Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Four Failures and a Success

The Failure

I have attempted to make fudge four times in the past month.  All four attempts have failed.  I tried three maple fudge recipes and one chocolate recipe: the first recipe resulted in maple candy, not maple-flavored fudge.  The second recipe was too soft, but had a great mouthfeel and flavor.  The third (chocolate) was grainy and barely chocolate flavored.  The final batch of maple fudge was so grainy it almost hurt to eat.  Not one of them was juuuust right.  I have exhausted every fudge troubleshooting website I can find; none of them have been helpful.  Every time I change some part of my recipe or technique a different part of the process gets messed up.  And no, I don't want to use marshmallow fluff.  Nor mini marshmallows, nor condensed milk.  Is old-fashioned fudge really such a difficult thing to ask for?


I WILL get this right one day.  Just watch.  Even if I have to beg for a marble slab, I WILL make perfect fudge one day.  Stay tuned.  But not too closely, 'cause this may take awhile.

The Success

There's this wonderful group called Philly Food Swap that's organized by some local bloggers.  I found out about them by reading Food In Jars by Marisa McClellan: I saw her post on the first Philly Food Swap, got excited, and signed up for the Winter Philly Food Swap, which was yesterday.  Approximately 35 people, displaying homemade food goods, crowded into the PA Horticultural Society Library to mingle and sample each others' food. 

I had a BLAST!  I met some great people, got a little stressed out making enough macaroons for the event, and came home with an enormous variety of delicious, locally made treats.

I came back with:
Rhubarb Liqueur (going to be FABULOUS with seltzer)
Lime and Cinnamon Apple Sauce
Meyer Lemon Curd (!!!!!)
Caramel Apple Butter
Maple & Coconut Peanut Butter (for Brother Bear, since I'm allergic to peanuts)
Pumpkin Seed Caramels (oh thank you, thank you, whomever was listening to my prayers)
Spiced Cranberry Pomegranate Syrup (martini, anyone?)
Dilly Pickles
Hot Sauce
Chocolate Whiskey Cake
Candied Bacon Fudge
Red Wheat Cinnamon Buns and
Homemade Vanilla and Vanilla Bean Marshmallows.

WHY did no one tell me that homemade marshmallows are THE BEST THING EVER OH MY GOD I MIGHT DIE AND I HAVE SO MANY OF THEM I AM SO EXCITED!

Yeah, I had a good time.  Met some great people, tasted some great food, and brought home more for the future.  I missed out on things like a homemade chai mix (with a little bit of fennel - divine!), sticky fig jam that would have made Mama Bear swoon, and some truly snazzy professional-looking cupcakes from Cupcake Friday Project, but there's always the next swap! I can't wait to go again.

P.S.  Sorry, no pictures, the camera's acting up again.
P.P.S.  Suddenly boys?  What is this?


  1. It was a lot of fun getting to meet you. Weirdly, despite signing up for so many of the same swaps, it's possible none of our acquisitions overlapped (unless you pulled from the same person's marshmallows that I did... and I swear that wasn't going tob sound dirty when I started typing it.)

    As for fudge, have you found another recipe to try yet? My mother made fudge from either Joy of Cooking or Better Homes and Gardens, and I can ask which edition. But that book put all of the texture on the temperature and had a long explanation of soft ball/hard crack textures provided by hot sugars. You might know all this already, but I've only just now read the first entry of yours I found.

  2. @LiviaIt was nice to meet you, too! I swapped marshmallows with both Jean and Lee & Laura, so we probably have one overlap :).

    I'm leaving the fudge idea to sit for awhile, I have so many holiday projects coming up that I'll probably only get back to it after New Year's. I'm trying the Joy of Cooking recipe next, I think. I am aware of the soft ball texture required by most recipes and I have a great thermometer, I just haven't gotten the fudge right! Thanks, though.

  3. It was great to meet you! I snagged some of your macaroons-- they are soooo delicious! Hope you make many martinis with my Cranberry Pomegranate Syrup!!

  4. Hey Olivia, It was great meeting you! Hope you made out well on your job interview. Are you on Twitter?


  5. @SharonIt was great to meet you, too! I am enjoying your chocolate whiskey cake very much.

    I am on Twitter, but as Athenastree. It's an old name and I'm thinking of changing it soon, though.

  6. Hey Olivia!

    Thanks so much for the compliment :) Definitely search me out again at the next swap...did you at least get to sample one of the minis? Next time, you should TOTALLY make mascarpone to swap. I'd be all over that :)

  7. @Mel I look forward to the next swap, I'll probably have some homemade cheese to share. I was nervous about bringing it to my first swap since it goes bad quickly, but after seeing the ice cream I have a pretty good idea about how to keep things safe.