2/3 cup Hershey's cocoa (unsweetened/sifted)
3 cups granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter (half of a stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla
I use a decades' old Revere Ware copper-bottom stock pot (6 quart). It's the kind my Mom used and it took "some doing" to find one, but I did!
In the pot, combine cocoa, sugar, and salt. Add the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, continue to boil until it reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit*. It took longer than I thought it would to reach the appropriate temperature and I got it to 235 degrees when I tested it in the cold water and it made a solid ball. It took between 30-35 minutes. You MUST reach at least 240 degrees or else the sugar will not melt and the fudge will be "grainy"!
Clarification: Once it starts to bubble up on its way to 235-238 degrees, DO NOT STIR AGAIN!!
If you're not using a candy thermometer, cook until a drop of fudge, dropped into very cold water, forms a soft ball which can flatten when pressed between your fingers.
IMMEDIATELY REMOVE FROM THE HEAT! Throw in the butter and vanilla, but DO NOT STIR!!
Move to a towel on the counter. Pick up one side of the pot to make the fudge flow to other side and beat it with a completely dry wooden spoon. Beat until the sheen is gone. You may need some help with this. It takes more time more than you think. Add nuts, if desired.
IMMEDIATELY pour onto a buttered plate or an 8 x 8 pan that has been lined with 2 strips of parchment (one going each direction).
Cool. Cut into squares.
When I say to pour it immediately once the sheen/shine is gone off the fudge, I'm not kidding. It will "set up" in the pot which is no fun...
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