Growing up in the 1950’s, my mom, aunts, and female cousins were all making fudge. It didn’t require fancy and expensive ingredients like chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, or marshmallow cream that those West Virginia farm girls didn’t have. It was made with basic ingredients they found in their kitchens. If the too soft candy that people make today and which fudge shops all over the country mislabel as “old fashioned” fudge seems different than what you remember, it probably is. If you grew up with a mom who made the real thing that used cocoa powder and regular household sugar those modern recipes will never measure up! This is the recipe that mom and her teenage friends used. They found it on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa can. It still serves my family today.
Old Fashioned Hershey’s Cocoa Fudge
- 3 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Butter an 8 or 9 inch square pan.
In large heavy saucepan stir together first three ingredients. Stir in milk, with a wooden spoon. (Do not use a wire whisk or the fudge will not set). Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Boil without stirring, to reach 234 degrees F on a candy thermometer (or until syrup, when dropped in very cold water forms a soft ball which flattens when removed from water). The bulb of the candy thermometer must not rest on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat. Add butter and cool to lukewarm (110 degrees) without stirring. When lukewarm, add vanilla and beat vigorously until the fudge becomes thick and starts to lose its gloss.. Quickly spread into prepared pan; cool. Cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator.