Friday, February 24, 2006

No More Fudging It

Fridays are my Chocolate Box days over at Sugar Savvy. This week's See's Piece by Piece features vanilla walnut and chocolate walnut fudge. Click here to read all about it.

This concludes our Five Days of Fudge spectacular and makes it safe to go to the candy counter again.

Update: Sugar Savvy is no more.  View the link through the archives of the Wayback Machine. Read on for the text from that post.

Here's my copy thanks to the internet archives of the Wayback Machine.  Some symbols/characters did not do well in translation and some links may be broken or outdated.

This week The Chocolate Box samples See�s Old-Fashioned Fudge. Fudge is probably the ultimate in old-time candy goodness and See�s boasts in its catalog that customers say its fudge tastes better than homemade. Why fudge? Well, how else to celebrate the fifth day of Sugar Savvy�s five fun days of fabulous fudge?
In the See�s Candy stores fudge can be bought in small pieces from the glass display case and can be part of your box of chocolates. Through mail order and the internet fudge is only available in one-pound quantities of either vanilla walnut, Bordeaux (trademarked name) pecan or chocolate walnut. Or, you can get a three pound gift set featuring a one pound box of each. (For more on See�s Piece by Piece, please read this. For information on See�s Candy including store locations and mail order, please see the See’s website.)

Tasting Report
Oh, Fudge:
I have a confession to make. I didn�t know about the Bordeaux pecan fudge while I was in the store. Since Bordeaux is one of my favorite candy fillings, I was disappointed when I got home and began researching See�s fudges and saw I had missed it. So The Chocolate Box will just taste vanilla walnut and chocolate walnut fudge today. If you�ve tried the Bordeaux pecan fudge and have an opinion you�d like to share on it, please post a comment below.
The See�s Old-Fashioned Fudge I bought was cut into small squares that showcased the high walnut count in each piece. The vanilla was a creamy beige and didn�t offer much contrast to the nuts. The chocolate had a deep chocolate brown color and showed off the walnuts to advantage.
Secrets of the Fudge:
Technically the vanilla fudge is penuche, a term for a cooked candy made from sugar, butter and milk but not chocolate. The Chocolate Walnut Fudge is one of the company�s original recipes developed by the founder�s mother, Mary See, and in use since See�s opened its doors in 1921.
I was surprised at the balance of taste in the Vanilla Walnut Fudge. So many vanilla fudges are overly sweet. This one isn�t. It features a nice, clean vanilla taste and a smooth but not creamy texture. It is positively crammed with walnuts. You can�t take even a tiny nibble without biting into one of the fresh tasting, crispy nuts. Vanilla Walnut Fudge is a winner.
I was a little less enthused by the Chocolate Walnut Fudge. It featured the same smooth but not satiny texture and the same concentration of high quality walnuts as the vanilla. It also had a good balance of sweetness. You could taste the chocolate at first, but that disappeared quickly and was replaced by strong cooked milk sugar taste, like a caramel that has been cooked too long. It was a fine piece of fudge, but I preferred the vanilla.
See�s Trivia:
See�s uses about four million pounds of almonds, English walnuts, peanuts, cashews and pecans a year. Based on the fudge to nut ratio in these candies I can see why.
The fudge is one of the few See�s candies I don�t have an ingredients list for, but based on the book See�s Famous Old Time Candies A Sweet Story by Margaret Moos Pick, I�d say it features English walnuts, Guittard chocolate, Madagascar vanilla, grade AA creamery butter and pure cane sugar. What else might be in there, only See�s knows for sure.
Well-Fed Ratings:
As compared to other See�s candies, I would give the Vanilla Nut Fudge an 8.5 and the Chocolate Walnut Fudge a 7. Pro: The wonderful walnut taste and texture and the nice vanilla flavor. Con: The slightly overcooked taste in the chocolate fudge.

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