Chocolate fudge is perhaps one of the easiest and most indulgent homemade sweet treats. With thickened full-fat chocolate milk, sugar, butter and cocoa, it is the kind of dessert that spells comfort and stirs nostalgia. It is believed that the confectionary originated in America. A story, What Is the History of Fudge?, published on the food website, DelightedCooking.com, says that a student named Emelyn Battersby Hartridge from the Vassar college in Baltimore wrote about the sale of fudge in 1886. It is considered to be the first documentation of the recipe that became popular in Vassar, and caught on among students from other colleges. The story says, “Vassar's recipe called for white sugar, cream, unsweetened chocolate, and butter. The Wellesley College creation altered the original recipe only slightly by adding marshmallows, which keeps the fudge from collapsing during cooling. The Smith College recipe was the first to deviate from the original, adding extra butter along with brown and white sugar, molasses, and vanilla.”
While the history is interesting, let’s get to the making part with these recipes. You can sprinkle some salt flakes to take these up a few notches.
The continuous stirring of milk with sugar until it thickens is similar to preparing rabdi. The twist is the addition of chocolate with the milk-sugar combo, and later when the mixture is off the heat, a blob of butter and few drops of vanilla go in. When it has a nice barfi-like consistency, it is put in the fridge to solidify, preferably overnight. Then it’s cut into squares and served.
The YouTuber Matt Taylor says that his mother has been making this fudges since 1968, and there’s comfort in knowing that this is a vintage recipe. It has marshmallows, is creamy and indulgent for that perfect fudge-y texture.
Is there anything better than milkmaid for chocolate fudge? It’s a trick that Indians have been using for decades. YouTuber Shivesh Bhatia breaks down this three-ingredient wonder of a recipe. He suggests adding shaved orange rinds to give it an interesting citrusy twist.
This version is lactose free and you don’t need to add refined sugar. Replace regular milk with full-fat coconut milk, use semi sweet chocolate and vanilla, and it will be ready within three-four hours.