I always thought of myself as a ‘meat and potatoes’ kind of guy. Growing up my mom always made a dessert for our suppers, but I preferred to have a second, or sometimes, third helping of the main course, foregoing the sweets.
That’s not to say that I don’t like sweets. I do. My maternal grandmother’s lemon meringue pie was fantastic, and my maternal grandfather made the most wonderful chocolate caramels a person was ever lucky enough to put in their mouths. For my birthday I always wanted to have a cherry pie, and I absolutely adored my mom’s Boston cream pie. She also made great fudge. My ex wife also was a master with Key Lime Pie and even ‘Conchs,’ natives of the Florida Keys said her’s was great!
When you go to the supermarket or a ‘pharmacy’ in the States you’re always assaulted with an enormous assortment of candies. Not so, here in Panama. There’s a very limited selection and what there is, is almost extortionately priced.
So, a while back I got to thinking about making some of my own candy and I naturally thought of my mom’s fudge. But making some seemed to be a bit of an ordeal. I remember my mom had a candy thermometer which seemed to be as important in the making of fudge as the chocolate itself. I looked for a candy thermometer in a couple of places but to no avail. But through the wonders of the internet I stumbled across a fudge recipe that seemed simple to make, required no thermometer and used the microwave. Why not try it?
Well, I did, and it was GREAT! I’ve made a couple of batches over the past few weeks and I’m going to tell you how it’s done and maybe if you get a fudge hankering you’ll try it yourself.
1 package of Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips. (The tiny chips work best because they melt faster.)
1 14oz can of SWEETENED condensed milk
¼ cup butter (Come on! Use the REAL stuff. I’ve found that this works best if you melt it in the microwave first.)
Nuts! (This is optional, but not for me. I splurge and buy a small can of Diamond Brand walnuts and run them through the food processor to make smaller pieces.)
In a large, microwaveable bowl put in the chocolate bits, milk and butter. Stir it all together to mix and put in the microwave and nuke the mess for a minute or two but no more. Stir to mix and nuke it again for a minute at a time until the chocolate chips are completely melted. Add nuts and stir.
While the chocolate has been melting, grease an 8X8-inch pan with butter. (A 9X9 pan does just as well. I spray the pan with PAM instead of using butter and it works fine.)
When the chocolate is completely melted pour into the pan and stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours before enjoying.