Dear readers, here’s a “no-fail” easy chocolate fudge recipe for your Christmas noshing and gifting pleasure. No lie. As the author explains, “The sweetened condensed milk gives the chocolate fudge a smooth texture, which eliminates the need for the long period of beating required by more traditional fudge recipes. While certainly not your grandma’s classic chocolate fudge, this is a recipe to keep on hand when you want something simple.” Consider it our gift to you. Merry Christmas.–Renee Schettler Rossi
LC Grandma’s Shortcut Chocolate Fudge Recipe Note
We have only one quibble with this crazy easy chocolate fudge recipe. Although the author mentions in the cookbook that this is “certainly not your grandma’s classic chocolate fudge,” we find that to be not exactly true. The author, of course, who couldn’t be lovelier or more creative (have you tried her chocolate-dipped potato chips?!), is referring to the classic turn-of-the-20th-century fudge that needed to be beaten within an inch of its life. This recipe is not that. But this recipe is the very same easy chocolate fudge recipe making the rounds in spiral-bound church cookbooks in the Midwest and, we suspect, elsewhere for literally decades. It’s the fudge that our editor in chief recalls from childhood and the one that the grandma in her family still makes. Whether the recipe has remained in circulation so long because it’s so darn good or because it’s so shamefully easy to make isn’t clear. We suspect it’s probably due to both.
Easy Chocolate Fudge
- One (14-oz) can full-fat sweetened condensed milk
- 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts toasted if desired
- Line an 8-inch (20-centimeter) square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving ample overhang on all sides.
- Combine the condensed milk and chocolate chips in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon as the chocolate chips melt. Once the mixture is smooth and the chocolate chips have melted, remove pan from the heat. The mixture will be extremely thick at this point. Stir in the vanilla extract and walnuts until combined. Pour the thick mixture into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.
- Loosely cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until set, 2 to 4 hours. (Alternatively, you can let the covered fudge sit at room temperature overnight to set.)
- Once the fudge has set, remove it from the pan by lifting out the aluminum foil using the overhang on the sides of the pan. Invert the slab of fudge onto a cutting board, peel away the foil, and flip the fudge back over. Using a large sharp knife, slice the fudge into 1-inch (2 1/2-centimeter) squares. If the fudge has been in the refrigerator for longer than 4 hours, it might be quite stiff, so allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or so before cutting. It goes without saying that this makes a spectacular gift for any occasion.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This easy chocolate fudge recipe was a hit. Not only is it easy to make, but everyone who tried it liked it. I’ve made fudge the traditional way, and the difference in the results might be in terms of lightness—this was a very heavy fudge-like frosting with nuts (which isn’t a bad thing). It was so easy to make this shortcut chocolate fudge that I definitely would make it again when I need something fast. I could also see switching out the type of chocolate, nuts, etc. I’d also say that a little more vanilla might be good.
I made this for my fudge-loving mother-in-law over the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend. It was easy to prepare and turned out “just like real fudge,” which I have to say, I was surprised at, given the ingredient list. I’d suggest cutting the fudge as soon as you can (+/- 4 hours) and then refrigerating it so it’s easy to handle. The fudge is very rich, so I cut it into 1-centimeter cubes, which was plenty (plus, you can have a few because they’re so small!). I didn’t use nuts—my MIL doesn’t “do” nuts—and the consistency was just fine. I imagine any stir-in ingredients would be great—nuts or maybe even candy canes for the holidays? Make sure the condensed milk goes in the pan first so that the heat is hitting that rather than the chocolate chips first. Even if you stir constantly, it’s pretty thick at the start, so some chips might burn.
Definitely the easiest chocolate fudge recipe ever. And it’s delicious. Timing is exactly right. You can’t cut it directly out of the fridge. Wait at least 30 minutes. I made 64 squares. They’re small, but who needs a big piece of fudge? One tweak: I toasted the walnuts. I would definitely give this for holiday gifts. You could buy small boxes like the ones they have at candy stores and put the fudge in those.
This no-fail recipe is just that—it just couldn’t be any easier. Whether you’re a beginner or very experienced cook, this easy chocolate fudge recipe is a winner. The time it took to melt the chips along with the sweetened condensed milk was about 15 minutes on medium-low heat. Lining the pan in foil made cleanup a breeze. A big time-saver. Setting the fudge on the counter maybe isn’t recommended—waaaayyyy too much of a temptation. So refrigerating is the way to go. It’s a softer, melt-in-your-mouth consistency. Letting it set overnight can NOT be done. No one has to know you spent all of 20 minutes tops on this recipe and that it only required 4 (3 if you skip the nuts) ingredients.
Originally published November 27, 2015