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By definition, fudge is a creamy and rich confection. A soft confection, generally very smooth and made using sweet cream, fresh butter, corn syrup, sugar and often some different scrumptious flavorings. Flavors may be vanilla, white chocolate, butterscotch, chocolate, Kahlua, kool aid, peanut butter, flavored gelatin, buttermilk, maple, bourbon, pumpkin or even mint. Fudge may contain various nuts, such as pecans, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, roasted macadamia nuts, and almonds. Other possible ingredients used in the more decadent or unusual fudge might be: popcorn, crushed candy canes, cheese, crackers, pineapple chunks, lime zest, coconut, candy bars, espresso beans, caramel, cookie wafers, chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, marshmallows, or cherries and other dried or candied fruit.

While the word fudge can be defined differently, none are equivalent to the timeless family favorite, premium chocolate fudge. In America, just about always, the word fudge means the rich, creamy, mouth watering chocolate confectionery. Sometimes you'll see the word fudge used on boxes of cakes or brownies, but this just means they've added more chocolate flavoring.

While often argued, according to history, fudge was developed by accident with a batch of failed candy; likely caramels, sometime around the year 1886. From this flawed candy batch came the term or the cooks' exclamation of 'oh, fudge!' The earliest written indication of fudge was in a letter from Poughkeepsie, New York. Emelyn Battersby Hartidge, a Vassar College student, said that the cousin of a schoolmate made fudge. In Baltimore in 1886, the confection sold for 40 cents per pound. A few years later Ms. Hartidge got the recipe and made 30 pounds for the Senior Auction at Vassar. Other colleges like Smith and Wellesley then made their own recipes for fudge.

Just about everyone loves delicious, creamy fudge, but it is considered difficult to make. Early recipes were rather vague and quite difficult. The degree of difficulty had a lot to do with the type of ingredients, the recipe used, how good the equipment was and the patience to make it right. Also, continual stirring and being sure of the cooking time, and precise measurements were integral to get the perfect fudge. Bringing the ingredients to the correct temperature, and stirring for the proper amount of time are both needed in order to make the fudge smooth, creamy and not gritty. Moreover it could be quite easy to under or over cook this sweet confectionery treat, resulting in the candy not setting up correctly or scorching.

In contrast with other sweets that can be traced back thousands of years, fudge is fairly new. Some of the earliest fudge flavors included chocolate, vanilla and brown sugar penuche. Mackinac Island, in Michigan is the fudge capital of the U.S. Now days, the flavorings or mixtures of ingredients are just about endless. A few of them are: vanilla caramel, lemon butter, vanilla cherry chocolate chip, raspberry coffee, chocolate cappuccino, maple walnut, chocolate caramel pecan, dark chocolate, peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake.

Author's Bio: Anna McAnthony is a content writer at http://www.chocolategourmetcandy.com, and has been writing articles and researching chocolate for a number of years. Visit http://www.chocolategourmetcandy.com for more information.