Posted on February 11, 2008
Posted by John Scalzi
Which, incidentally, is the name of my next band.
And yes, I’m totally going to make some.
Thanks to Nathan Too for posting it.
Bows, ceremoniously. Thank y’all. Thank y’all very much.
Let us know how that turns out :-x
Could someone with more culinary sophistication than I have explain what the cheese is doing in that recipe, and what a more conventional recipe would use instead? To me, it looks like taking a decent recipe and adding CRAP. But the rest of the ingredients are so good, you can hardly taste the crap AT ALL!
Can Velveeta be called, with any reasonable accuracy, cheese?
A quick look at the Internet tome of all knowledge, Wikipedia, we find that Velveeta is ‘a “cheese product,” using a term for items that contain less than 51% cheese’. Sadly, we don’t find out how much actual cheese is in Velveeta.
Still, I’m intrigued. When you make it John, post pictures and reactions.
We’ll look forward to those on Thursday.
Ahhh… Velveeta. It surrounds us; it penetrates us; it holds the universe together.
I figure Velveeta is in this recipe to act more like a binder and less like a cheese. It’s got the fudgy texture built in, and what little cheese taste it has (and that’s very little) probably brings out the sweetness of the chocolate and vanilla.
I mean, you could use eggs, but why?
Am I the only one who always thinks of Velveeta as bait?
Mr. Scalzi, the American Heart Association is on line two….
Johan, I’m thinking the Velveeta (which is not cheese, but a cheese product) helps with the smoothness and creaminess and looks to replace the evaporated or condensed milk usually seen in most fudge recipes. Velveeta is known for its quick and easy melting, which would help with the consistency. Evaporated/condensed milk has to be warmed at low temperatures to avoid burning, which can take awhile and requires vigilance.
Either that or the creator was on crack. Because – yech! Then again, I’m not a Velveeta fan, despite (or because) being raised on the store version of it (we were too poor for the brand name version – we had the store version of Miracle Whip and Wonder Bread too, which I also now hate).
Paula Deen is famous (infamous) for her cheese fudge, which I gather is a recipe that’s been around a million years. On at least two television shows she’s made this fudge, formed it into balls, and dipped it into caramel and chocolate.
The point of using Velveeta is that it helps solidify the resulting goo into fudge without ever having to cook a dairy product on the stove with sugar. You don’t need a cooking thermometer; you don’t need to know what “the soft ball stage” is… you just melt it all together, put it in a pan, and there you are.
Personally, I prefer to cheat by using chocolate chips, vanilla, and sweetened condensed milk. It tastes good and never smells like cheese.
I have seen fudge recipes with that marshmallow creme (ick) so I expect the Velveeta is being used in that kind of way – a binder of sorts. But still. It’s just so wrong.
Though, thinking about it…you could stretch things and do a nice cheese with chocolate – goat cheese, for example – but Velveeta? So wrong. And yet, intriguing. And now, I might have to actually try it. Damn you, Nathan Too!
Curses! JP and Dan said what I said, but faster and much more succinctly.
But Julie K Rose, marshmallow creme is soooo good! I’ve had to give up marshmallows since I went vegetarian (damn that gelatin!), so marshmallow creme is the closest I get.
Time for a fluffernutter!
(And time to stop with the multiple posting. Sorry, John!)
Tracy – I’m with you. My recipe is choc chips, baker’s chocolate, butter, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and a buttload of granulated sugar.
Carol Elaine – I think I have an aversion to marshmallows in general, because my mom used to put them on top of the yams and bake ’em at Thanksgiving. And that’s just a yucky, sticky, too-sweet mess. She also used to do those lime jello molds with the cottage cheese in them. *shudder* Luckily, she became a much better cook later in life :)
Just out of curiosity, is there a fudge recipe out there that combines Velveeta AND marshmallow creme?
Your diet scares me.
So. Whom among us will have signifcant others receiving Velveeta Fudge for Valentine’s Day? Here honey; Velveeta Fudge and Candied Bacon… Umm, do not feed to the pregnant, nursing, hypertensive, or self-conscious. If you have high cholesterol, this may be considered suicide and void certain life insurance policies. Illegal in NYC, and parts of California. May not be fed to the obese in Mississippi. Do not taunt Velveeta Fudge.
Wow, that one got away from me.
The trouble with condensed milk recipes is that they can easily go desperately wrong in cool, humid climates. (Possibly in hot humid climates too, all I know is that mine hasn’t worked properly since I moved to Seattle from LA. In Seattle, the fudge Never Sets.) Marshmallow creme has already undergone the heat-stimulated candy conversion you want your fudge to undergo, so using it is a way of cheating the process and making it less finicky. I’m guessing Velveeta works similarly. But yeah. Ew.
You American are really disturbing people. I can’t understand how you can eat and drink those things… how you can even imagine such enormities.
It’s not an Internet discussion of cheese products without a European poncing in and proclaiming the audience “American” and insulting us.
(I’m Canadian, thanks.)
I was quiet disturbed when I first heard of Velveeta fudge, but I made some this Christmas and found it to be very good. It’s become my standard fudge recipe. Everyone in my family seemed to like it, as did the people I made it for at work.
I have tasted Velveeta fudge, though I don’t know if it was that exact recipe or not. My then girlfriend made it for one of her themed get-togethers. This one was “White trash night” so the presence of said confection was entirely reasonable.
It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but still not what I would consider good. Most of it went uneaten.
Oh, when did Canada move to Asia? Surely my atlas is outdated, I’m going to buy a new one as soon as possible.
I’m sorry for my unforgivable mistake.
And it’s not an Internet discussion of anything without a pissed-off Canadian loudly denying being from the U.S. :)
Oh, and as for the way we “eat and drink those things,” I would draw your attention to escargot, frog’s legs, blood pudding, lutefisk, head cheese, and whatever the hell Spotted Dick is, all of which Europeans of various nationalities seem to enjoy far more than we do. Okay, so the ingredients in Velveeta sound more like a chemistry experiment gone wrong than anything that came from nature, but at least they taste like CHEEZ-flavored Crisco!
My husband makes a variation on this, and everyone we know who likes fudge likes it. Our niece requests it specially.
Frogs are not bad, but not very tasty either. Sanguinaccio is wonderful, but it’s a bit hard to find where I live. Escargot are overrated, they can’t stand the bovoletti (http://www.flickr.com/photos/photo_gram/858105460/sizes/o/), cooked in slightly salty water and served with garlic, olive oil and parsley: they’re delicious, you have to suck them out of the shell to eat them and they’re so small that you can eat them by the dozen with the greatest ease.
… so exactly what measure of desperation led the first person to come up with this recipe?
I don’t like to contemplate it….
I’ve had fudge in Milwaukee made from American Cheese, which is Velveeta’s less-refined brother. It’s something Wisconsinners do, I guess. In this case it’s a love the ‘sinner, hate the sin situation, as it’s just too salty and sour to be good fudge. Cream cheese works nicely, though.
If you want the Eurotrash to insult Canadians with reason, you can always tell them about Chinese pie.
I’m assured that ketchup is a crucial ingredient.
–Ulrika, Swedish Scandotrash American
You’ve done the name proud. Disgusting but proud.
Just how many next bands are you planning?
No discussion of disgusting food is possible without the mention of that alleged food product from Australia, Vegemite. Now, if you can get a recipe for Vegemite fudge, you really have something. I am not sure what, and I wouldn’t eat it on a bet.
By the way, most of the chemistry-souding ingredients in Velveeta are also found in pretty much every kind of cheese. I think of it as cheese that didn’t have to spend a year in a cave to be good.
For some reason, trying this recipe reminds me of David Brenner’s description of the first man to drink milk. “You see that animal over there, the one with the bag underneath? I’m going to grab one of those things hanging from the bag, and whatever comes out, I’m gonna drink it.”
I salute you, brave recipe pioneers. I laugh at you, too, but the less said about that, the better.
Julie K. Rose @ 13:
“and a buttload of granulated sugar.”
I’m going to pretend I never wondered how you would measure that.
And chalk up one Australian who thinks Vegemite smells and tastes exactly as good as it looks. No, that isn’t a good thing.
So, Timmy Bogert, Carmine Appice, Lou Reed, John Cale and John Scalzi all on the same stage. Hmm. Not bad. Might I recommend Jim McCarty or Jeff Beck to help with the guitar.
Ulrika @ 29: Isn’t that ‘Chinese Pie’ just a variation on Shepherd’s Pie?
I say screw both and give me a good tortiere (i know I’m spelling that wrong) any day.
But that fudge might be an interesting drunken experiment…
The thing about Velveeta is that most people don’t notice that it doesn’t actually taste much like cheese, let alone smell like cheese. Your brain sees the meltyness and the orange hue, and your tongue tastes cream and salt and your magical brainmeat fills in the blank. So honestly, yes, Velveeta is quite literally standing in for the condensed milk, just a salty version.
And since I like my fudge (and many treats, actually) also heavy on the salty side, it starts to make a kind of sense.
The trick is to not get the “Mexican” flavor.
I’d just like to be able to eat some kind of fudge again (she grumps, since fudge seems to be one of those things Not Available in NonDairy Versions for the Allergic).
I’ll eat it–but I pay for it with asthma and coughy hacky stuff.
Nathan said: “Just how many next bands are you planning?”
Yeah, I’m still waiting for Throbbing Ponies to appear.
Bob said: “For some reason, trying this recipe reminds me of David Brenner’s description of the first man to drink milk. “You see that animal over there, the one with the bag underneath? I’m going to grab one of those things hanging from the bag, and whatever comes out, I’m gonna drink it.”
Huh. I first saw that one in Calvin and Hobbes.
Just to get even more regional – “Chinese pie” appears to be one of those eastern Canadian things. Never heard about it on the Left Coast here!
Velveeta ‘cheese product’ fudge… shudder. Isn’t Velveeta (along with Cheez-Whiz and those Kraft ‘sandwich cheese’ things) just part of an elaborate plastics recycling scheme?
Something else you might want to try is oreo-creamcheese truffles. You take a box of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and a box of Oreos, and mix them in a food processor until you get an even consistency (a paste), and then dip them melted chocolate.
A friend of mine made some the other day — oh my, yes!
Phil B. – some things are just best left unpondered.
Buttload, ’round here, is roughly equivalent to a whole frigging lot. Or, in this case, about 2 cups. :)
Cheese in a sweet dish is totally normal – how many people have not heard of a cheesecake? My favourite receipe for that begins with about a ‘buttload’ of Philadelphia . . . . .
Kendra at 24 queries the nature of ‘Spotted dick’. Granted, this nomenclature does the comestible no favours in this day and age, but this is actually a great and traditional British pudding and worthy of a little respect. You need the custard though, and properly made, not syntho-custard.
You know, I find myself curious about how to improve on this concept without preservative and corn-product laden fresh ingredients.
Just make sure you use “real” Velveeta not the “light” version. Been there, done that, so-so result.
Re “You see that animal over there, the one with the bag underneath? I’m going to grab one of those things hanging from the bag, and whatever comes out, I’m gonna drink it.”
The first time I ate lobster, I thought it was one of the yummiest things I ever put in my mouth. But I can’t imagine how hungry the first person was who ate one. It’s essentially a giant, butt-ugly sea-going insect. But I am grateful someone discovered its internal succulence.
“Trailer Park Confection,” is a great name for a rock band!
I’m gonna go register it right now.
Gianluca @ 19:
Darling, that is because in America food is not our religion. We have other religions. Since there is no point debating religion let’s just say you have your superstitions and we have ours.
JJS @ 45:
I’ve often wondered about the first person who ate what came out of bird’s butt – the egg. I suppose he/she saw some animal eat it and copied that.
Oh, and I’m pretty sure lobsters are more closely related to spiders than to insects – the eight legs – so imagine eating a giant spider!
Carol Elaine @ 11 – Is it just the gelatin that poses a problem for you, not the egg whites? If so, you can either find marshmallows that use agar-agar (seaweed) gelatin, or make your own, they’re pretty easy. (and in agar-arag. the main sugar isn’t sucrose or fructose but something called “galactose”. Sounds like a comic book villain! Beware the gelatinous power of Galactose!)
Joyce Reynolds-Ward @ 37:
I have a couple of friends who’ve had to go lactose free, who have the same “no-fudge” complaint. Their suggestions:
One has had some luck using melted down chocolate and/or vanilla non-dairy icecream as a base, though says that it requires experimentation to get it to set, and that the result is nowhere near as good.
The other says “Learn to love marzipan”, for what that’s worth… ;)
I took a look, and there ARE a surprising number of vegan fudge recipes out there. I haven’t tried any of them, though, so I’m going to avoid recommendations.
I’ve never tried the Velveeta fudge, although I’ve seen it. An even easier and perhaps less disturbing fudge recipe is made by simply nuking one can of store-bought frosting (your choice of flavours) and a 6 ounce bag of chocolate chips together ’til melted. Pour into a buttered pan, let cool ’til firm. It sounds strange, but makes quite good fudge in a hurry.
Since I can’t/don’t eat most pre-packaged food nowadays, as well as most sugary stuff, I’ve been trying to adapt normal recipes to my diabetic diet. I recently made Alton Brown’s recipe for peanut butter fudge (listed at the food network’s site) using half powdered erythritol and half Splenda-in-the-bag. Worked fine, tasted great, and no blood sugar issues. I added 2-3 rounded Tb baking cocoa to mine. The original recipe is made in the microwave in just 2 minutes, and only uses peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. None of the usual cooking to a syrup, etc.
Now I’m wondering if I can adapt the Velveeta fudge recipe. Also wondering if I really want to. Hmmm…
Taunting the tauntable since 1998
John Scalzi, proprietor – JS
Athena Scalzi, editor/writer -AMS
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