Homemade Opera Fudge
Many people who are not from this area where I live are not familiar with this one. It seems to be more a regional selection but word is getting around and I used to get orders from all over the country, some even international.
Don't let the name fool you though. This is not a fudge recipe. So many people state "I don't like fudge so I don't want any."
Well then you are safe because it is not fudge.
What is it though is kind of time-consuming. Not difficult, it just has to be prepared in stages. So you will have to give it at least 2 days, for some 3 days depending how you wish to time it.
But the final results ARE SO WORTH IT!!!
Here's the recipe:
Ingredients - filling layer
4 cups of sugar (once again the better the brand the better your final product)
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 stick of butter, divided
Ingredients for coating
Dark chocolate candy coating (compound chocolate wafers work very easy for this if you aren't familiar with working with real chocolate)
vegetable oil, coconut oil, paramount wafers etc for thinning chocolate if needed
- Mix 1/3 of the stick of butter plus the sugar and cream in a 4 qt kettle* at medium low heat till a candy thermometer reads 236 degrees. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking and incorporating all ingredients well together.
- Meanwhile use the other 2/3 stick of butter and spread the sides and bottom of a 9X12 cake pan* very well. Use it all...you will need it to allow the candy to release itself from the pan.
- When 236 degrees has been reached remove the pan from the heat source. Let it sit one minute then pour into your well-buttered cake pan. Allow to sit until it has completely cooled. Meanwhile prepare another cake pan 9X12 and line it with waxed paper for ease of removal of the candy filling during the next stage.
- Once completely cooled, If you own a kitchen aid mixer, using the dough hook attachment, beat with this beater, with bowl turning constantly, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- If you do not own a kitchen aid mixer you can hand-beat this mixture until smooth and creamy. Again keep the bowl in motion by turning it in circles as you beat it. Also, YOU MUST keep beating** it until it has reached the right consistency. Breaks aren't allowed with this recipe.
- After the beating stage and you have a smooth and creamy filling pour this into the waxed paper lined cake pan. Place in the refrigerator and leave it there from 12 up to 24 hours (the longer the better).
- The next day cut the solid creamy filling into bite-sized pieces (about 1/2"X1") and dip in melted semi-sweet dark chocolate coating. Use a thinned chocolate if necessary since you want only a very thin shell
- Place your dipped candy on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet so the chocolate candy harden.
- After all candy filling pieces have been dipped slide the tray into the freezer for about 5-10 minutes. (No freezer space then use the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.)
- Place in a covered container and store in the refrigerator.
Be sure to use a very deep high sides pan to cook. It will foam up and then go back down as the filling ingredients cook.
- **If you have trouble hand-beating for long stretches of time, ask another person to be in the kitchen with you and trade places back and forth during the hand-beating stage. You can not stop this and return to it later. Your filling will fall flat and not whip up to the right consistency.
- Melting Chocolate - to easily melt your chocolate use your microwave instead of a double boiler UNLESS you are experienced working with chocolate. To microwave place your chocolate wafers in a large glass measuring cup, filling the cup about 2/3 full. Microwave on High for 45 seconds. Remove from oven and stir well using a table knife (not a wooden spoon). Place back into microwave on High for 30 seconds. Remove and stir well. Keep up this schedule only reduce heat now to Low and heat for 30 seconds. Keep repeating 30 seconds on Low until chocolate is completely melted. Thin if needed.
- To thin chocolate: Stir in a small amount (start with about a teaspoon) of the coconut oil, vege oil or paramount and stir until incorporated. If you would like it a little thinner just stir in a little more until desired consistency is reached.
- This candy must be kept refrigerated for long term storage since it uses cream as one of its base ingredients. Most people though prefer the taste and texture of it at room temperature. Leaving it sit out on a counter during a meal etc will not hurt it.
Although this sounds long and complicated it really is not. Because the whole process is broken down into shifts it makes each step go pretty quickly. And the taste and texture is so very worth it!
Be forewarned, my nickname for this recipe is "Calories In Motion". So enjoying it as a holiday treat is fine but you just can't make it a daily treat without having to gain a new wardrobe in the process also.
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