The Poll-ette Hostess Cookbook, 1977
Fudge! With beef! Seems like it was custom made for me to torment Dr. Husband with!
The recipe, sent to me by superfan Spencer, comes from "The Poll-ette Hostess Cookbook", a collection of Montanan Polled Hereford ranchers' wives' favorite recipes.
Also, try not to think too much about the fact that our bovine cover girl is licking her lips, while serving up a sizzling hot steak.
Now, on to the fudge. Here's the recipe it its original form:
I didn't have any leftover roast beef handy, so I used some lunch meat roast beef. I also used the optional walnuts. (I'm not exactly sure in what respect roast beef would ever be expected to add "crunchiness".)
Mrs. Weist doesn't mention anything about precise temperatures, but I know from my genetic candy making heritage (if you've been following my other blog, you know that my grandmother was the Candy Queen of Middlepoint, Ohio!) that proper fudge is dependent upon a couple of key temperatures. To wit: when heating up your sugar base, you should cook to a "soft ball stage" (237 to 239 degrees), then remove from heat, and wait until it cools to between 110 and 120 degrees before stirring in the other ingredients.
I faithfully cooked to temp at the front end, but stirred everything else in before it cooled all the way - the result is a softer fudge that's a little harder to cut and serve, but otherwise delicious.
Yes I said delicious. I'll be damned if I can detect any hint of beef flavor in this fudge. It just tastes like fudge, begging the question of why Mrs. Weist would have ever added beef in the first place, she could have just made fudge and then elegantly used up her leftovers elsewhere. Unless, of course, she really was dependent upon the fact that the fudge "keeps real well" - maybe she was without refrigeration?
Dr. Husband was gone all day and I had gleeful visions of a horrific tasting session, but as I said, it's delicious. (He was a little put off once he found out what's in it, but...) I'd suggest if you want to try this, use bacon rather than beef, for a little more crunch AND something to counteract the sweetness triple-whammy of sugar, chocolate, and marshmallow cream.
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)