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"Authentic" Pilgrim Fudge

From the "Wednesday" TV show...

 

It's been much too long since I've been able to do anything for the blog. You can tell by how the website looks like it was time warped from 2015. I've been kinda busy. I had some kids, I wrote some cookbooks. There are some *very* exciting projects I've been working on that will likely see releases in 2023. But more on that later... 'tis the season for some fudge! I've been a fan of the Addam's Family since childhood. I'd love catching reruns of the original TV series whenever they aired but I especially loved the 1993 film Addam's Family Values. The sequence where Wednesday absolutely wrecks the terrible Thanksgiving play made the film a holiday tradition for myself and many others. Which is why I was delighted when the new "Wednesday" Netflix series payed homage to the iconic scene. In the Netflix series, Wednesday has been forced to play tour guide in Pilgrim World, which inexplicably sells fudge in its "Fudge Shoppe." As Wednesday so beautifully explains in German, "authentic" pilgrim fudge is not a thing. The earliest fudge recipes were recorded in America in the late 1800s. This recipe is an adaption of some of those early recipes, using some flavors the pilgrims would have been familiar with and, of course, Dutch processed cocoa. These ingredients create a deep, almost black color and a distinctive bittersweet flavor which might even make Wednesday crack the slightest smile. Or maybe just a tiny nod of approval... Hell, I'd take a barely perceptible blink.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch Processed "Black" Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream and/or Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter + more for greasing (use cultured butter if possible!)
  • 1-2 tsp. Blackstrap Molasses, Maple Syrup or Rye Honey (optional)
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Paste or Extract
  • Black Gel Food Coloring (optional)
  • Other Ingredients like Nuts, Spices, Candy, Dried Fruit, Cookies, Sprinkles etc. (optional)

Directions
  1. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and generously grease with butter.
  2. In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugars, cocoa and salt. Add in the cream and/or milk and stir until mixed.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture reaches a boil, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat to medium low. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until temperature reaches 235°F, about 25-30 minutes. If you don't have a candy thermometer, do the cold water test: Drop a small amount of the hot mixture in a glass of cold water. The syrup should cool and form a ball as it falls to the bottom of the glass. Remove the ball from the water and test it with your fingers. It should hold together but be very soft and pliable.
  5. Remove the pot from heat and add in the butter, vanilla and molasses but don't stir yet. Let it cool to about 125°F. Once cooled sufficiently, beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are fully incorporated and the mixture loses its sheen, about 10 minutes. You can speed this up by using a hand mixer on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, just don't let any tourists see you.  If you're adding food coloring or any additional flavors like nuts or candy, now is the time to stir them in.
  6. Pour the fudge mixture into the prepared baking pan and use your wooden spoon to smooth it out. Let it cool at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before adding any toppings.
  7.  Let the fudge set for 2-4 hours. Once set, cut it into 1 or 2 inch squares and serve! Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
wednesday pilgrim fudge 1584423315231107335

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