Yes, I even remember when Hershey's came in a can, and you had to pry the metal lid off with a spoon... Yea, then they switched to a cardboard 'can' with foil lining, but the top and bottom were still metal and you had to pry the lid off of that one too... Yeppers. Then about 10 years ago they switched to a plastic container with a really boring plastic lid... and thus went the bygone good old days.....
Even more sad is the fact that this recipe is no longer printed on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa container and has not been for years. Total bummer... a whole generation is growing up, never knowing the joy of having to stand in line in the kitchen to take their turn stirring the fudge pot... Yep, there are WAY too many No-Cook fudge recipes out there. All based on sweetened condensed milk, and all ya gotta do is heat it just to a boil and dump it in a pan and toss it unceremoniously into the refrigerator for 4 hours...
(sigh) it's just not the same... your not forming sugar crystals when you do that, which is what fudge is... teeny tiny itsy bitsy sugar crystals... That is why so much stirring is required, to keep large crystals from forming. The constant agitation breaks up the formation so you end up with a whole pot full of tiny crystalline goodness that not only feels like silk on your tongue, but melts almost immediately in your mouth.
I have to admit, this fudge does take a lot of elbow grease, but most great rewards require great effort and your efforts will be rewarded. As far as I know, this fudge DOES have to be stirred by hand and will not work if you attempt it with an electric mixer. And after having made it myself, I fully realize why my mom quit making it after she developed arthritis.
I have tried to convert to metric weights, I just hope they are correct, depending on humidity 2/3 cup of cocoa powder may weigh more... But I tried.
Hershey's Cocoa Fudge
3 cups (600 g) Granulated Sugar
2/3 cup (75 g) Hershey's Cocoa (or other Natural Cocoa Powder, not Dutch processed)
1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) Whole Milk
4 TB Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Line 8 or 9 inch square pan with foil, then butter the foil. (or cheat like I did and use a square silicone baking pan)
In large heavy saucepan stir Sugar, Cocoa and Salt together;
Stir in milk, with a wooden spoon.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until mixture comes to a full boil.
Remove spoon, place the candy thermometer (without touching the bottom of the pan) and boil without stirring, to 235 degrees F (114 degrees C) on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage - or until syrup forms a soft ball in cold water which flattens when removed)
Remove pan from heat and add the Butter & Vanilla extract, then let it cool to 110 degrees F (43 degrees C), without stirring... Seriously.... Again, just like the Gelatin Fudge... No Touchy!!
Stir with wooden spoon (no Kitchen Aid or Oster Kitchen center, just a good old "butt swattin when you've been a bad boy" wooden spoon.... OK, you can use a bamboo one too)
And Stir.... And Stir..... did I mention Stir?? Good, then stir some more.....
Until fudge thickens & loses some of its gloss; looking kind of like chocolate frosting, then quickly spread into prepared pan and let continue to cool to room temperature. (Nope, I don't add nuts to this one... Just pure unadulterated fudgy cocoa goodness)
Meanwhile, the cook gets to scrape all the yummy bits from inside the pan... YAY! Now that I'm all growed up and stuff, it is *I* who gets to eat the scrapings from the pan... AWESOME!!!
Cut into squares. (Unless you used a silicone pan like I did, then you must remove the whole thing from the pan before you cut; Although my cuts were a little off on this one)
Wrap loosely in aluminum foil or in a waxed paper lined tin and store in the refrigerator.
I LOVE this fudge... It is my total favorite kind... (sigh) Heaven, I'm in Heaven....