I don't totally botch recipes very often. However, I added Car Talk to my Podcasts yesterday and their semi-recent show that starts off by telling their biggest car "oops" leads me to feel the need to confess to all*** of you other holiday bakers.
So here's the recipe we always use for Foolproof Chocolate Fudge:
3 cups (18 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 to 1 cups chopped nuts (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. LINE 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan.
2. MELT chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt in heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
3. CHILL 2 hours or until firm. Remove from pan by lifting edges of foil. Cut into squares.
Can you get much simpler? The recipe is delicious and it has served our Christmas plumpness well. And my friends, there is one word in this entire recipe that can mess up your amazing fudge... SWEETENED.
I went to the grocery store in a bit of a rush and didn't make my self "a list". I also didn't grab a basket when I was there and hurried through the aisles so I could get home, make my fudge, and then try to be productive (I had been lethargic all day). So, it wasn't until arriving home that I took a good look at what I had bought... evaporated milk. What?! How did I end up with that? sigh.
So, I do what any other logical person raised with a computer does... I google how to change evaporated milk into condensed milk. Well, look at this! Evaporated and condensed are the same thing! Wait, wait... I needed sweetened condensed milk. These are NOT the same thing. But, obviously I should be able to make it sweet so I google that and my search tells me I should stir in an enormous amount of sugar while on a low heat. Okay, not a problem. I borrow my roommate's sugar and begin stirring away. Once it was a cohesive mixture I was convinced all was well and I continued on with the world's simplest recipe for foolproof fudge. I had a taste... or a couple tastes before I put it in the fridge and it was- mmmmmmm... delicious! Okay, it was a little sweet, but in solid form it would taste like perfection.
One hour and fifty-five minutes later...
and a couple of times before that I checked my fudge. The top had solidified, but the inside was still wushing around. Hmph. That's not right. In two hours it should have hardened. 2 hours was the minimum, but still. I didn't have time to ponder it too thoroughly, I had one last email to write before I sped off to work. After work I came home... still wushy.
It wasn't until this morning that I thought maybe I should look up other ways to make evaporated milk into sweetened condensed milk. Perhaps, I did something wrong. I think there are probably quite a few of us who have tried to make-up for this grocery store mess up because most of the world tells you to just put it back on the shelf and go on another errand. The shelf life is long enough that it's not worth trying. But, if you must try you should... add a zillion tons of sugar, stir it over low heat and then LET COOL. Ah, that vital step I was missing.
So, here I am at 7:37 am. It's my 3rd time waking up in the middle of what was supposed to be a nice night's sleep and I'm taking it as a sign. Okay two signs...
1. Drink more water before bed so you don't feel so dehydrated all night
2. Throw out the damned half-solid, half-liquefied fudge and go to the store to start anew. Yes, it's a bit of a waste of money, but one must redeem herself.
***Luckily only 4-5 of you read my blog so I don't imagine this confessional will have too big of an effect on the great public's view of me.