Monday, April 12, 2010

Dark Chocolate Mint Fudge... a grand success!

I applied to graduate school this fall, and with that comes asking 3-4 professors, advisors, etc to write recommendations. They all were very nice about it and said they were happy to do it, but it seems like a pain to me, so I was and am very grateful to all of them for taking the time to say nice things about me in a time consuming, official format. I wrote them thank you cards once all my applications were in but that didn't quite seem sufficient for all they had done. In the last 2 months I have heard from all of the schools, visited a few and made a decision - very exciting! After a lot of emails, phone calls, meetings, class sit-ins and all that, I have decided to attend the University of Washington in the fall! I'll be attending the Evans School of Public Affairs as a masters candidate, and I can't wait! Anywho, back to the fudge. I wanted to give the people who wrote recommendations for me an update with another thank you note and include a gift - something thoughtful. So I made them fudge. The response has been very positive. I highly recommend you make it for anyone you wish to make here's the recipe!

Dark Chocolate Mint Fudge (from the Dec '92 Bon Appetit) Makes 2 dozen cubes.

Ingredients: 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped, 1/4 cup marshmallow cream, 1 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped, 1/2 t peppermint extract (or maybe a bit less, it was pretty strong), 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup whipping cream, 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces.

Directions: Line a 9 x 5 loaf pan with foil, overlapping sides. Place first 4 ingredients in a large heat proof bowl. Mix sugar, milk, water, cream and butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan (anything smaller and you'll have all the ingredients boil over and make a huge me). Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Brush down sugar crystals from sides of pan using a pastry brush dipped into water. Increase heat to high; bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium-high; stir slowly with a wooden spoon for about 9 minutes. If you have a candy thermometer, the temp should read 232 degrees, but the 9 minute time works just fine. Pour the boiling mixture over the ingredients in the heat proof bowl; do not scrape the pan. Stir vigorously with the wooden spoon until chocolate melts and fudge thickens slightly - about two minutes. Immediately pour fudge into prepared pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate the fudge until firm enough to cut, at least 2 hours. Lift the fudge from the pan using the foil and fold down foil sides. Trim the ends of the fudge and then cut into 24 pieces. Wrap each piece with wax paper. Can be made up to one week ahead - keep chilled in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Just an FYI, this recipe uses about half a standard can of condensed milk - same goes for the small carton whipping cream so I ended up making two batches...but make sure if you do that you make them separately.

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