As luck would have it, this recipe can be found in the 1966 version of the Eastern Star Cookbook "Olde Family Favorites". My mom has the copy that she purchased just after her and my dad married in '66. It's a little tattered and worn, but it has been used A LOT. Oh, and as a bonus, while thumbing through the book, I found the Lemon Bar recipe that my mom use to make when I was a kid...
The one that I guessed at, and tried to make several months ago, (here) and failed in re-creating. LOL So there is another project for the future. Oh and I was right, there were three layers. But that is another post......
Back to fudge. This fudge contains gelatin, which I cannot seem to find any information on WHY there would be gelatin in fudge. Especially since the candy is heated well beyond the point where Gelatin begins to break down (209 degrees) and has little or no gelling effect. My guess is that since this is made with Half & Half, the protein ratio may be off a little and even though the gelatin is breaking down, it is still breaking down into other protein/amino acids and adjusting the protein/fat ratio to what it would have been if it were made with milk... Just a guess...
In the grand scheme of things though, it really doesn't matter. All that does matter is that this fudge is extremely creamy smooth and delicious. And THAT is what is important, right? Right!
Old Fashioned Gelatin Fudge
3 oz Unsweetened Chocolate (recommend using Baker's Chocolate for this)
3 cups Granulated Sugar
1 TB unflavored Gelatin
1/2 'Scant' cup Corn Syrup (I am figuring this at about 120 ml instead of 124 ml)
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
1 cup Half & Half
1 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter (Oh yeah, you KNOW this is gonna be good)
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup chopped Walnuts
Chop the Chocolate and set a side for a couple minutes while you......
Stir the Sugar and Gelatin together in a medium sized heavy bottom sauce pan.
Add the Chocolate, Corn Syrup, Salt, Half & Half, and Butter and bring to a boil over medium flame.
Add thermometer and continue cooking to the Soft Ball stage (235 degrees F)
Add Vanilla Extract to the bowl of your stand mixer.
Pour the hot mixture into the mixer bowl over the vanilla extract.
Let the mixture set for 25 minutes or 110 degrees whichever comes first. (Yep, I am serious, let it sit undisturbed - NO touchy)
Keep your self busy for at least the first few minutes by buttering a 9x9 inch square pan, then go relax with a cup of coffee for awhile... ;)
After the 25 minutes begin beating the fudge until it becomes firm and looses it's shine (this takes about 6-15 minutes depending on whether you are using a glass or metal bowl)
The fudge will begin to lighten as it gets closer to being done.
Once it looses it's shine and becomes thick, quickly stir in the nuts.
and press into the buttered pan.
Let it cool completely, then cut into squares. (I like them small, so I get 64 pieces from a 9x9 pan)
Carefully loosen the fudge from the sides of the pan and scoop out with a metal bench scraper or similar tool.
Enjoy with another nice steaming hot cup of coffee.