Sunday, March 20, 2011

College Fudge: Vassar, Smith College & Wellesley

The chocolate themed cookbook from 1909, Chocolate and Cocoa Recipes by Miss Parloa has many great recipes all revolving around chocolate products such as chocolate blocks, cocoa powder, baker's chocolate squares and German sweet chocolate. The book also contained Home Made Candy Recipes by Mrs. Janet McKenzie Hill, and was produced 'Compliments of Walter Baker & Co., Ltd'. In the book, there are three different fudge recipes named after popular colleges at the time: Vassar, Smith & Wellesley.

A little history of these colleges, and why fudge recipes named after the schools (or any recipes for that matter) were popular among women back when the book was published is below. All three began as women's-only colleges, and all three were part of the Seven Sisters, a group of women's colleges. Each of the fudge recipes is just a little bit different, making the reader wonder if the flavors matched the college personalities back then.
  • Vassar College: This was originally a woman's college, and currently a coed private school, since becoming one in 1969. It was founded in 1861 by Matthew Vassar. It is noted for its architecture, and Vassar college also has a pub called 'the Mug', short for Matthew's Mug, on campus. The founder was a brewer, and thus came the name. Vassar is located in Poughkeepsie, New York.
    Vassar College Website

    Vassar College Fudge Recipe
    2 c sugar
    1 c cream
    1 T butter
    1/4 cake of Baker's chocolate (4 ounces)

    Chop chocolate. Heat sugar and cream until hot, and add in chocolate. As soon as it begins to boil, add in the butter. Continue to cook on a low boil until thickened and creamy. Remove from heat and beat until cool, then pour into a buttered mold. Cut into diamond shapes once set up.
  • Smith College: This started as out as a women's college, and while it currently runs as one, it has graduate programs for both men and women. It was founded in 1871 by Sophia Smith through an endowment following her death in 1870. Smith College is currently is on 147 landscaped acres and is located in Northhampton, Massachusetts.
    Smith College Website

    Smith College Fudge Recipe
    1/4 c butter
    1 c sugar
    1 c brown sugar
    1/4 c molasses
    1/2 c cream
    2 squares baker's chocolate, chopped fine
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla

    Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Add in sugar, brown sugar, molasses and cream.  Bring to a boil, and continue to boil for 2 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chocolate, and boil on moderate heat for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and add in the vanilla. Stir until the mixture thickens, and transfer into a buttered mold. Cut when cool.
  •  Wellesley College: Wellesley College was founded in 1870 by Henry and Pauline Fowle Durant under the name Wellesley Female Seminary, and is located in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The name changed to Wellesley College in 1875, the year classes officially started. It was and still is an all-womens college.
    Wellesley College Website

    Wellesley College Fudge Recipe
    2 c sugar
    1 c cream
    2 squares Baker's chocolate
    1 T butter
    1/2 pound small marsmallows

    Warm the sugar and cream together in a heavy saucepan. Add in the chocolate, and boil until hard ball stage. Add the butter, and remove from the heat. Stir in marshmallows, a little bit at a time, until the mixture is smooth. Pour into buttered mold, and cut into squares when cool.
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