Milk Maid: A Fudge Q + A and Recipe from Swiss Maid Fudge

You've never met Jane Heller, but you'll probably like her as soon as I tell you this one thing about her: she has a company, Swiss Maid Fudge, that specializes in making delicious...well, you know. This Wisconsin-based company offers many options beyond the expected vanilla and chocolate, by the way--anyone care for some banana split fudge?

Anyhow. Ready to hear more? Thought so. 

Q: How did you first get involved with making fudge?
A: I began making fudge in high school when I would work summers in the candy store. I would spend my summers doing the same techniques we use today which really sparked my love of the business.  Making fudge has been a large part of my life and I have really grown with this company.

Q: How has Swiss Maid Fudge changed since you first started there?
A: We began with just 3 flavors of fudge – chocolate, vanilla, and maple fudge and have expanded to over 24 flavors!  We have also expanded our homemade products to include several caramel and brittle varieties, salt water taffy, caramel apples and hand-dipped chocolates. We have also expanded nationally through our Web site and started selling all over the country. As a company, we wanted to keep the traditional way of making our homemade fudge, but update our business through our online presence.  
Q: What are the top tips you can give someone attempting to make the perfect fudge?
A: The top three tips I can give are:
  • Wash down the sides of your pan with a brush dipped in water to prevent the formation of sugar crystals. 
  • You must use a candy thermometer and cook it to the correct temperature specified in your recipe – a degree here or there will make a big difference in the final outcome. 
  • Let the mixture cool a little before mixing – this will result in a creamier consistency.
 And now that you're armed with that expertise, howsabout a recipe? Jane was kind enough to share one:

Jane’s Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe
(Video of Jane making this recipe can be found above, or here)
  • 3/4 Cup Whole Milk
  • 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Corn Syrup
  • 6 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate
  • 2 T. Butter
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
In preparation
  1. Finely chop or grind the unsweetened chocolate.
  2. Prepare your marble slab or countertop by sprinkling with water.
  3. Spray your ring molds with cooking spray. You may select any size mold you prefer. Have a small greased container ready to put the remaining fudge in after you fill the molds.
  1. In a saucepan, combine milk, sugar, corn syrup and butter stirring to combine all ingredients well. Wash down the sides of the pan and the stirring spoon with a pastry brush dipped in water. Insert a candy thermometer making sure it doesn't sit on the bottom of the pan. Cook to 238 degrees. Do not overcook.
  2. Promptly remove from heat and slowly pour onto your work surface. Sprinkle the surface of the candy again with water and sprinkle the unsweetened chocolate evenly over the top. Let cool until the cooked mixture holds a slight indentation when your finger is pressed into it-mixture should be warm not hot. This should only take a few minutes.
  3. Using a scraper begin mixing from the outside edges into the middle making sure to get well underneath the candy. Mix swiftly as setting will occur quickly. Once mixed, place the fudge into each mold and the remainder into a pan.
  4. Fudge should immediately be ready to remove from the molds. Sprinkle the tops and sides of each layer with coarse sugar and stack. To make each section stick together melt a little chocolate and put in the middle of each layer before stacking the next.
  5. Package in a cellophane bag and tie with a bow or store in an air tight container. Makes approximately 2 lbs. of fudge.

To learn more, visit the Swiss Maid Fudge website; for a virtual tour of their factory, click here.