So this week has been fudge week. It's a family tradition that has lapsed for years, but when we were little, every Christmas my grammie would send us fudge. I remember two kinds, maple and chocolate, and they were called "chicken livers" in our house, as they were usually sent in recycled chicken liver containers. Or maybe they were only one year but the name stuck. Guests were usually taken aback when offered "chicken livers" on the sweets tray - until we would explain, usually all of us at once...Sadly, since Gram died, there has been no fudge at Christmas so this year I thought maybe I could revive the tradition. I tried maple fudge first - I read the recipe and thought - how hard can this be? Seriously, I should know better. I mixed up the ingredients and while stirring I read the words, soft ball stage or 236 deg F. Hmmm I thought. I don't think I have a candy thermometer (I do it turns out) so when I got to the part where I didn't have to stir constantly, I ran to my Joy of Cooking and flipped to the fudge page. A glass of cold water and some strands of the syrup later and I thought I had got to soft ball stage. But you can guess what happened.
1 can condensed milk (less 1/3 c)
1/3 c chocolate hazelnut spread
1 lb bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp salted butter, sliced into 1/2" pieces
Butter an 8x8 baking pan and line with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs 2 sides.
Into a stainless steel mixing bowl, add the milk, hazelnut spread and vanilla and place over a pot of simmering water. Add the chocolate and butter and stir until melted (~ 5-8 minutes). The mixture will be thick and glossy. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set. Cut into 1" pieces and store in an airtight container or freeze.