A guest post by Jake:
The idea started when my Mom was searching for crazy Dutch candy made by crazy Europeans, and stumbled upon this Scottish confectionery site. Soon we were in a laughing huddle around the computer as we found out two things about the Scots. First, they will put whisky in anything (that is how they spell it because if it is not Scottish, it is not the real thing.) Second, they will be happy to send you haggis in a variety of flavors. If you don’t have a can of haggis in your cabinet, then they will be happy to help.
Out of this laughing fit came the idea to make whiskey fudge (we’re using American whiskey, and so we’re using the American spelling). The Scots, and most of Europe, don’t consider America’s soft buttery fudge to be real fudge. Their fudge is a crumbly “butter tablet” similar to pralines. We wanted to make the American fudge we like, but with hard liquor. Because some things are better with alcohol.
My Mom had me taste different whiskeys to understand the subtle distinctions that they have, and I agreed that the smoky sweetness of Jack Daniel’s lends itself to sweets. I searched both the internet and family recipes to find a mixture that would work; we couldn’t find one fudge recipe that would work, so we created our own: Hiskey Fudge.*
I began to cook by adding the two pounds of sugar to an empty pot and then rushing around trying to decide whether the pound of butter that our family recipes called for had any solid reasoning behind them, or did we just really like to clog our arteries? I decided that only a half pound was needed to dissolve the two pounds of sugar along with the milk.
While I researched fudge recipes, I came upon the culinary sin that is marshmallows in fudge making. Now, any self-respecting pastry chef or candy-maker will deny to high heavens that they ever use marshmallows, but if you are short on time, they cut out the time it takes to whip the boiled sugar syrup into the airy mixture necessary to make fudge. If you are worried about this culinary sin, take heart from this quote from a famous chef, “Remember, if you are alone in the kitchen, who is going to see you?” Yeah, I went there, I brought Julia Child into it to defend marshmallows.
Boil the sugar, add the marshmallows and the chocolate, and now here comes the alcohol. I put in the alcohol and freaked because I didn’t really expect it to make the mixture so soupy, and didn’t think it would set. My Mom rushed to grab a bag of confectioner’s sugar, and threw in half a bag, about one pound, and I grabbed the hand mixer and blended it in. Many of the recipes I saw while researching called for confectioner’s sugar to be mixed with the alcohol before adding, and so I thought this addition might remedy the problem. In the recipe below, I’ve had you blend the confectioner’s sugar into the whiskey before adding it into the mix.
I poured it in the pan, and we waited and waited and waited. In total, it took about 14 hours to fully set in the refrigerator, a lot longer than regular fudge.
So here it is, world:
Jake’s Hiskey Fudge
- 5 cups sugar(2 pounds)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
- 25 large marshmallows, ripped in half
- 11.5 oz Ghiradelli 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup Jack Daniels, or a whiskey you really like. You will be able to really taste it!
1. Whisk whiskey with confectioner’s sugar, and set aside.
2. Foil and butter a 9 x 13 (or larger) baking pan.
3. Put sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla in a large pot with a heavy bottom. Stirring steadily until mixture boils, continue stirring while letting it boil for 3 minutes (time it, this is important). Remove from heat.
4. Add the marshmallows and chocolate, stirring until all of it is melted and blended into the sugar mix.
5. Give whiskey mixture a quick stir, and add it to the pot, stirring until fully incorporated.
6. Pour into a greased pan, and chill. Let mellow for a day before cutting.
* The reason for the name comes from the three years my brother went around asking strangers, in an awful Texas accent, “Want a cup of Hiskey?“