As long as I can remember, there has been fudge around Christmastime. My mom always made it and once I got old enough I helped, then started making it. I made it for Ray the first Valentine's Day we were together - February 1999. They say a way to a man's heart is his stomach and well, here we are 8+ years and 2 kids later. Just saying.
This fudge is a Fantasy Fudge - made with marshmallow cream. The folklore (there are very few reliable historical references for fudge) goes something like this... "A candy company named "See's Candy" made a fortune selling a wonderfully rich and fluffy fudge. It contained a "secret" ingredient known only by those who made it. The secret ingredient turned out to be marshmallows or what is now used called Marshmallow Creme available in the grocery store."
Anna, over at Cookie Madness, did some back-to-back fudge making. I wanted to make Alton Brown's recipe but we didn't have any half and half in the house. I tried a traditional fudge but it just wasn't very good. Cloyingly sweet and it did not have a rich chocolate taste. This recipe makes a fudge that is what you expect from fudge.
I use salted butter, because I don't know where my mom got the recipe from and she always made it with salted butter. I am a firm believer in adding a little salt to sweets, it helps to enhance the flavor.
I also used a candy thermometer when I made this. The recipe has vague instructions, and I know from experience that a roiling boil to one person is not the same as a rolling boil to someone else. Back in college, my friend and I learned the hard way. This time, it took me about 15 minutes to get to soft ball stage 235º - 240º degrees. It is easier with the thermometer, but if you don't have one, a roiling boil is when the mixture is bubbling like crazy and sputtering across the whole pan.
Tub of Fudge
1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
1 Large can Evaporated Milk ( 12 oz)
4 1/2 cup sugar
Over low heat, combine and then bring to a boil over medium heat. Bring to soft ball stage or let boil for about 15 minutes. Volume of liquid will decrease.
While the above is boiling, combine in a large bowl:
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
7 oz marshmallow cream
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
After sugar mixture has reached soft ball, pour over chips and marshmallow cream. Stir until chips have melted and the mixture has blended and began to cool. The recipe from my mom says stir until fudge has lost its sheen.
Pour into an 8x8 pan lined with waxed paper. I also give it a light spray with non-stick spray. Let cool completely and cut.
This can be stored at room temperture but I usually freeze it so there is some left to give away.