa is well mixed in.
3 cups sugar
3 T. light corn syrup
1/8 t. salt
–Stir in the sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is fully dissolved.
–Cook without stirring until mixture reaches the soft ball stage (236 to 238 degrees on a candy thermometer.)
–Pour into a clean 2 qt saucepan that has a handle. Do not scrape the cooking pan. Set the fudge to cool on a rack and immediately add:
3 T. butter
Do not stir. Cool until lukewarm—until you can hold your hand on the bottom of the pan for several seconds without discomfort.
While the fudge cools, line a 9 x 9 pan with buttered parchment paper. Leave long edges so you can lift the cooled fudge out of the pan.
When the fudge is lukewarm, add:
1 ½ t. vanilla
Beat with a wooden spoon until the candy begins to thicken and lose its gloss. Stir in:
½ cup of chopped black walnuts.
Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing to the edges with the wooden spoon if it needs nudging. Mark into pieces with a sharp knife while still warm. When the fudge is cool, using the parchment paper, lift the block out onto a cutting board and slice through the marks with a thin, sharp knife.