Decided to make some old fashioned fudge like my Mom used to make for Christmas. I found the recipe and it came out pretty much exactly like hers. Trouble is, hers was good, but kinda grainy and really "home made" tasting. I wanted that über creamy, rich fudge like you get in the candy store for like $25/lb. Thus began my Christmas odyssey. After much trial and error, I think I've gotten it. The photo doesn't really do it justice. It's good. Really, really good. It's a pain to make but worth it. 3 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/2 cups heavy cream. 4oz bakers unsweetened chocolate, chopped Half stick butter 2TB Light corn syrup 2 tsp vanilla extract Dash salt. The recipe isn't complicated. It's the process that is a little fussy. Use a heavy pan. I used a 3.5 qt Enameled dutch oven and it worked well, but any smaller would be too small. Butter the sides of the pan. Carefully add everything to the pan except the butter and vanilla, taking care not to get any sugar crystals on the sides f the pan. Over medium heat stir carefully (again trying to keep the sides of the pan clean) until the mixture comes to a full boil. Once it's boiling, STOP STIRRING. Put the lid on the pot for 2 minutes. This will cause the steam to flow down the sides of the pan washing away any stray sugar crystals that might be on there. After 2 minutes remove the lid and GENTLY insert your candy thermometer. I used my maverick 732 clipped to the side of the pot. I say gently because you don't want to agitate the mixture. Agitation and stray sugar crystals are your enemy here. They will cause your fudge to crystallize and it will be grainy. Reduce heat to medium low and continue boiling until the mixture hits 235f. This is known as the "soft ball stage". Ideally you're shooting for 236f but if you leap into action at 235f, it's gonna coast that last degree. GENTLY remove the pot from the stove and place on a cooling rack on the counter, leaving your thermometer in place. GENTLY place the half stick of butter in the mixture. DO NOT STIR!!!! No tasting, no poking, no moving the pot, just let it sit there undisturbed until it cools to 110f. This will take somewhere between 1 and 2 hours depending on the temperature in your kitchen. While it's cooling, line a pan with foil or plastic wrap and butter the lining. I used a loaf pan, but an 8x8 pan will work well. When it hits 110f, add the vanilla and mix with a hand mixer on high until it lightens in color, loses most of its shine and the ripples caused by the mixer stay put. This took me about 20 minutes, and nearly killed my hand mixer. It will seem like it's never going to happen, but keep going. Once it's "there", scrape it into the prepared pan with a rubber spatula. Don't scrape the sides of the pan! There still might be a stray crystal there and it can still ruin all your hard work. Scrape the bottom and most of it will come out. What's left in the pan is for the cook. Or his wife, in my case. 😄 Smooth out the mixture in the pan and let cool overnight on the counter. It takes a while to set, and I'm not sure if putting it in the fridge will speed up the process or not. I avoided the fridge because the name of the game here is slow. You want to heat it slowly and cool it slowly. I was afraid putting it in the refrigerator would mess up the texture. Once it's cooled and set, cut into pieces and enjoy. Smaller pieces are a good idea because it's INSANELY rich. But oh my goodness, it's just crazy good. My wife is a self proclaimed chocolate expert and swears it's the best fudge she's ever had. It's just like the candy store stuff, but because it's fresh, it's even better. If you do try this, and I hope you do, just commit to it. Eliminate all distractions and make sure you have the time to do all the steps on time and in the correct manner. This isn't hard, but you do have to do things exactly or it just won't work.