Thursday, February 28, 2013

Revisiting: My First Blogged-About Recipe

Waaaaay back in 2006, not long after this blog, I was mostly writing about restaurant visits and festivals around town (again, the original reason for starting the Charm-City-cum-Baltimore Snacker blog.  It look a few months for me to get around to attempting a recipe.  This surprises me now, since the blog has lately evolved into an almost completely review-free blog, now a mostly educational blog on American cuisine.  But it took me until December of '06 to post my first attempted recipe (note: I did write about my grandmother's Thanksgiving dressing, but I didn't actually write about my attempt at making it, so it doesn't count).  I finally did this for a cookie swap, when trying to make one of my favorite fudges: penuche, or brown sugar fudge.  But I wanted to take advantage of all the modern conveniences available to me, so I found a microwave recipe (which has long since vanished from the internet).

I got microwave toffee, not fudge.

So I thought it would be apropos for one of my final recipes to try this again, 6 1/2 years after first doing so.  The results were much better, as you will see below.

This time I used a recipe from the Eagle Brand website. No, I'm not shilling for them (and if I was starting to do that now, I'd be starting kind of late, no?), but it is a good recipe.  And the best part: it worked!

For this recipe you only need three ingredients (exact measurements in the recipe):

* sweetened condensed milk (which makes me want tres leches cake now)
* butter
* brown sugar (two cups, either light or dark.  They never specify which)

It is also a good idea to have enough parchment paper to line the 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 square pan that you will pour the molten fudge into.

Combine the ingredients in a bowl.  As you can see, I added a few things: a dash of nutmeg, a smidge of cinnamon...

...and a few drops of vanilla extract.

Next, you need to microwave it for ten minutes.  You have to be careful here, because you must stop it every two minutes and stir.  Boiling it continuously for ten minutes will... well, I don't really want to think about that.  This is after two minutes, by the way.

This photo is what it will look like after six minutes.

And here it is after the full ten minutes, a-boilin' fiercely.  Please don't splash this on yourself.  Ouchie.

Next, you must take a mixer and beat it for about five minutes on a low to low-medium speed (I used the  #1 setting on mine).

Spread it in your parchment-lined square pan...

...and place in the fridge until hard.

In the end, I got actual fudge!  Not toffee, but fudge.  In retrospect, I can't say for certain what went wrong that first time.  Did I just not follow the directions?  Or perhaps I was following woefully inadequate directions?  The first recipe is gone, so I will never know.  But microwave penuche can be done.  You just have to make sure you have the right recipe, and are following it the way it's written!