The season for pumpkin pie fudge is finally here, and I've already made 36 pounds! We love to make this flavor as the weather starts to turn colder, because it seems to put everyone in the mood for fall. One taste, and you’ll understand why—it tastes just like pumpkin pie!
We make our pumpkin fudge with or without nuts, but the most popular is Pumpkin Pie Walnut Fudge. The secret to Papa Dave’s fudge isn't really a secret—use real cream and real butter to ensure creamy texture. When I make pumpkin pie fudge, I also add 3 lbs of 100% pure pumpkin to every 18 lb batch. To give it the flavor of pumpkin pie, I add ground cloves, ground ginger and ground cinnamon. The first bite of Papa Dave’s fudge says it all! No gritty texture, just smooth and creamy!
I invite you to try our Pumpkin Pie Fudge, with or without walnuts. Purchase 1 lb of pumpkin fudge, and we will send an additional half pound of fudge for free!
As I get more comfortable and settled in my role as fudge apprentice, I find myself perfecting and swirlizing (that's a technical fudge term...) the fudges. Gone are the days when I over thought every aspect of the fudge making process, it is now becoming routine. I now focus on the challenge of perfecting the "art" of the swirl. Analyzing the best way of swooping then bottom layer of fudge up onto the top layer to get longer swoops in order to have more color to work with for the perfect swirls. And by golly, I think I may just have it! It will take a few more trys to see if I truly have figured it out. So, stay tuned to find out...or better yet, come in and see for yourself! Check out the swirls on the Amaretto Chocolate Swirl!
now that I have been challenging myself with the Swirl, I decided to step it up a little bit and add in the Drizzle. Achieving the perfect drizzle may seem simple, but really it takes time, patience and a weeee bit of creativity. Our Heath English Toffee Fudge seemed like the best candidate for me to try our my drizzling skills. Vanilla Fudge with Heath English Toffee candy pieces mixed in now features a yummy chocolate drizzle on top. In fact, it looks so much more scrumptious with the Drizzle, that we are having a hard time keeping Heath English Toffee Fudge in the cabinet!
Penuche Fudge, an old fashioned brown sugar fudge that grandma used to make. One of my favorites, ans so special because we only make it twice a year. It tastes so good, so why oh why don't we fill the cabinet with it every week? Well...I now know why. Today was the first time I got the honor of making the oh so special Penuche Fudge. And boy oh boy, it's a tough one! While it is still one of my favorite fudges to eat, and will always hold a special place in my heart, I will be forever thankful we only make it twice a year.
Fudge Apprentice vs. Fudge Master
As I continue to grow and improve my fudge mastery and develop new fudge-y skills, I wonder if I'm still a fudge apprentice. Now, I know I am no where near becoming a Fudge Master, I still have a couple thousand more pounds of fudge making to go, but I wonder...couldn't there be an in between? Somewhere in the middle of fudge Apprentice and Fudge Master? How about something simple like "Fudge Maker"? Where I could still grow, develop and improve, but shed the dreaded "Apprentice" label. Maybe I should ask the all knowing Fudge Master. I wonder what he would say...? Check out all our fudge flavors on our website!
My favorite fudge has always been chocolate walnut. It is actually our number one seller, so many seem to agree with me! One day about 6 years ago, Jordan, our fudge apprentice at the time, made a mistake when making fudge. He poured all the vanilla fudges that require a full tray, like Heath English Toffee or Vanilla Walnut. Then he poured the few that require a half tray because they are either layered, or mixed with a top layer of chocolate. One of our most popular vanilla fudge flavors is Chewy Praline. That fudge has Caramel and Pecans sandwiched between two layers of vanilla fudge. So typically, a layer of vanilla would be poured, it would be topped with a caramel pecan layer, then another layer of vanilla fudge would top it off. The mistake came when he poured dark chocolate fudge on top instead. What could we do? We had to taste it, and it was delicious! Our vanilla fudge is sweeter than the dark chocolate fudge, and when those flavors combine with the chewy praline center it's a little bit of everything -- the perfect combination. Jordan named his new creation "Zebra", and it has been on our fudge shelf ever since. It quickly became my new personal favorite.
We ship all of our gourmet fudge. Click here to see our wide variety of homemade fudge flavors.
June 16th has come and gone, and hopefully you took time to celebrate this day with your favorite fudge flavor! Being famous for Papa Dave's fudge at Culinary Apple, we consider everyday National Fudge Day! My personal favorite is Maple Nut, it's so smooth and creamy, and with the added walnut crunch, it's tough to beat. On the 16th, I noticed that we were down to just half a pound of the Maple Nut Fudge, so I decided to sample it with our visitors. Of course, because it's my favorite, I had to try several of those samples myself...! As you already know, I am the Fudge Master at Culinary Apple, but I'm training an apprentice, and this batch was made by her. I'm delighted to say that Heather did a terrific job, the Maple Nut Fudge was delicious! I googled National Fudge Day to find out how it got started, but the origin is unknown. Whatever the reason, it can't be denied that celebrating this delicious sweet treat is a great way to spend the day!
Once in a while we introduce new flavors. Of course over the summer, our seasonal favorite is Rootbeer Float Fudge, but probably my favorite new flavor is Apple Pie Fudge. We start making this one closer to apple harvest -- many of you know we're located in Central Washington, and the heart of apple country. Harvest actually begins soon with the picking of Ginger Gold apples, and continues through September. The season for Apple Pie Fudge is right around the corner. It's made with fresh apple cider, dried apples and cinnamon powder. It quickly become a local favorite, and as word has gotten out, we have started sending it nationwide!
My journey as the fudge apprentice continues...and it will be continuing for quite some time, I hear. I won't lose the "apprentice" title until I have made over 4,000 lbs of fudge. Yowzers! 4,000 lbs seems like a lot, but I truly learn something new each time I make a batch of fudge. I no longer get as nervous, but still find myself double checking my steps. Which, I found, is a good thing, because it is so easy to make a mistake or forget a step! I definitely have to keep my head in the game and stay focused on the task, or rather the fudge, at hand.
This week we'll be making a new flavor or two (at least new to me--did you get to try Rootbeer Float Fudge last summer?), and let me tell you, I am so excited to not only to make the new flavors, but to taste them as well! With three boys at home, I am sure I will be taking home some of those new flavors to share with those rambunctious little boys, who actually aren't so little anymore.
As my fudge apprentice journey continues, I find myself wondering just how many pounds of fudge I have to make before I get the coveted "Fudge Master" title....
One way you know summer is here (or almost here) is by the sight of Rootbeer Float Fudge in the fudge cabinet. You'll see it there this upcoming weekend--just in time for the red, white and blue Memorial Day weekend!
We've had a lot of fun making fudge and growing our business, but we never want to lose site of giving back. I've been in Rotary since 1984 and our motto is "Service Above Self." Here at Culinary Apple we strive to live up to that motto, as well. A few years ago, we learned of a program at our local elementary school called TARGET Afters Community Link Project. TARGET After's is an after school program that provides students with hands-on assistance in reading or math. We got involved with the program as a Community Link member, and one of the TARGET Afters classes "adopted" us as their Link. So, what does all this mean? Well, the class learns about their Link's role in the community; they get to visit their Link, and then do a reading and math activity in their class that relates to the work of their Link. Ultimately, this project gives students the opportunity to apply real world connections to work they do in Afters. They build relationships with their community, and foster an awareness of how they can be a productive community member.
So, how does Papa Dave's Fudge play into all this? Simple! Reading and math skills are imperative when making fudge! It starts with reading the recipe, then applying math to make and cut the fudge. We started by scheduling two groups of 4th graders to visit our store. We gave them a short tour, then headed for the kitchen. We like to engage the kids right away, so we asked if any of them knew what Fudge is. About half of them had an idea that it was some kind of chocolate. They were so surprised when we gave them a taste of Rootbeer Float Fudge, or Creamsicle! Next, we showed them the recipe for a half batch, which makes 18 pounds of fudge. We talked about the importance of fractions, weights and measurements. For example, to make a half batch, we would need 1 pound of butter, 48 ounces of cream, 3 pounds of chocolate and 10 pounds of sugar. Their eyes always get big, and we know we have their attention when we show them what 10 pounds of sugar looks like!
Then we leave the kitchen, and head to the front counter where we cut and weigh the fudge. We let the kids know that you must take and pass a test given by our state's health department before you can make, cut or serve fudge--more reading! It's always a fun afternoon sharing with the kids, and watching them grow and learn. We're excited to be a Community Link for the TARGET After's class, and hope to keep strengthening that relationship.
Heather is doing a great job in the short time that she has been making fudge. It certainly has been a big help to me. I just have to make sure I don't disappear like I did a couple weeks ago while she was in the process of pouring and swirling designs in the fudge trays. Next time I will let everyone know where I'm going! I have asked Heather to give her thoughts on how she feels her fudge apprenticeship is going. ~ Dave
And so goes my journey as the new fudge apprentice. I now realize why I will be an "apprentice" until I have made a few thousand pounds of fudge--there is a lot more that goes into mastering fudge making than when it's made at home. I am currently trying to master the "hurry-up" technique. I find myself focusing so much on perfecting everything that I forget to do it quickly! If I'm not quick enough the fudge will settle and I lose the smooth, mirror-like surface. That's what I will be focusing on perfecting now...hurry up and make it smooth! Wish me luck...? ~ Heather
When she says hurry up and make it smooth, she's right, you do have to move quickly. The fudge reaches 165 degrees in the kettle, but once you start pouring it cools rapidly. With our layered fudges like Chocolate Mint Swirl or Amaretto Chocolate fudge, we do a swirled pattern so the chocolate mixes with the flavored fudge on top. It not only makes it more attractive, but it tastes better, too! If you take too much time perfecting the swirled designs then move the pan to where it will set up overnight, the top 1/4 inch can shift causing a ripple effect, and you lose that smooth, glass-like surface. The good news is that the shift doesn't affect the great taste and creamy texture of Papa Dave's Fudge.
The Tower of Fudge!
Heather did a great job making our newest flavor: Salted Caramel Fudge. We put it in the cabinet this morning, and sold 3 pounds in less than 3 hours--and this is our slow season at the Lake! I can't imagine how much we're going to have to make once Memorial Day hits! Next I think we'll try a Dark Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt Fudge. Doesn't that sound terrific? ~ Dave