Saturday, July 16, 2011

Penuche Fudge

If you haven't visited the blog Good Graces, what ever is keeping you? Mary Catherine's blog is everything a food blog should be...wit, whimsy, sarcasm and sweetness all playing supporting roles to some of the richest recipes and most touching bits of storytelling you may ever encounter. Her posts are always a treat to read. And her food insights...heavenly.

Traditional penuche, as well as Mary Catherine's recipe, call for brown sugar. With our pending move, my pantry is absent this usual staple...but never fear, molasses and granulated sugar make a fair substitute, as the recipe below reflects.

Thank you for this marvelous idea!

adapted from her penuche frosting recipe at Good Graces.

The Ingredients:
1 stick of butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2-3 Tbsp molasses
1/4 cup milk
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

The Process:
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and molasses (or one cup of brown sugar) until well combined. Boil gently for a minute or two and slowly stir in the milk. Return the mixture to a boil and remove from heat to cool slightly. Once cool and no longer bubbling (about 10-15 minutes) whisk in the powdered sugar until you reach a desired consistency. Stop here for an amazing frosting.

For a decedent fudge, butter an 8 x 12 inch pan (or 9 x 13 pan for a thinner fudge) and sprinkle with about half of the chopped nuts. Whisk a little more powdered sugar into the penuche to create a slightly thicker consistency. Spoon the penuche into your pan. Sprinkle with the remaining nuts, gently pressing them into the fudge with a spatula. Swirl the top with a bit of a flourish and chill until set, about 1 hour.

I dare you to wait that long...

My Modifications:
You truly must read Mary Catherine's original post.

Have you yet? Good.

My major modification as I mentioned above was substituting granulated sugar and molasses for brown sugar. Sacrilege to the traditionalist, I know!

A plethora of penuche fudge and frosting recipes exist if this one doesn't tickle your fancy. Some add vanilla and corn syrup, some use sweetened condensed milk, some follow a more traditional fudge format, some are sheer blasphemy. All I'm sure are a delight.

The Review:
Unlike most powdered sugar based frosting I've tried, this did not have the same cloyingly sweet quality. Oh, never fear. It will certainly sate your sweet tooth. But the almost artificial and slightly taste I've come to associate with powdered sugar was thankfully absent.

The fudge was smooth and rich, perhaps a bit grainy where the sugar had not fully dissolved. And completely and uttering decadent.

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