Chocolate fudge is a type of confectionery which is usually very sweet, extremely rich and flavored with cocoa.
It's made by mixing sugar, butter, chocolate, and milk, heating
it to ~240°F (the "soft ball stage"), and then beating the mixture while
it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency.
Probably the most important element
of fudge is its texture.
Controlling the crystallization of the supersaturated sugar solution (with temperature) is the key to smooth fudge. Initiation of crystals before the desired time results in a confection with fewer, larger sugar grains. This produces a final texture with a grainy mouthfeel rather than a smooth one
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American culinary folklore has it that fudge was invented in the United States more than 100 years ago. The exact origin is disputed, but most stories claim that this chocolate treat was the result of a "botched" batch of caramels, hence, the name.
One of the first documentations of this ultra-rich chocolate candy ("American-style" fudge) is found in a letter written by Emelyn Battersby Hartridge, a student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
She wrote that her schoolmate's cousin made fudge in Baltimore, Maryland in 1886 and sold it for 40 cents a pound. In 1888 Miss Hartridge got hold of the recipe and made it for the Vassar College Senior Auction. This Vassar recipe became quite popular at the school.
Word of this crowd-pleasing confection soon spread to other women's colleges who then formulated their own versions of the recipe.