Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (2024)

This is the fudge of my "knee high to a grasshopper days" or at least the one I remember the most clearly. It was from the back of the Hershey's Cocoa can!

Yes, I even remember when Hershey's came in a can, and you had to pry the metal lid off with a spoon... Yea, then they switched to a cardboard 'can' with foil lining, but the top and bottom were still metal and you had to pry the lid off of that one too... Yeppers. Then about 10 years ago they switched to a plastic container with a really boring plastic lid... and thus went the bygone good old days.....

Even more sad is the fact that this recipe is no longer printed on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa container and has not been for years. Total bummer... a whole generation is growing up, never knowing the joy of having to stand in line in the kitchen to take their turn stirring the fudge pot... Yep, there are WAY too many No-Cook fudge recipes out there. All based on sweetened condensed milk, and all ya gotta do is heat it just to a boil and dump it in a pan and toss it unceremoniously into the refrigerator for 4 hours...

(sigh) it's just not the same... your not forming sugar crystals when you do that, which is what fudge is... teeny tiny itsy bitsy sugar crystals... That is why so much stirring is required, to keep large crystals from forming. The constant agitation breaks up the formation so you end up with a whole pot full of tiny crystalline goodness that not only feels like silk on your tongue, but melts almost immediately in your mouth.

I have to admit, this fudge does take a lot of elbow grease, but most great rewards require great effort and your efforts will be rewarded. As far as I know, this fudge DOES have to be stirred by hand and will not work if you attempt it with an electric mixer. And after having made it myself, I fully realize why my mom quit making it after she developed arthritis.

I have tried to convert to metric weights, I just hope they are correct, depending on humidity 2/3 cup of cocoa powder may weigh more... But I tried.

Hershey's Cocoa Fudge

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (1)3 cups (600 g) Granulated Sugar
2/3 cup (75 g) Hershey's Cocoa (or other Natural Cocoa Powder, not Dutch processed)
1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) Whole Milk
4 TB Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Line 8 or 9 inch square pan with foil, then butter the foil. (or cheat like I did and use a square silicone baking pan)

In large heavy saucepan stir Sugar, Cocoa and Salt together;

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (2)Stir in milk, with a wooden spoon.

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (3)Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until mixture comes to a full boil.

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (4)Remove spoon, place the candy thermometer (without touching the bottom of the pan) and boil without stirring, to 235 degrees F (114 degrees C) on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage - or until syrup forms a soft ball in cold water which flattens when removed)

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (5)Remove pan from heat and add the Butter & Vanilla extract, then let it cool to 110 degrees F (43 degrees C), without stirring... Seriously.... Again, just like the Gelatin Fudge... No Touchy!!

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (6)Stir with wooden spoon (no Kitchen Aid or Oster Kitchen center, just a good old "butt swattin when you've been a bad boy" wooden spoon.... OK, you can use a bamboo one too)

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (7)And Stir.... And Stir..... did I mention Stir?? Good, then stir some more.....

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (8)Until fudge thickens & loses some of its gloss; looking kind of like chocolate frosting, then quickly spread into prepared pan and let continue to cool to room temperature. (Nope, I don't add nuts to this one... Just pure unadulterated fudgy cocoa goodness)

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (9)Meanwhile, the cook gets to scrape all the yummy bits from inside the pan... YAY! Now that I'm all growed up and stuff, it is *I* who gets to eat the scrapings from the pan... AWESOME!!!

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (10)Cut into squares. (Unless you used a silicone pan like I did, then you must remove the whole thing from the pan before you cut; Although my cuts were a little off on this one)

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (11)Wrap loosely in aluminum foil or in a waxed paper lined tin and store in the refrigerator.

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (12)I LOVE this fudge... It is my total favorite kind... (sigh) Heaven, I'm in Heaven....

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (13)Mangia!!

Secret Family Recipe; Read on Back of Box - Hershey's Cocoa Fudge (2024)


What is the secret to smooth fudge that is not gritty? ›

Once a seed crystal forms, it grows bigger and bigger as the fudge cools. A lot of big crystals in fudge makes it grainy. By letting the fudge cool without stirring, you avoid creating seed crystals.

Why is my 3 ingredient fudge not setting? ›

The main reason is that your Fudge has not reached the optimum temperature. If your mixture only reaches 110 or 112 degrees Celsius it will always be soft. That's why we recommend investing in a sugar thermometer. Another reason your Fudge is not setting is that the ratio of liquid to sugar is too high.

What is the softball test for fudge? ›

According to most recipes, the ingredients of fudge are cooked to what is termed in kitchen parlance the soft ball stage, that point between 234 and 240 °F (112 and 115 °C) at which a small ball of the candy dropped in ice water neither disintegrates nor flattens when picked up with the fingers.

Is evaporated milk or condensed milk better for fudge? ›

Evaporated milk doesn't have sugar added. The sweetened condended milk is needed as no extra sugar is added to the fudge. If evaporated milk were used then the fudge would not be sweet enough and also would still be too soft unless the fudge is frozen.

What not to do when making fudge? ›

7 Common Mistakes to Avoid for Candy Shop-Worthy Fudge and Caramels
  1. Using the Wrong Pan. All candy and confections start by melting sugar. ...
  2. Stirring the Sugar. ...
  3. Not Using a Candy Thermometer. ...
  4. Leaving Out the Parchment Paper Lining. ...
  5. Skipping the Cooking Spray. ...
  6. Scraping the Pot. ...
  7. Using a Cold Knife to Slice.
Dec 16, 2015

Should I stir fudge while boiling? ›

Stir the ingredients to dissolve the sugar until the mixture comes to a boil. If your recipe uses milk, stirring will keep the mixture from curdling. But once it reaches about 236–238 degrees F/113–114 degrees C (the "soft-ball" stage), do not stir it or even shake the pan.

Can you fix fudge that didn't set? ›

OPTION 3) Sieve together some powdered sugar and cocoa powder, and gradually work this into your unset fudge until it reaches the consistency of dough, then roll out and cut into squares, or shape into balls and then roll in powdered sugar (roll the balls in icing sugar, not yourself).

What happens if you cook fudge too long? ›

If there is too much evaporation, when the cooking time is too long, there will not be enough water left in the fudge and it will be too hard. Conversely, if the cooking time is too brief and there is not enough evaporation, too much water will remain and the fudge will be too soft.

Why is my Hershey's fudge not setting? ›

If your fudge fails to harden in the fridge, it means that you probably didn't cook it to the right temperature. Fudge is a candy, and that means it is extremely picky about temperature - fudge must be cooked to precisely 237–239 degrees Fahrenheit so that sugar forms the desired consistency when cooled.

Why do you add vanilla to fudge? ›

Vanilla is often added to chocolate candies or other chocolate recipes because it complements and accents the flavor of chocolate.

Why did my fudge not get hard? ›

The amount of time you cook fudge directly affects its firmness. Too little time and the water won't evaporate, causing the fudge to be soft. Conversely, cook it too long and fudge won't contain enough water, making it hard with a dry, crumbly texture.

What is the soft-ball method? ›

Soft-ball stage (235–240 degrees Fahrenheit): When you transfer a small amount of syrup to cold water, it forms a soft, pliable ball. Sugar at this stage is used for fondant, fudge, pralines, and Italian meringue.

Why did the butter separate from my fudge? ›

Problem 1 – Butter and sugar melting unevenly.

If they melt unevenly, separation might occur. Solution: Don't put the butter right from the refrigerator into the pan. Soften it slightly, either by leaving it on the counter for an hour or so before making the candy, or by placing it in the microwave.

What makes high quality fudge? ›

You have to control two temperatures to make successful fudge: the cooking temperature AND the temperature at which the mixture cools before stirring to make it crystallize. Confectionery experiments have shown that the ideal cooking temperature for fudge is around 114 to 115 °C (237 to 239 °F).

Do you stir fudge while it is boiling? ›

Brush the sides of the pan with a wet brush at the beginning of cooking to dissolve sugar crystals stuck to the sides. Never stir the mixture during cooking or sugar could crystallize again. The mixture may seize and become grainy. Use a candy thermometer or conduct a cold water test to check if the fudge is done.

What does cream of tartar do in fudge? ›

Cream of tartar is used in caramel sauces and fudge to help prevent the sugar from crystallizing while cooking. It also prevents cooling sugars from forming brittle crystals, this is why it's the secret ingredient in snickerdoodles!

What keeps fudge from getting hard? ›

If you let your fudge get too hot, the sugars will start to concentrate and the fudge will be crumbly, dull, and hard. To fix it, put it back into the saucepan and add about 3–4 US tbsp (44–59 ml) of 35% fat whipping cream. Stir the mixture as you heat it until the sugar in the fudge is melted.

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