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Making fudge is a way to add texture and body to ordinary chocolate, infusing it with added milk, butter and other ingredients like nuts, dried fruit, marshmallows and even citrus zest. Though semi-sweet chocolate is the most common ingredient for fudge, producing an iconic brown hue, white chocolate is a viable alternative. White fudge is made in the same way to produce treats just as flavorful with even starker color contrasts.
The basic ingredients for ordinary chocolate fudge are semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks, along with sweet condensed milk, unsalted butter, crushed nuts and vanilla. Correct proportions are key. For 1 lb. (about 450 g) of chocolate chips, cooks will also need 14 oz. (about 400 g) of condensed milk, 1.5 cups (about 150 g) of nuts, 2 tsp. (about 10 ml) of vanilla extract and 2 tbsp. (about 28 g) of butter. Many also add dried fruit, citrus peel and a pinch of salt to impart even more flavor and texture.
White fudge contains about the same mixture, only with white chocolate chips or pieces instead of dark chocolate. Before the fudge is mixed and cooled, many cooks will toast their nuts for about 15 minutes in an oven set to about 350°F (177°C). Many types of nuts are customary, from walnuts and almonds to pistacios and macadamia nuts. After they have cooled, they can be chopped into small pieces and stirred into the fudge.
To make white fudge, aluminum foil is placed on the bottom and sides of a square baking pan, then buttered to keep the fudge from sticking. The chocolate is melted in a pan with the condensed milk, then removed from the heat. At this point the other ingredients are stirred in, such as vanilla, marshmallow pieces, nuts and citrus zest. After the fudge is fully mixed, some cooks add more nuts to the top before covering the pan and cooling it in the refrigerator until the fudge is hard. The foil allows the cook to remove the fudge from the pan easily, to be cut into squares.
Some chefs go beyond just basic alterations. One recipe at the Very Best Baking Web site includes ground ginger, mini marshmallows and dried cranberries for a white fudge with distinctive red spots. Another recipe involves preparing white fudge, then dipping the squares in milk or dark chocolate for a two-toned treat.