My mother grew up in Arizona. It doesn’t rain much there. A rainy day was pretty much a national holiday around her house and her mother celebrated by making fudge.
I grew up in Texas. It doesn’t rain much there either so the holiday status was in full effect and Mom carried on Noni’s tradition of having rainy-day fudge. As a child, I got to celebrate those magical days by jumping in mud puddles and then sloshing my way inside to fresh, yummy fudge. Pretty much better than Christmas.
Then I got married and started my own family and moved to Florida. Where it rains every day. Kinda takes the novelty out those magical days. Not to mention, a daily batch of fudge just isn’t realistic. For my blood sugar or my time. But today I was feeling a bit nostalgic and the skies were cloudy, so I gave Noni’s famous recipe a shot. Turns out, today was the only day this week it didn’t rain, but we got fudge out of the deal, so Husband’s happy.
The thing about Noni’s fudge is it’s the best. Hands-down. AND FUDGE IS GLUTEN-FREE! It’s unlike any fudge I’ve ever had but that’s definitely a good thing. Something about the consistency – not too chewy, but not too hard. And it takes some serious muscles. Which I don’t have. I got an arm cramp 5 minutes in and dropped the saucepan resulting in a fudge-covered floor. And oven. And countertop. Whatever. Good thing I made a double batch.
After I had eaten half the pan, I made Husband (a self-proclaimed fudge un-enthusiast) try some.
Husband: Why is there fudge?
Me: Because it was supposed to be a rainy day.
Husband: ….ummmm….Why does that equal fudge?
Me: Noni makes fudge when it rains.
Husband: Aha. I’ve found the missing piece and solved the puzzle.
Me: Sorry, I thought rainy day fudge was an everybody thing. Now try some.
Husband: It’s not and I don’t like fudge.
Me: This is better, I promise. Just try some before I send it to the office and accidentally poison everyone.
Husband: You know, this is pretty good.
Me: I know, right?!
And after dinner, the little sneak opened the bag of pieces that escaped the box that went to the office.
Husband: Yeah. These are really good.
Me: Hah. Told you.
rainy day fudge
baker’s note: get your arm muscles ready!
2 C pure cane sugar
4 rounded Tbsp dark cocoa powder(confused about cocoa? check this out.)
1 C milk, room temperature (whole is best. aka “real” milk. It’s an ongoing debate in our house. Husband drinks that white water stuff that isn’t milk but he thinks is delicious. Weirdo.)
1 Tbsp white corn syrup
4 Tbsp butter, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Butter a glass pie plate or 8×8 pan and set aside.
2. Sift together sugar and cocoa into large saucepan. Add milk and bring to boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
3. When mixture has reached full boil, reduce heat to medium-high and stop stirring. Allow to cook at a low boil for 3-4 minutes
4. Add corn syrup and stir. Reduce heat to medium but mixture should still be boiling-ish. Let boil (no stirring) until the “hard ball” stage. Don’t know what that is? This will tell you all about it. For reference, it took my fudge about 10 minutes to get there.
5. Add butter and vanilla.
6. Beat with a spoon until thickened. It’s a workout and takes around 8-10 minutes. The moment fudge stops being super-shiny, you’re done.
7. Pour into prepared pan and allow to cool. Cut when still warm, but firm.
8. Remember, timing is everything. Don’t worry if it doesn’t work out for you. Just give it another shot. You can do it! Enjoy your rainy day!