(c) 2008 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Coconut Fudge is a rich, old-fashioned sugar fudge bursting with real coconut flavor. This fudge needs to be beaten in order to achieve the proper texture. If you have never made old-fashioned fudge before, review this illustrated tutorial showing how to make fudge.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
3.5 cups sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp coconut extract/flavoring
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1. Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, milk, sugar, salt, and butter. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the butter melts. Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming.
3. Insert a candy thermometer and bring the candy to a boil. Continue to cook the fudge, stirring occasionally, until the thermometer reaches 238 degrees.
4. Once the candy is at 238 degrees, remove the pan from the heat and remove the candy thermometer. Set the candy aside to cool for 20 minutes, or until it reaches about 110 degrees. Do not stir the candy during this time, or you will form sugar crystals that will cause the candy to become grainy.
5. Once the candy is barely warm, add the vanilla and coconut extracts and begin the stir the fudge vigorously with a wooden spoon. As you continue to stir the fudge, it will begin to thicken and lose its gloss. When the fudge has thickened and become opaque, add the coconut and stir about one minute more, or until it is quite thick. This process will take anywhere from 5-15 minutes. Alternately, you can use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, but watch carefully as it is very easy to overbeat fudge in an electric mixer.
6. Once the fudge has thickened, scrape it into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Let the fudge set at room temperature for several hours.
7. Once the fudge has set, pull it out of the pan using the foil as handles. Cut it into small one-inch squares to serve. Store remaining fudge in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.