Original Murdick's Fudge

Original Murdick’s Fudge Commemorative Box of Sweets (Photo courtesy of Original Murdick's Fudge.)

Calling all chocolate lovers! Indulge your Valentine with these mouthwatering fudge recipes, straight from the fudge capital of the U.S., Michigan’s Mackinac Island. Although fudge wasn’t invented on the tiny island, more than 15 fudge shops call Makinac home and have helped make the decadent delight synonymous with vacation there.

Mackinac Island is small — just four square miles on Lake Huron, between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas — but it holds a much larger place in Midwestern memories and hearts. Quaint B & Bs and scenic surroundings have attracted visitors here since the mid-1800s. Cars have been outlawed on the island since 1898, so catch the 15-minute ferry and get ready to travel back in time. Visitors and residents use horse-drawn carriages and bicycles to navigate the charming Victorian streets and dense forests of Mackinac Island State Park, which takes up more than 80 percent of the island.

Mackinac Island

Photo by Andrea Guthmann.

If your sweetheart has a sweet tooth, consider bringing them to this remote island during the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival in August, a candy extravaganza celebrating Mackinac’s fudge-making history. Island hotels, restaurants and bars get in on the fun with fudge-inspired dinners and cocktails, fudge-making demonstrations and Willy Wonka-themed games where costumed Oompa Loompas deliver golden tickets to island fudge shops and lucky winners get free hotel stays and other prizes.

The island’s oldest fudge shop, Original Murdick’s Fudge, opened in 1887, the same year as the well-known Grand Hotel. Owner Bobby Benser Jr. grew up working at the fudge shop his father bought from the Murdicks in 1969. “One of the secrets to the amazing rich flavor of our fudge is the climate — an island surrounded by fresh water with moderate temps — and just the right amount of humidity along with cool nights,” says Benser. “It’s also important to keep the marble tables at a perfect temperature. We cover each table with its own electric blanket set at the perfect temperature for the evening. We also use all fresh and natural ingredients, mostly from Michigan, including the sugar, butter and cream.”

Original Murdick’s Fudge has more than 20 flavors and introduces a new one each season. Here Benser shares the recipes for their newest flavor, Toasted Coconut Salted Double Chocolate Fudge, and Michigan Maple Walnut Fudge, along with some chef tips.

Original Murdick’s Fudge Toasted Coconut Salted Double Chocolate Fudge

makes 5 pounds

  • 1 gallon of 18 percent fresh Michigan cream
  • 2 1/3 pounds pure Michigan sugar
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons Michigan butter
  • 1/4 pound invert sugar
  • 1/2 pound high quality unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 pound shredded and toasted coconut
  • 3/4 tablespoon high quality sea salt

1. Stirring constantly in a pot over heat, bring all ingredients except the sea salt and toasted coconut to 232 degrees, measured with a traditional candy thermometer. Pour into glass Pyrex-style bowl. Cool to 110 degrees.

2. Paddle fudge ingredients with a wooden spoon until mixture has reached a creamy consistency and pour fudge into a 11”x13”1baking pan lined with parchment. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and sea salt. Let sit and fully cool. Cut fudge into squares.

Original Murdick's Fudge Toasted Coconut Salted Double Chocolate Fudge

Photo courtesy of Original Murdick’s Fudge.

Michigan Maple Walnut Fudge

  • 1 gallon 18 percent fresh Michigan cream
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons Michigan butter
  • 1 3/4 pounds pure Michigan sugar
  • 1/2 pound Michigan maple sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Michigan maple syrup
  • 1/4 pound invert sugar
  • 1/3 pound crushed walnuts

1. Stirring constantly in a pot over heat, bring all ingredients except the walnuts to 232 degrees, measured with a traditional candy thermometer. Pour into glass Pyrex-style bowl. Add the crushed walnuts and cool to 110 degrees.

2. Paddle fudge ingredients with a wooden spoon until mixture has reached a creamy consistency and pour fudge into a 11”x13” baking pan lined with parchment. Let sit and fully cool. Cut fudge into squares.

If You Go:

Mackinac Island Fudge Festival: Aug. 19-21, 2016

Where to Stay on Mackinac Island: Mission Point Resort

Mission Point Resort

Photo courtesy of Mission Point Resort.

Couples, families and pets will love staying at this historic resort overlooking the Mackinac Straits with its four restaurants, pool and jacuzzi, free bicycles, mini golf and kids club. Make sure to order up some frozen fudge at the old-fashioned ice cream shop. Arrive in Victorian style by catching the hotel’s horse-drawn carriage that will take you and your luggage from the ferry dock to the hotel lobby.

Contact the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau for more planning tips.


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