My class instituted Cake Friday, which, like the Cookie Social after colloquia, is to be interpreted loosely. At least by me. So instead of making a cake, I made penuche, which is like a brown sugar version of fudge. Fudge is one of my all-time favorite things to make (and to eat, hence to make), but I had never tried penuche, and I decided it was time. I used this recipe from cooks.com. I only had about .7 lbs of brown sugar, so I used white sugar for the rest, and I skipped the nuts.
It turned out fine – I certainly don’t think we lacked for molasses. Unfortunately, I’m posting this waaaay late, and I have since lost the pictures I took. It was brown-sugar colored fudge, what can I say.
The trick to these kinds of things – besides paying attention to temperature – is to start panning them before they completely harden up. You have to stir until they get thick and opaque, and then RUSH to get them in the pan or they will freeze up in a bizarre shape and that’s what you’re stuck with. What’s happening is, your stirring is getting crystals to form and the more crystals that are there, the more crystals will hook on to those crystals, and then all the sudden, it’s all crystallized and it won’t stir anymore. My guess is that if you don’t want it to ever set quite that hard, you shouldn’t cook it quite to the soft ball stage. Then it will have more moisture left in it and I assume, stay softer.