I love candy making. I ADORE candy making. I think it's the scientist in me--confections require a precise recipe and following directions to the most minute point, which I enjoy. And I love fudge.
I decided to make Penuche (p. 876). First things first, you pronounce penuche puh-noo-chee and it's a Mexican brown sugar fudge. I haven't made non-quick fudge in a long, long time (quick fudge utilizing marshmallow fluff).
I mixed brown sugar, salt, half and half, and heavy cream over low heat until the sugar dissolved.
The heat was then raised to medium until the temperature reached the soft-ball stage. DON'T STIR! It's so difficult not to stir but it will ruin the texture of the candy.
Butter and vanilla were added without stirring. The pot was then immediately sat in a water bath and allowed to cool to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
The penuche then had to be stirred. I think this would be fairly easy if I had a marble slab--I would have just poured it out and waited for it to cool and then kneaded it (and, believe it or not, they sell marble slabs at Williams-Sonoma, I'm just waiting to be able to buy it). The penuche was almost impossible to stir. I handed it over to Josh, who had to put some serious effort into stirring.
Coconut and pecans were added in and it was then poured into a buttered pan.
It was delicious! If you hate coconut, stay far, far away from this recipe, but I like coconut (and pecans and fudge and brown sugar) so I loved it! A little goes a really long way, so cut it into tiny squares. I will definitely make it again. Are there any other candy-makers out there?