Cool breezes and falling leaves mean candy time is coming! Fabulous fudge is just a few minutes away with this easy microwavable recipe – practically fool-proof and full of chocolate flavor.
I really enjoy making candy, but sometimes I think I must have angered the candy gods in a previous life.
While I usually have no problem producing beautiful bonbons (after making friends with the candy thermometer, of course), sometimes things just don’t turn out right and I’m left with a pot of something inedible; even the most dedicated chocoholics aren’t interested.
If I can find a fool-proof candy recipe, I’m on it, and this easy Microwave Fudge is it!
I just love fudge, don’t you? It’s one of the first treats I sample anytime I find myself in a local candy shop, and I’m usually blown away by all the fantastic, creative flavors.
This is the best, easiest recipe for Microwave Fudge with sweetened condensed milk, butter, vanilla, and semi-sweet chocolate coming together in the microwave – the MICROWAVE! No pesky thermometer to monitor! One bowl, one pan, one perfect piece of fudge.
There are lots of microwave fudge flavors too: microwave peanut butter fudge (check out my easy microwave Peanut Butter Fudge recipe), pumpkin spice, microwave vanilla fudge, and cookies & cream to name a few.
Although fudge is often used to mean the chocolate version of this luscious treat, history suggests the first “fudge” actually came about because of a botched batch of caramel (guess someone else wasn’t having a good candy day).
Many recipes are still vanilla-based. If you love chocolate though (doesn’t everyone?), it’s hard to beat the more popular version, crispy pieces of toasted nuts mingling with all the melt-in-your-mouth chocolatey goodness.
Basic fudge recipes start with butter, sugar, and milk, but these ingredients have been tweaked over the years to make usually fickle fudge more accessible to candy-making novices around the world.
This isn’t the classic microwave fantasy fudge that uses marshmallow cream (and is printed on the back of the marshmallow cream jar). My recipe is devoid of marshmallows – just a pure piece of creamy chocolate, with some chopped nuts if you want some texture.
Fantasy fudge also uses evaporated milk and I prefer condensed since some of the candy-making work is already done. My simple, five-ingredient recipe is less complicated than making microwave fudge without condensed milk because you’ll have to add (and thoroughly incorporate) some sugar.
Evaporated milk and condensed milk are essentially the same thing except for the sugar. Both are cooked down until about 60% of the water is evaporated, but it becomes condensed milk with the addition of sugar (in about a 1:2 ratio of sugar to milk), and it’s cooked long enough to dissolve all that sugar.
I choose not to make my microwave fudge with evaporated milk because it adds that extra careful-cooking step to liquefy the sugar completely. Fool-proof, remember? I’m going with condensed . . .
The other ingredient that separates chocolate fudge camps is the chocolate itself.
Some use cocoa powder and others use chocolate bars or chips. The main difference between these two ingredients is cocoa butter, and I really think you can tell when it’s missing. To make microwave fudge cocoa powder must be combined with those same three ingredients (milk, eggs, and butter) to get the right consistency.
But, while I know that combo can still produce good results, it’s missing out on the extra chocolate flavor from the cocoa butter.
More chocolate equals more better, so I make my microwave fudge with chocolate chips. (By the way, the melted chocolate also adds moisture and viscosity, which is why if you make a microwave vanilla fudge recipe condensed milk won’t be enough. You’ll still need to add some whole milk and corn syrup.)
There’s really not much else to say, this is such a simple recipe, but you will want to watch the mixture carefully when it starts getting hot.
This microwaving technique should really be called almost fool-proof because if you let the chocolate mixture boil you’ll end up with a grainy texture.
Just be sure to follow the instructions and melt the butter before adding the chocolate to avoid overcooking. Speaking of butter, while I typically use unsalted in my baking, I like the touch of salt and its contrast to the sweet fudge, but feel free to experiment with the salt-free version.
Oh, and toast your nuts if you use them. The flavor will be more pronounced and they’ll have a nicer crunch in all that soft chocolate. I like pecans, but walnuts are great too.
When you’re ready to cut into the fudge for gifting or indulging, you’ll thank me for the aluminum foil tip. This makes moving the fudge out of the pan a snap and definitely makes cutting around the edges less messy.
You can actually freeze fudge for up to a year, but it’ll also keep, in an air-tight container, for one to two weeks on your counter.
In the fridge, you’ll double that time. Let’s face it, though. It’ll never last that long!
Chocolate – In some recipes you can get by with cheaper chocolate, but this one isn’t it. Using lower quality chocolate will impact the quality (and flavor) of the fudge, so definitely use the best you can buy. I use semi-sweet chips, but you can mix up the types of chocolate to suit your taste. My hubby loves this made with milk chocolate, and my mom insists on a mixture of bitter- and semi-sweet. Oh, and remember a 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips is only about 2 cups, so you’ll need two bags. I’m sure you have better things to do with your time than going to the grocery store twice for one recipe!
Perfect presents – This recipe doubles nicely and can be made in a standard 9 X 13 inch pan which makes it perfect for knocking out some holiday gifts. For a little festive flair, you can press some crushed peppermint pieces into the top before it sets. Cute bags and ribbon, and you’re all set!
Toppings – Yes, there’s peppermint, but you can also make a Microwave Fudge with marshmallows. Just press 1 to 1 ½ cups of mini marshmallows into the top. How about Microwave Caramel Fudge? Just microwave about 25 unwrapped caramels with 1 Tablespoon of whipping cream for about 30 seconds, then stir about 30 seconds, and continue to microwave at 15-second intervals until they’re completely melted. Pour this on top of the fudge, then let it sit in the fridge. This version will be a little stickier and harder to cut because of the caramels, so make sure you chill it several hours first, then use a hot knife to slice it.
- Yield: 32 pieces
- Prep Time: 3 minutes
Easy Microwave Fudge Recipe
- Semisweet Chocolate Chips - 3 Cups
- Sweetened Condensed Milk - 1 (14 Ounce) Can
- Butter (Regular) - 1/4 Cup
- Vanilla - 1 Teaspoon
- Chopped Nuts--Optional - 1 1/2 Cup
- Line an 8X8 inch pan with aluminum foil, overlapping the edges of the pan 2 inches. (This will make for easy removal and clean up). Spray nonstick cooking spray on foil. Set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl, add chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk. and butter Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes on 50% power. Stir vigorously. Microwave at additional 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until morsels are melted.
- Mix in vanilla and nuts (optional). Spread in prepared pan. Refrigerate to set. Cut and serve