THE BEST CHOCOLATE FUDGE
3 cups sugar
1 cup milk
3 squares unsweetened chcolate
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
About 2 1/2 hours before serving or up to 1 week ahead:
In 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, heat sugar, milk, chocolate, corn syrup and salt to boiling, stirring frequently. Carefully set candy thermometer in place and cook without stirring until temperature on thermometer reaches 238 F, or soft-ball stage (when a small amount of chocolate mixture dropped into a bowl of very cold water forms a ball that flattens on removal from water), about 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat.
Cool chocolate mixture, without stirring, to 110 F, or until outside of saucepan is lukewarm. Meanwhile, lightly butter an 8" x 8" pan.
When chocolate mixture is ready, add butter or margarine and vanilla extract. With wooden spoon, beat until mixture is thick and begins to lose its gloss, about 3 minutes. Quickly stir in chopped pecans; pour mixture into pan. Cool fudge in pan on wire rack; cut into about 1 1/2 inch squares. Store fudge in tightly covered container. Makes 25 pieces or about 2 pounds.
The trick to perfect fudge is to cook the chocolate mixture to precisely the correct temperature. Undercooking creates fudge that is too soft; over cooking will harden the fudge. A candy thermometer will eliminate the guesswork. Be sure to insert it at least 2 inches deep into the chocolate mixture - the chocolate will bubble up in the saucepan as it boils. Remove the chocolate from the heat precisely at the 238 F. When the fudge has cooled to lukewarm, 110 F, beat it just until it begins to look less glossy, Over beating will harden the fudge.
Susan the beginning cook; Good House Keeping