This was a completely rash decision because I do not own
a candy thermometer, nor do I have a ton of experience making candy of any sort. However, my sweet tooth was like, "Stacia, you've helped your mom make candy a few times, how hard can it be? You don't need a candy thermometer for this!" and my gullible brain responded with, "You are absolutely right, sweet tooth, let's do this thing!" (Okay, maybe it wasn't exactly like that, but that's the best explanation I have for how I ended up trying to make penuche fudge without a candy thermometer.)
This is where the story could either go really well or really badly.
For penuche fudge you need:
2 lbs (32 oz) light brown sugar
4 tbsp butter
2/3 c milk
2 tsp vanilla
I'm going to let you all go to Endessly Inspired's page to get the instructions for the recipe, because you really should make it her way, not mine. I plan on getting a candy thermometer and actually doing this recipe the "right way" next time.
|Waiting for the butter to melt.|
|Beautiful boiling brown sugar.|
I mixed the ingredients and let them all come to a boil, as per her instructions. I stirred here and there, not wanting my sugar to burn, until (getting worried) I decided that they had boiled long enough and took it off the burner, added the vanilla, and poured it into my greased pan. Then I waited for it to cool.
What did I end up with? Something between extra sweet molasses and a carmel-esque ice cream topping. NOT penuche fudge. (Though it did taste quite good if you are in the market for either of those things.)
|The results of my first attempt.|
Well, I wanted penuche fudge so my sweet tooth and the rational, more experienced with cooking part of my brain argued before I decided to try reheating my concoction and seeing what happened. This is probably against all rules of cooking candy, but I'd already come this far so I decided "why not?!"
So, the molasses, carmel-esque substance was poured back into the pan and placed back on the burner. I stirred a lot (more worried than ever that my sugar would burn) and let it boil for much longer this time. After a while it changed textures again, probably more like what Endlessly Inspired said it should do in her directions, so I quickly poured it out into a different greased pan and waited with baited breath.
I watched it quickly harden and realized that I had made penuche fudge!!! I cut it into pieced and arranged it on a plate and felt very foolish and relieved, but my sweet tooth was incredibly happy. Penuche fudge is wonderfully rich and amazing. You all should definitely not follow my example, but you should go to Endlessly Inspired's Penuche Fudge Recipe and try it out her way. :)
|A little crumbly in the corner, but fudge none-the-less!|
|A close up of the crumbly goodness!|
I hope you all got a good laugh out of my story and enjoy some penuche fudge of your own! I'm certainly enjoying mine. :)
Stacia, The Homey Owl