Salted Chocolate Brownies for those with a love of sweet and salty
Chocolate Covered Fruits for a rich, citrusy treat
Homemade Shamrock Shakes for dads who wish it was St. Patty’s all year long
Classic Hot Chocolate for dads in cooler lands
Black Forest Coffee a delectable treat for a coffee lover
Chocolate-Covered Bacon because some dads will love the salty but sweet combination
For my dad, I like to make homemade chocolate fudge. It’s smooth, rich, and the perfect combination of creaminess and chocolate. There are a lot of recipes for fudge out there, but I prefer the old-fashioned way made with basic ingredients, real cream, sugar, and chocolate, NO marshmallow or condensed milk. Old-Fashioned fudge is a bit more difficult to make, but it’s worth the time.
Fudge is a very special type of chocolate treat. Unlike most candy’s sugar crystallization in fudge is desirable. However, sugar crystals cannot form too early otherwise you’ll end up with a grainy mass of what looks like chocolate covered sand and sticks to the bottom of the pan like cement. The key is cooking the fudge to 234 ̊ (the soft ball stage) and allowing it to cool undisturbed until the mixture reaches 130 ̊.
The most success I’ve had is with Alton Brown’s Chocolate Fudge Recipe.
2 ¾ cups of sugar
4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons of butter
1 cup of half and half
1 tablespoon of corn syrup
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 cup roasted, chopped nuts (optional)
Heavy bottom saucepan
8x8 greased pan
1. Chop chocolate into small pieces so that it dissolves easily.
2. Combine half and half, sugar, chocolate, corn syrup, and 1 ½ tablespoons of butter over medium heat, stirring with the wooden spatula until the chocolate is melted and the sugar is dissolved.
3. Increase heat until mixture begins to boil.
4. Reduce heat, cover, and allow mixture to boil for 3 minutes.
5. Remove cover and attach a candy thermometer to the pot.
6. Cook until candy thermometer reads 234 ̊(soft ball stage)
7. Remove from heat and add remaining butter, do NOT stir.
8. Let mixture cool until it reaches 130 ̊(about 10 minutes)
9. Add vanilla and chopped nuts (if desired).
10. Begin mixing until the glossy texture becomes dull and pour into greased pan. Be careful not to over mix the fudge or it will be difficult to pour into another pan.
11. Let sit in a cool dry area until firm.
Now, all that’s left is cutting and packaging. You may cut the fudge into 1-inch squares for single serving, bite sized treats; however, I prefer cutting the fudge in half into rectangles because it reminds me of the fudge my family used to buy at apple orchard and old country stores. I then wrap the fudge in saran wrap and place it in a small gift box with a ribbon tied to the top.