I've been using a standard fudge recipe that works great, and yet I only wish was that it was even more chocolatey, with more cocoa taste. If it was less sweet that would be fine, too. Can I substitute some sugar for cocoa to accomplish this? Or just add extra cocoa?

Recipe so far:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tbsp butter

    1. Bring milk, sugar, cocoa to boil.
    2. Simmer until it reaches 234°F, do not stir.
    3. Remove from heat, cool to ~125°F.
    4. Add butter and stir until it starts to dull.
    5. (Sometimes I add the butter as soon as I take it off the heat at soft ball.)

2 Answers 2


Looking at your recipe, the most obvious thing to me is that there is no salt. Adding a small quantity of salt (say, 1/2 tsp) will enhance the flavors of the ingredients already present.

The second thing you might try is switching to dutch processed cocoa; many people find this has a more intense chocolaty taste.

You could try enhancing the overall flavor by adding a small amount of cinnamon (say 1/4 tsp) or instant espresso powder (perhaps 1 tbl). While these ingredients do not, in small amounts, overwhelm the flavor, they do increase its complexity and the impression of how chocolaty the fudge is.

Of course, you can increase the amount of cocoa powder (at least by ratio): simply increase the absolute amount of cocoa, starting with small increments of perhaps 1 tablespoon per test run. The problem with this method is not only that it throws off the sweetness balance, but also that it will eventually change the chemistry, possibly influencing the crystallization of the sugar phase which is what provides the smoothness of the fudge.

Finally, and more radically, consider reducing the amount of dairy, changing the milk for water, or reducing the amount of butter. The milk fats and milk solids tend to mask the flavor of chocolate. While I consider these part of the overall desirable balance of the fudge, since you after an intense chocolate experience, it may be worth experimenting with.

  • Another possibility is a dash of cayenne. Commented May 4, 2013 at 11:52
  • @PeteBecker I thought about listing that one, but it tends to be more forward than either of the others... not saying it is bad, though!
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented May 4, 2013 at 14:18
  • 1
    It's what @user18178 really wanted, but didn't what to ask for. <g> Commented May 4, 2013 at 15:09
  • I was planning to experiment with substituting sugar and/or milk solids for cocoa, and I will. Seems no one has tried yet, so maybe I should come back and answer my own question in a week or two! Thanks for your other flavor suggestions SAJ and Pete!
    – Lee K-B
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 5:23
  • I hope you wrote that backwards :-) Reducing the amount of cocoa will decrease the chocolate intensity of the fudge.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 9:55

Chocolate flavor depends a lot on fat, preferably cocoa fat. I would try using high-quality dark chocolate (70% to 99%) instead of the cocoa powder, or at the very least weakly de-fatted non-dutched cocoa powder (most cocoa powder in the stores is highly de-fatted). I would also throw out the butter and use chocolate instead. I would only try playing around with ratios if the substitution with 99% chocolate fails.

  • 1
    I cannot agree with you on this one, Rumtscho. Chocolate syrup packs plenty of chocolate flavor without additional fat, and cocoa powder carries enough fat for any fat soluble flavors (even the kinds with a comparatively lower fat level). The only way to increase absolute chocolate flavor is through more cocoa solids--that is, the cocoa powder part of chocolate. Unsweetened chocolate would be the best bet, then, to maximize cocoa solids. I note that CI's recipe uses 12 oz of unsweetened to 6 tbl butter and 4 1/2 c sugar.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented May 4, 2013 at 12:24
  • Thanks for your input but if I had dark chocolate on hand I'd just eat that straight! :D
    – Lee K-B
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 5:14

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