Friday, February 11, 2011

New England Penuche Fudge Recipe (Brown Sugar Fudge)

My favorite fudge is Penuche. Some call this a New England fudge. I read that the same recipe is traditional in the south but is called Brown Sugar Fudge there. I prefer this fudge without nuts, as do my kids.

I misplaced the great recipe I used last winter and tried a new recipe last week. Here is my recipe as I adapted from multiple websites.

Note: I used 1% milk as that's what I had on hand and felt it was not rich enough. I wonder how it would taste with 4% milk (regular milk) or even with cream? I'll have to try it and see. I had not found any recipes calling for cream in penuche fudge.

Christine's New England Penuche Fudge
4 cups brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
2 cups milk
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

optional: 2 cups chopped walnuts (New England-ish) or chopped pecans (Southern style)

I use typical fudge directions; I'm not reproducing all of them here.

Heat sugars, milk and butter in a heavy saucepan until 238 degrees F (the soft ball stage).

Remove from heat place in bath of cold water. Immediately add vanilla extract to it but DO NOT stir it. Do not touch it, just let it cool to 110 degrees F. (You can see the vanilla extrac sitting on top of the fudge in the photo below.)

Pour into food processor bowl and pulse to process until it loses is sheen and glossiness.

Pour into greased 8 inch square baking pan.  Refrigerate to cool. Score and cut fudge then store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

If you do not hit 238 degrees it will be soft and gooey and will not set when cooled.

There is a fine line between not hitting 238 degrees and burning the fudge, that's just the way the process is, there are no shortcuts.

If you stir it when its between 238 and 110 degrees you will make it grainy. Leave it alone to cool and you will have creamy fudge.

More on my fudge making attempts can be read here: Latest Autodidact Project: Fudge. I learned the technique with the food processor and other fudge basics in the book Oh Fudge! by Lee Edwards Benning.


Tiny Apples said...

My Mom's family is from Oklahoma and I grew up there for half my younger years and other half in California. I heard on-line friends from Okla raving about this recipe -- I'd never heard of it but have been meaning to try it.

It sounds like what you made. I also love my Grandma's caramel popcorn which has similar ingredients too. Anything with brown sugar and butter is my fav. :)

Cynthia and the farm house said...

What a nice project. My children love to bake.

Heidi T said...

These directions sound grumpy,...

ChristineMM said...

Heidi T: That is a hilarious perception! If you think a straightforward basic recipe sounds grumpy you would not like to receive emails from me as by directly speaking some misinterpret it as being blunt or rude when it's nothing of the sort. Two questions: did you read the linked to post about the general topic of the challenge of making fudge which is here: ? Also I am curious if you have ever made real fudge from scratch before. As I explained in the other blog post the process is actually tedious and if you do one thing wrong the entire batch is ruined. I had ruined some batches before mastering the delicate technique. It's much harder than mastering a from scratch cake, cookies or even pie crust. But honest to God since I mastered it I was in a happy frame of mind when I wrote the penuche recipe. But be careful that in other areas of your life you don't misinterpret plain or direct writing styles for a negative emotion which is not there. Believe me when I have something emotional to express (especially if negative) it is very clearly understood in my writing style.