Sea salt penuche taffy

Apparently 3 is not the magic number, or this would be a picture of penuche fudge instead of penuche taffy.

Until this failed to set, I had high hopes that I had finally achieved penuche fudge, which as I mentioned yesterday, is a childhood dream of mine. Alas I did not achieve fudge, but I did achieve something, and it has the faint taste of penuche, like a dream gone past recall. I am so close!

I wonder if this is how my sister Chocoholic used to feel.  For years when she made fudge it never set, it just slowly slid to one end of the pan. We ate it anyway, and it was delicious, but there is something annoying and humbling about being unable to make fudge.

I followed the traditional penuche recipe from Old Tyme Fudge. I’m going to try it again today.

I read a lot of online candy recipes, and often find comments that say, “This recipe sucks, I followed it exactly and it didn’t work”.  That’s a pretty conceited way to look at it. If it doesn’t work, the problem must be the recipe? It can’t be your ingredients? Or your equipment? Or your lack of technique?

I used to do tech support, I’m okay with admitting the recipe is fine and the problem is the user. If you try 3 different recipes of the same thing and it doesn’t work, the only common denominator is you.

Notice how it’s still pretty glossy? I suspect that is the problem. It’s stretchy, and when you take a bite it retains a perfect imprint of your teeth, so I think the problem is that I didn’t beat it enough after it cooled. (I was conservative during beating because I didn’t want another rock-hard lump of penuche.)

And yet…

… it wasn’t a total loss. Look at that gorgeous colour!  It mostly held its shape. Boyfriend carefully sliced each piece for me. (Okay, I couldn’t slice this, I tried. After jumping up and down leaning on the knife and not getting anywhere, he rescued me.)

I tasted one, and it was good. I added a little sea salt and wow. Even though this isn’t the final result that I wanted, I liked this a lot, but I’m not sure I could make this again even if I tried.

I’ve read that beating fudge by hand takes around 10 minutes and I had no interest in making my arms sore, so I used my KitchenAid and beat it for 1 minute (20 seconds on Low, 40 seconds on Med-High.) It was so thick I stopped. If you are interested in recreating this penuche pseudo-taffy, instead of making actual fudge, follow the recipe above and under-beat. I have no idea if you’ll get the same results so good luck!

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6 thoughts on “Sea salt penuche taffy

  1. Michelle says:

    Thank you for share….It was yummmy ; )

  2. Chocoholic says:

    Based on your fudge research, my hypothesis is this went past the soft ball stage. Look delicious though!

    Did you stop beating because you thought you’d ruin your machine?

    • I believe you are correct. Yes, I thought I’d harm the motor. I read online a few other people mixing fudge in a KA and they said it takes nearly as long as doing it by hand, which is surprising.

  3. Connie says:

    For the first time, I just made a batch of Penuche yesterday. I beat it for at least half-an-hour, by hand (yes, I thought my arms were going to fall off, LOL). The recipe said to beat until the glossy disappears and it holds its shape. And I did. So I put it in my pan and today when I went to cute it, lo and behold, it was like, you said, taffy. I went ahead and cut it into squares only to have it stick to itself. I have covered each piece in powdered sugar. It’s holding its shape, but after a while the powdered sugar is being absorbed by the Penuche. What to do? Well, I’m going to serve it anyway and see what my group thinks.

    • I bet it will taste great, but beating fudge to perfection is a skill I have yet to master. From my limited experience in making old-fashioned fudge, I think there is a really small window for error when you are either under-beating or over-beating.

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