One of my favorite things about the holiday season is fudge. We make pumpkin fudge, chocolate fudge, caramel fudge, sea salt fudge. SO MUCH FUDGE. I have a couple gripes with fudge, though. First, it usually requires sweetened condensed milk, which isn't something I keep on-hand. Adjusting recipes to replace that and produce 2% milk fudge can prove challenging, but I know a lot of people who would be more inclined to make fudge if recipes made use of more common ingredients.
Second, fudge is known for being a little finicky. You don't see anyone ever claiming that something is “easy as fudge,” do you? No. Never. Pie is known to be easy. “Easy as cake” is even a thing. Fudge doesn't make that cut. It's finicky. It doesn't always like to set right. I see recipes promising perfect consistency with double boilers and thermometers and all sorts of fancy stuff but who has time for that???
I need my food easy. I need my food without special trips to the store.
I need to be able to get fudge going on a whim at 9pm when my oldest kid has a nightmare and won't go back to sleep and a cheerful kitchen distraction is just the ticket to take his mind off of stuff, ya know?
Busy parent chefs of the world, this recipe solves all those problems. It took a lot of trial-and-error to perfect but it's simple, it uses stuff you probably already have, and it produces a flakey-melty delectable consistency every single time. Finally, a 2% milk fudge that you can whip up without the hassle.
We created this recipe in partnership with Clover Stornetta Farms, which is located here in California. We love to shop local and organic whenever possible, so their organic milk and butter have become go-to picks in our household. For families who are incorporating wholesome ingredients into their everyday lives, it makes sense to extend those choices into holiday goodies as well…right? That's one of the reasons I was really excited about this easy 2% milk fudge recipe. I feel good being able to make better, simpler choices all season long in recipes ranging from day-to-day eats to specialty desserts.
- 1¼ c 2% Clover organic milk
- 3 c sugar
- ½ c cocoa powder
- 1 stick butter
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Pour the milk into a LARGE, heavy saucepan and bring slowly to boil.
- Add the sugar, cocoa and butter. Heat slowly, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts. Bring to boil, cover and boil for 2 minutes.
- Uncover and continue to boil steadily, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes. It's ready when the bubbles are tight and small, when a bit of the mixture dropped into a cup of cold water forms a soft ball as you roll it between your finger and thumb.
- Remove from the heat, stir in vanilla and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Beat the fudge until it thickens and just barely loses its gloss.
- Transfer to a buttered 7 inch glass pan, let cool completely and cut.
The key to getting the perfect consistency with fudge is to drop a little bit of the mixture into a cold cup of water. Scoop it up and roll it around with your fingers and if it forms a soft ball, it's ready to go. You can see in the video below what I mean.
I always love recipes in video form. As a viewer, it's reassuring to me that I'm doing stuff right. And I can pause and start over and over again to get all the ingredients and whatnot ready step-by-step. No wonder all those food channels are such a hit.
This recipe results in an outwardly-flakey-but-inwardly-smooth consistency, dark and rich just like my mom used to make it.
Have you ever made 2% milk fudge? Pin this recipe to give it a try this holiday season!