Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chocolate Fudge and Bouncing Tea Bags

Chocolate Fudge

One of the first things I ever made using a recipe was chocolate fudge. The recipe I used appeared in the user manual of an electric frying pan. I distinctly remember the fudge being slightly crumbly, not chewy at all and melting quite quickly in the mouth, unlike the stuff available now. And it was made from cocoa powder, not chocolate. Unfortunately the frying pan is long gone, along with the user manual.

Recently I started looking for the recipe online and came across a recipe on Hershey’s site. I don’t remember if the recipe I used was different from Hershey’s but it looked pretty good. The chocolate fudge turned out as I hoped, crumbly, not chewy at all and and melting quite quickly.

According to Hersheys, this is one of their most requested recipes, but also one of the most difficult. The recipe suggests using a candy thermometer. I don’t have one and managed without it. Perhaps I was lucky. If not done properly the chocolate fudge can turn out soft or rock hard. If it is soft it will be a delicious chocolate sauce. And if it turns hard you can use it for self-defense. Death by chocolate!

This may sound like common sense, and it is, but I will mention it anyway. Use a very clean saucepan. My chocolate fudge had a very faint fishy aroma. It took me a while to realize that I had used the same saucepan earlier to cook salmon. I washed the saucepan but obviously not thoroughly enough. The chocolate fudge picked up some of the scent. The salmon I cooked earlier didn’t have a fishy smell but the chocolate fudge had a subtle but stronger fishy smell, if that makes sense. It smelt more like anchovies. The smell was subtle so it didn’t bother me. If fish flavoured chocolate fudge comes on the market I won't be jumping up and down with excitement. The recipe is available here.

Today's Favourite Photo
Treacle Tart

Today’s Favourite Blog
Source: Forbes
Life’s greatest mystery solved: does bouncing your tea bag make a difference? Does it make your tea brew faster? Apparently it is quite a complicated question to answer. The researcher had been working on this for over fifteen years. I don't know if this will get him a Nobel Prize.

Before I present the results, it would be good to get a theoretical background. Tea bag tea largely obeys first order kinetics, so the rate of dissolution slows down as the concentration of tea rises. This is governed by the Noyes-Whitney equation. OK, enough theory.

It was found that bouncing does not matter. I think I will remember this. Sometimes I bounce to get the brewing process to speed up but apparently this is a waste of time and energy.


  1. I was really intrigued by the title re bouncing tea bags. And he spent 15 years on it too! :o

    1. I know, imagine the amount of tea he went through during that period

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  3. I must say I am too big a coward to make a chocolate fudge. I simply know I will devour lots of it and the amount of butter and sugar has always scared me. I did try once to modify a recipe making a light version, but apparently such a thing doesn't work. Your beautiful fudge makes me almost brave enough to try it.
    One of the reasons I don't like salmon is that is leaves a horrible fishy smell on pans (and since I don't like the salmon's taste I am particularly sensitive to its typical smell, different from other fish). I often fry other fish varieties, but nothing leaves such a strong smell. I still wonder why people say that for example mackerel is fishy. It's nothing in comparison to salmon! (But our nose and palate are influenced by the visual side and psychological attitude: all those people who like only salmon (and they are galore), like it because of the colour and because so many people like it because of the colour... handy, boneless cuts also play a big role). Of course I don't think about you: the herring fan is a real gourmet who wouldn't get fooled only by the colour ;-)
    I used to put salt in the pans, but recently I have discovered that leaving vinegar mixed with water overnight in the pan removes all the fishy smell (half/half), although some pans might be destroyed by it maybe...
    I also try to bake salmon (for my husband or guests) instead of frying it. I can put the baking dish into the dishwasher and it loses the smell.
    Tea bouncing subject somehow fits approaching Christmas very well...

    1. I know what you mean, its easy to keep 'tasting', followed by eating. As you saw, this is a light version with less butter.
      I have never noticed salmon leaving a small on pans. Even this time I didn't notice a smell on the pan but unfortunately I noticed on the fudge.
      I guess color does influence, thats why farmed salmon has coloring added to their meals. And its also marketing - salmon is good for you, more expensive therefore it has no smell!
      I will try the vinegar trick if I notice any smell. Another way is to cook fudge in the pan, it will remove all the smell;)

  4. Fish scented fudge ... you could be on to something there.
    I'm with Sissi ... not a fan of cooking salmon unless baked. It does leave a strong smell even on the hands after preparation .. or even just to pick a stray bone out of a mouthful. I prefer eating salmon raw ... sashimi!
    Gosh, I've been jiggling teabags for yonks ... I believe the color of the tea from the jiggling influences me greatly. Oh well ...

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  6. Hi, your chocolate fudge look tempting. Unique combo chocolate with fishy scent. :)

    Have a great week ahead.