Cheese fudge provides a cheesy twist to a classic chocolaty dessert. Normally, a processed cheese product, such as American cheese, is added to the fudge mixture, but sometimes other types of cheeses, including cream cheese, may be used instead. Cheese fudge has the similar firm, chocolaty consistency of traditional fudge, but the additional cheese flavor adds a nearly cheesecake-like taste to this candy. Although cheese fudge can sometimes be found online and at specialty stores, it is most often homemade.
Either slices or cubes of a processed cheese product are normally used in cheese fudge. These cheese-like substances are usually quick-melting and creamy once melted. Cream cheese or neufchatel are easily substituted. Neufchatel is a type of less fatty cream cheese, which is softer than its relative.
Butter, vanilla extract, and unsweetened cocoa powder are normally found in cheese fudge. Chopped nuts, usually pecans or walnuts, are often added, and marshmallows or dried fruit pieces can also be included. Peanut butter may be incorporated for peanut butter fudge versions. Occasionally, dried milk may be added. By far, however, confectioner's sugar is the main ingredient in this fudge. More than a pound of this sugar is normally added to a batch of cheese fudge.
To make cheese fudge, the cocoa and sugar are sifted together to ensure even mixing. Then, the cheese and butter are usually melted in a pan. If peanut butter is used, it is added once the butter-cheese mixture has melted. Once thoroughly mixed, the cheese mixture is added to the sugar mixture. The fudge is then stirred or worked with by hand until completely combined.
If cream cheese is used, the cheese is first softened and combined with the vanilla and melted butter. These ingredients are then mixed or beaten with a hand mixer before the sugar and cocoa are stirred in. The fudge is stirred vigorously until it has a smooth even color.
When nuts or fruit are included, they are added into the cheese mixture directly before it is poured into the sugar mixture or once the rest of the ingredients are combined. Vanilla, and dried milk if used, are added with the nuts. The fudge should be thick and rather stiff once combined. When all the ingredients are included, the completed fudge can be spread into a square pan or a cookie sheet and chilled. Once chilled, the hardened fudge can be cut into squares and served.