Fudge is a type of confectionery which is made by mixing sugar, butter and milk, heating it to the soft-ball stage at 238° F (116° C), and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency. Fruits, nuts, chocolate, caramel, candies, and other flavors are sometimes added either inside or on top. It is often bought as a gift from a gift shop in tourist areas and attractions.
Depending on your age and perhaps gender, you may have never partaken of evaporated or condensed milk, at least not knowingly. Chances are your grandmother or great-grandmother made at least one heirloom comfort food using one or the other. In the early part of the 1900s, both were used more than fresh milk because they were more shelf-stable and posed less of a health risk than fresh milk. Of course, this was before the government had laws in effect to insure the safety of fresh milk, not to mention refrigerators as standard equipment in every kitchen.
Those in the armed forces are familiar with both of these milk staples. Today, low-fat, skim and non-fat versions are available with recipe applications not limited to sweets and desserts. Learn more about evaporated and condensed milk before trying the canned milk recipes.
Canned milk history
Prior to the nineteenth century, drinking milk was an iffy situation with regard to health risks. Milk straight from the cow was loaded with bacteria. Milk not consumed within a matter of hours in summer soon spoiled in the heat. Illness allegedly derived from contaminated milk consumption was referred to as “the milksick,” “milk poison,” “the slows,” “the trembles,” and “the milk evil.” Granted some of these illnesses (considering modern-day knowledge of lactose intolerance) were probably not due to the milk or milk alone, but the stigma persisted. The idea for a portable canned milk product that would not spoil came to Gail Borden during a transatlantic trip on board a ship in 1852.
The cows in the hold became too seasick to be milked during the long trip, and an immigrant infant died from lack of milk. Borden realized his goal in 1854. His first condensed milk product lasted three days without souring. He first thought the condensing process of the milk made it more stable but later on realized it was the heating process that killed the bacteria and microorganisms that cause spoilage.
Borden was granted a patent for sweetened condensed milk in 1856. The sugar was added to inhibit bacterial growth. Skim milk devoid of all fat was used. Use of this early version lacking in nutrients as a mainstay for young working-class children has been blamed for contributing to a rash of rickets cases in 1905. The Borden Company issued this press release in 1924, extolling the virtues of its product “in relief work among war refugees and in the treatment of public school children of New York”.
Early canned milk was spurned
Borden’s new condensed milk product was not well-received in its early days. In those days, customers were used to watered-down milk, with chalk added to make it white and molasses added for creaminess. Borden had begun commercial production in 1857 in Burrville, Connecticut. When the dubious practice of feeding New York cows on distillery mash by competing fresh milk suppliers was exposed by Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Borden’s condensed milk business greatly benefited. In 1861, the Union Army purchased Borden’s condensed milk for use in field rations, further bolstering its success.
It was John Baptist Meyenberg who first suggested canned evaporated milk to his employers at the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Co.
in Switzerland in 1866. Since the company was already so successful producing sweetened condensed milk, the idea was rejected. Meyenberg emigrated to the United States and began his own company, Helvetia Milk Condensing Co. (Pet Milk), eventually marketing unsweetened condensed milk in 1890.
Although Borden received his patent in 1854, unsweetened condensed milk was not successfully canned until 1885 by competitor John Meyenberg. Borden added evaporated milk to the product line in 1892. In 1899, Elbridge Amos Stuart came up with a new process for canned, sterilized, evaporated milk. With help from evaporated milk pioneer Meyenberg, Stuart began successful mass production of canned evaporated milk. Evaporated milk manufacturers pioneered the use of homogenization (redistribution of fat globules so they are imperceptibly distributed), but dairies producing fresh milk were slow to follow the homogenization trail.
With all the talk these days of irradiating foods to eliminate microorganisms that cause foodborne illness, you may think it a relatively new procedure. Not at all. In 1934, Pet Milk Co. introduced the first evaporated milk products to be fortified with vitamin D via irradiation processing. Nowadays, less than two percent of the United States milk production is evaporated or condensed.
A simple recipe for ice coffee found on madogbolig.dk
Here’s a brilliant recipe for the world’s easiest ice coffee with condensed milk.
There is hardly an easier way to make a delicious ice coffee than with condensed milk. The milk gives a nice creamy flavor – like in the types of ice coffee that you buy from Starbucks or Baresso. At the same time, the condensed milk sweetens the coffee nicely and you can choose how sweet you want to make your ice coffee.
Once you’ve found the blend that agrees perfectly with your taste buds, you can make yourself a delicious ice coffee with condensed milk, at a fraction of what you usually would have to pay at the cafes.
A grownup dessert recipe found in
“Borden’s Eagel Brand Book of Recipes” published by
Borden’s Condenced Milk Company in the 1930s
I think I have mentioned it before, but desserts and other food featuring strong coffee is best suited for serving to grown ups. Children seldom find it tasteful. But who cares, we’re grown ups aren’t we
The recipes and instructions in these old cookbooks from the 1920s are so short and to the point that if housewives and cooks from back then had a chance to take a look in today’s cookbooks with all their explanations and pictures and what have you, they would probably thing we are all right behind the barn as they say in the Yorkshire Dales.
A nifty way to make caramel pudding, but it takes two and a half hour. On the other hand there is hardly any work involved at all. Just checking the water level in the saucepan from time to time.
Blanc mange (/bləˈmɒnʒ/ or /bləˈmɑːndʒ/, from French blanc-manger French pronunciation: [blɑ̃mɑ̃ʒe]) is a sweet dessert commonly made with milk or cream and sugar thickened with gelatin, cornstarch or Irish moss (a source of carrageenan), and often flavoured with almonds.
It is usually set in a mould and served cold. Although traditionally white, blancmanges are frequently given alternative colours. Some similar desserts are Bavarian cream, panna cotta, annin tofu, the Turkish muhallebi, and haupia.
The historical blancmange originated some time in the Middle Ages and usually consisted of capon or chicken, milk or almond milk, rice and sugar and was considered to be an ideal food for the sick. Tavuk göğsü is a sweet contemporary Turkish pudding made with shredded chicken, similar to the medieval European dish.
I love ice cream, there’s no way to hide it, no way to deny it. I don’t care if it is pistachio. brittle, strawberry or whatever other type of ice cream you can think of. I simply love it – Ted
A recipe for a bit of the strong stuff found on BBCfood
Homemade Irish cream is a real treat, served it chilled with plenty of ice or sneak a drop or two into your coffee.
A classic Scotish sweet recipe found on goodtoknow.co.uk
This very sweet traditional Scottish confectionery is very similar to fudge but has a more sugary and crumbly texture. It will keep well for up to 6 weeks and so makes an ideal gift wrapped in cellophane bags or boxes and tied with a pretty ribbon. It is easier to make if you use a sugar thermometer and cook the mixture until it reaches the soft ball stage – 240°F/118°C but can be made without so long as you cook it until the mixture is really thick, and on the point of setting.
Origin of Fudge
American-style fudge (containing chocolate) is found in a letter written by Emelyn Battersby Hartridge, a student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She wrote that her schoolmate’s cousin made fudge in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1886 and sold it for 40 cents a pound. Hartridge obtained the fudge recipe and, in 1888, made 30 lb (14 kg) of fudge for the Vassar College Senior Auction. This Vassar fudge recipe became quite popular at the school for years to come.
Word of this popular confectionery spread to other women’s colleges. For example, Wellesley College and Smith College have their own versions of a fudge recipe dating from the late 19th or early 20th century.
In the late 19th century, shops on Mackinac Island in Michigan began to produce similar products for summer vacationers. Fudge is still produced in some of the original shops on Mackinac Island and the surrounding area. Mackinac Island Fudge ice cream, a vanilla ice cream with chunks of fudge blended in, is also very common in this region and across the United States.
Here’s a recipe from a seventies version of these inexpensive small food product promoting cook books. This one is from Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk and was published in 1976. I found this one on a flea market here in Oslo a couple of years ago – Ted
A recipe by Chef Dee found on food.com
Chef Dee’s Note:This is the best toffee I have ever tasted. It is a popular item at the Christmas Farmer’s Market here, and with just 4 ingredients it’s easy to make. I prefer to decrease the cooking time slightly for a softer toffee.