over the years i've tried [and collected] several different recipes — some good, some fantastic and some just okay. often, many of the recipes involve adding marshmallows which i find bizarre and in a way, cheating. fudge is basically crystallized sugar which can be flavoured and fortified with chopped nuts, if wanted.
making fudge can be a tricky thing, especially if one is using a recipe which involves making a sugar syrup. many a time, using recipes which call for sugar syrups can result in disaster and be intimidating. i remember a few times where i either ended up with cement or the whole mixture seized up before it even got it to the pan to harden.
the following recipe was sort of an experiment (on my part as i had never tried it before) for a friend who wanted a kid friendly recipe for fudge. this certainly is a "no-brainer" and easy to make. it doesn't involve boiling sugar or having to beat it with a hand mixer, guessing if it's thick enough or not. rather it involves melting butter and cream cheese and mixing in icing sugar and cocoa. simple and uncomplicated. okay, foolproof.
after refrigeration, the end result was a very nicely thickened dense piece of chocolate fudge. the only thing i found a bit strange was that there was a little layer of butter which coated the top of the mixture. this did not affect the taste whatsoever and i wrote it off, so to speak, for the ease of whipping up a quick batch of something so good. i think this could be corrected or hidden with a layer of nuts pressed into it before refrigeration or chocolate jimmie candies. note that i added a 1/3 cup of flour as i wasn't sure what the end result was going to be; the mixture seemed oily due to the melted butter. in the end, it turned out fine and something worth repeating. my friend and her kid were very happy with the results. :)
no-cook chocolate fudge
1/2 c unsalted butter
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbsp cocoa
2.5 c confectioners [powdered] sugar
1/3 c flour [optional]*
melt the butter and add it directly to the softened cream cheese. mix it well with whisk or hand beater until it is incorporated. it may not completely bind together.
using either a mixer or a wooden spoon (don't use a whisk, it didn't work well when i tried), mix in the cocoa and the vanilla.
fold in the powdered sugar and the flour, if using. at this point you can add about a 1/2 to 2/3 c of chopped nuts, if you like it that way.
press into a small dish (i used a 6" x 6" pan) and refrigerate.
cut in small pieces.