As I have for the past seven years, I once again embarked on a fudge making adventure in my kitchen. As in past years, I decided to return once again to the Carnation Famous Fudge Kit:
but I decided to add two other fudges this year.
One was suggested by my friend Keri, who has told me every year, "OH MY GOD, JOEL, JUST MAKE THE FUDGE FROM THE JAR OF MARSHMALLOW FLUFF! IT'S SO EASY!" I've heard that song before, but I figured I might as well give it a try this year.
I also decided to try something completely out of the box and possibly insane: Unicorn Fudge.
Remember back in April when Starbucks rolled out the Unicorn Frappuccino? It was vile and disgusting, but also pink and sparkly, and when it came out I read some listicle online that said, "20 Other Unicorn Foods to Try" or something like that, and right in the middle was Unicorn Fudge.
I should save this recipe for December, I thought, and I did.
The morning started as it usually does, with me laying out the ingredients and kitchen tools before my tiny, sparkly, kitchen god, who hangs above the stove:
I used to only hang him up at Christmas, usually on the day I made fudge, but last year or the year before I got tired of putting him back in the box and was worried that his glitter might flake off from repeated handling, so now I just leave him up year round. With my morning prayers accomplished, I got to work on the Unicorn Fudge:
The recipe is fairly easy, and takes place in the microwave, which means you have to watch it very carefully. If you melt chocolate in the microwave, there's a strong chance it will crystallize or burn, so you have to microwave in short bursts and stir a lot in between. I didn't know if that was true for white chocolate, too:
since white chocolate is a vile, waxy imitation of real chocolate, but I decided to be careful just the same. Once the chocolate, heavy cream, and vanilla were melted and blended together:
I was ready to try coloring it. I wasn't sure how much to use, but it turns out to be way more than you think. My first shot, which was about a half teaspoon of purple coloring, produced this flat mauve:
and I ended up using a lot more until it got to a color I deemed dark enough. Once that was done, I poured it into a dish, then sprinkled the top with rainbow sprinkles and gold sanding sugar, which I opted for over edible glitter or luster dust:
I pressed lightly on the top so that the sprinkles and sugar would stick into the fudge, but when I took it out of the dish later I still ended up with sprinkles all over the counter:
but that's getting ahead of the story. Before I could cut up any of the fudge, I had to finish making it, and that meant moving on to the fluff bottle fudge.
The fluff bottle fudge calls for a lot of sugar and a lot of butter:
so much so that I feel like I should apologize to my coworkers, who are (hopefully) going to eat this. The recipe is very similar to the fudge kit fudge, in that you cook down the sugar mixture for a few minutes, then add the chocolate chips (more sugar):
and then the entire jar of marshmallow fluff (still more sugar):
and then spread it in a pan:
It looked good, but it made a lot more than I thought it would, and it ended up being pretty thick. It also said that it needed to set up at room temperature, not in the refrigerator, which made me suspicious. I do what the recipe says, though, so I put a lid on it and set it over out of the way on a counter for the rest of the morning.
The Famous Fudge Kit hasn't changed much since last year:
and they continue not to put a little tray in it like they used to, so you still have to go ahead and dirty your own dish. It cooks a lot like the fluff jar fudge, but with less sugar and butter:
and it says to dump the chocolate and marshmallows in at the same time instead of separately:
and when I finished this year I had a bad feeling about it:
because it looked grainy. That usually means it's gritty and dry, not smooth and creamy, but at this point I was pretty tired of making fudge, so I figured, Whatever, just put it in the fridge and start the cleanup. Eventually, all the fudge had allegedly set:
and then I sliced it up.
From left to right:
Unicorn Fudge: Actually good. It's creamy, tastes sort of vanilla-ish and not too much like white chocolate, and it just looks kind of fun. It might be good for a kid's birthday party or something.
Marshmallow Fluff Jar Fudge: This is too sweet for me. Other people might like it, especially now that it's firmed up a little more. I might have cut it a little too early in that photo.
Famous Fudge Kit Fudge: Look how well it turned out this year. LOOK AT IT.
This year, the Famous Fudge Kit and I are at peace.