Now I must admit that I tried making vanilla fudge about two weeks ago and it was a total disaster (yeah, I still ate it) but it was a disaster and now I know why. I will share my newly found wisdom with you ...
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces (about 60 g)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
This recipe doubles well.
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Combine both sugars, milk, butter, and salt in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring until the butter has melted and the sugars are dissolved. Using a pastry brush dipped in cold water, brush the sides of the saucepan making sure that no sugar is left on the sides. Why you ask? If the crystalized sugar gets back in with the melted sugar, it will crystalize the whole thing, this is NOT what you want. Clip on a candy thermometer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to boil until the mixture reaches the softball sage, that is, when your candy thermometer reads 238 degrees F. This will take about 30 minutes, so get comfortable. You can go grab a bowl but, that's about it. I grabbed the bowl that goes with my Kitchenaid mixer because we're going to be beating the mixture eventully. DO NOT STIR!! Only if you see that your mixture is scorching, but if you have it on medium-low heat it should be just fine.
As soon as the mixture reaches 238 degrees, take it off the heat and leave your candy thermometer in the saucepan. DON'T STIR ... I know you want to, but resist the urge. Wait until your candy thermometer reaches 110 degrees. If you stir your mixture before it has cooled you will end up with a very grainy caramel that will not set to the right texture.
When your mixture has reached 110 degrees (or there abouts), transfer to your waiting bowl and add the vanilla and the nuts. Beat the mixure with an electric mixer. You will not think it's ready to be mixed yet because it will still look like a runny caramel sauce like my picture below, but trust me, it's ready. Beat for about 5 minutes until it's smooth and creamy. (This is the step I missed the last time I made fudge ... so don't miss this). If you don't beat the mixture you will basically have a chewy caramel thing. It's the air that make it fudge.
Working quickly, transfer the fudge into your loaf pan and refrigerate until firm, about one hour. Or you can leave it on your counter for a few hours until it comes down to room temperature.
|It's almost done boiling - avoid the urge to stir|
|This is what mine looked like when I transferred it, it didn't look much|
different when it got down to 110 degrees
|Its nice and creamy ... time to transfer it to our loaf pan|
|Mmmmm ... Fudge|
And there you have it folks. Deliciously soft and scrumptious vanilla pecan fudge. Enjoy! Let me know how it went.