Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Retro Recipe Challenge #4 Fall Favorites: Chocolate Fudge

I've been wanting to participate in the Retro Recipe Challenge for a while now, but never got around to it. Part of the issue is that I only post recipes of my own creation on my food blog and in order to participate, I'd have to use an existing recipe. If I am going to cook, I like it to be something I can post! That said, I love old cookbooks and have quite a collection. One of my favorites is the 1998 reissue of the Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book, which is an exact reprint of the original 1950 book, which is quite hard to find (in good condition) now. It has badly tinted pictures, kitschy line drawings and helpful tips on everything from steaming vegetables to cream sauces. Some of the ideas and recipes are quite modern: cooking vegetables briefly to retain nutrients, curries, fancy desserts and a surprising amount of ethnic foods but some are funny-"Dutch Potatoes" call for you to core a potato, stick a "wiener" in it and bake for 1 hour. It is also an odd mix of exhaustive detail-how to scramble an egg- and assuming you already know how to cook-directions at times give few details-just to "fry in fat", "caramelize", "bake until tests done" or "scald" with no clues on how or in what .

Anyway, we just got back from a trip and I was in the mood for something chocolate-y. This chocolate fudge seems to fit the bill and is, to me, a Fall favorite-lots of stirring over a hot stove and rich flavor. It is also a healthier recipe than I would have expected from the era-no heavy cream and only 2 tablespoons of butter. The taste is rich and creamy and sharply chocolate. Much better than all of the "quick" fudge recipes that have become so popular in recent years.

Source: Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1950)