A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from December 09, 2008

“Fudge” (a candy) appears to have received its name at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1892-1893. The word “fudge” had long been an exclamation (“Oh, fudge!); it is believed by some that the first batch of “fudge” was originally a botched or “fudged” batch of chocolate caramels.
Vassar graduate Emelyn Battersby Hartridge wrote in 1921 (the letter is in Vassar’s archives) that a schoolmate’s cousin had been making fudge in Baltimore as early as 1886, and that Hartridge first made fudges at Vassar in 1888. In 1893, fudges made an appearance at Chicago’s World’s Fair (and two cookbooks of that event).
Other women’s colleges in the 1890s quickly joined the craze for making fudge. Smith College (Northampton, MA) made fudges containing brown sugar and molasses and resembling penuche; a recipe for “Smith College fudge” is cited in print by 1899. Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA)  and the Wellesley Tea Room became famous for its 1898 Wellesley fudge cake. Some Wellesley fudge receipes include marshmallows.
Wikipedia: Fudge
Fudge is a type of confectionery which is usually very sweet, extremely rich and often flavored with cocoa. It is made by mixing sugar, butter, and milk and heating it to the soft-ball stage at 240 °F (116 °C), and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency. Chocolate can also be mixed in to make chocolate fudge. Fudge can also be used in brownies.
The American culinary folklore has it that fudge was invented in the United States more than 100 years ago. The exact origin is disputed, but most stories claim that the first batch of fudge resulted from a bungled (“fudged”) batch of caramels made on February 14, 1886—hence the name “fudge.”
One of the first documentations of fudge is found in a letter written by Laura Elizabeth Simmonds, an ex-student at Malmesbury School in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. She wrote that her schoolmate’s cousin made fudge in Baltimore, Maryland in 1886 and sold it for 40 cents a pound. Miss Hartridge got hold of the fudge recipe, and in 1888, made 30 lb (14 kg) of this delicious 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 confection spread to other women’s colleges. For example, Wellesley and Smith have their own versions of this fudge recipe.
Geographical consumption patterns
In the United Kingdom traditional English fudge has become synonymous with Devon, Cornwall, and sometimes Dorset and is made in a basic range. English fudge is expected to have a firm, slightly crumbly texture. The best known variation is similar to penuche except that it utilizes granulated sugar instead of brown sugar.
American fudge
“Fudge” in the U.S. is usually understood to be chocolate. In fact, the word fudge is used on packaging of cakes and brownies with “extra” chocolate flavoring or with fluid chocolate in the mixture. Other non-chocolate flavors of fudge are sold in the U.S., especially peanut butter and penuche, but these are designated by their flavor while the pl
Mackinac Island and other tourist towns in Northern Michigan are famed for making slab fudge. Slab fudge, typically sold in 0.5 lb (0.23 kg) slices, is made by pouring liquid ingredients onto large marble slabs for hand working. Boxes of fudge are one of the island’s primary souvenirs, and about 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) of the confection are sold every day. The tourists there are referred to as “fudgies”. Mackinac Island holds a “Fudge Festival” on the fourth week of August.
Slab fudge is also sold in Minocqua and Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, Ocean City, New Jersey, and as far south as Smoky Mountain, Tennessee, and Amelia Island and Panama City, Florida; all of these are other popular tourist destinations.
Hot fudge
Hot fudge is a viscous, brown syrup made by heating chocolate fudge, which is typically used as a topping for ice cream, particularly sundaes and parfaits.
Fudge is a drier variant of fondant.
In forming a fondant, it is not easy to keep all vibrations and seed crystals from causing rapid crystallisation to large crystals. Consequently, milkfat and corn syrup are often added. Corn syrup contains glucose, fructose (monosaccharides) and maltose (disaccharide). These sugars interact with the sucrose molecules. They help prevent premature crystallization by inhibiting sucrose crystal contact. The fat also helps inhibit rapid crystallisation. Controlling the crystallization of the supersaturated sugar solution is the key to smooth fudge. Initiation of crystals before the desired time will result in fudge with fewer, larger sugar grains. The final texture will have a grainy mouthfeel rather than the smooth texture of quality fudge.
One of the most important parts is its texture. The temperature is what separates hard caramel from fudge. The higher the peak temperature, the more sugar is dissolved, the more water is evaporated; resulting in a higher sugar to water ratio. Before the availability of cheap and accurate thermometers, cooks would use the ice water test, also known as the cold water test, to determine the saturation of the candy. Fudge is made at the “soft ball” stage which varies by altitude and ambient humidity from 235 °F (113 °C) to 240 °F (116 °C).
Some recipes call for making fudge with prepared marshmallows as the sweetener. This allows the finished confection to use the structure of the marshmallow for support instead of relying on the crystallization of the sucrose. Fudge squares can be substituted for the marshmallows.
Vassar College Encyclopedia
Vassar Student Invents Fudge
A Vassar student from the 1890s with a sweet tooth is rumored to have invented this chocolatey confection. The Office of Media Relations says this is a fable, while Historian Elizabeth Daniels avers it is the truth. The real truth probably lies in between these two answers—Emelyn Battersby Hartridge ‘92 made fudge for the senior class auction, but attributed the recipe to a classmate’s cousin. Still, her letter discussing the auction is the first instance of documentation for the existence of this sweet treat.
How to Make Vassar Fudge
2 cups of white granulated sugar
1 cup of cream
1 tablespoonful of butter
¼ a cake of high quality chocolate, dark with high cocoa butter content
1. Put the sugar and cream into a saucepan. Place on heat.
2. Add chocolate. When this becomes hot, put in the chocolate, broken up into fine pieces.
3. Stir vigorously and constantly.
4. Put in the butter when the mixture begins to boil.
5. Stir until it creams when beaten on a saucer.
6. Remove and beat until quite cool.
7. Pour into buttered tins (or lined with baking paper). When cold, cut in diamond-shaped pieces.
History of Fudge
Fudge is a crystalline candy, which means that, unlike lollipops, caramels, and taffy, crystal formation is the key to making great fudge.  Tiny microcrystals of sugar in fudge give fudge its firm but smooth texture. The secret to successful fudge is getting these crystals to form at just the right time.  Fudge is one of the rare exceptions to the rule that sugar crystals are not desirable in candy.  Tiny microcrystals in fudge are what give it its firm texture.  When the crystals are small enough, they don’t feel grainy on your tongue, but smooth.
While you ultimately want crystals to form, it’s important that they don’t form too early. The key to successful, nongrainy fudge is in the cooling, not the cooking. The recipe calls for heating the ingredients to the soft-boil stage, or 234° F, then allowing it to cool undisturbed to approximately 110° F.  If you disturb the cooling fudge during this cooling phase you increase the potential for larger crystals (seed crystals) of sugar to form too early and thus a grainy fudge results.
A seed crystal is a surface that sucrose (sugar) molecules can begin to attach themselves to—it could be a few sucrose molecules stuck together, a piece of dust, or even a little air bubble.  Once a seed crystal forms, it grows bigger and bigger as the fudge cools. A lot of big crystals in fudge makes it grainy and results in the fudge having a sandy taste.
By letting the fudge cool without stirring, you avoid creating seed crystals.  Stirring would help sucrose molecules “find” one another and start forming crystals.  Stirring also introduces air, dust, and small dried bits from the walls of the saucepan—all potential seeds for crystal formation.
Not until the fudge has cooled to about 110° F, do you want to start the crystallization process.  You start to stir, and keep stirring, until the candy becomes thick.  The more you stir, the more crystal seeds you get.  But instead of getting a few huge crystals (and grainy candy), you get lots and lots of tiny crystals, which make for thick, smooth candy.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
fudge, int. and n.
[Origin obscure.
The int. as used by Goldsmith (quot. 1766) seems from the context merely to represent an inarticulate expression of indignant disgust, though later writers who adopted it from him use it with a more definite meaning. The n. appears to have been developed partly from the int., and partly from FUDGE v. The etymology suggested in the annexed quot. 1700 can hardly be correct, though Captain Fudge, ‘by some called Lying Fudge’, (Letter of 1664 in Crouch Posthuma Christiana 1712, p. 87) was a real person (the surname is still common in Dorset). The nautical phrase ‘You fudge it’, associated in 1700 with the name of the mendacious captain, prob. belongs to FUDGE v. 1. In a dialogue of 1702, ‘The Present Condition of the English Navy’, one of the interlocutors is called ‘Young Fudg of the Admiralty’, perh. with allusion to the same verb.
1700 Remarks on the Navy in D’Israeli Cur. Lit., Neology (1841), There was, sir, in our time one Captain Fudge..who..always brought home his owners a good cargo of lies, so much that now aboard ship the sailors, when they hear a great lie told, cry out, ‘You fudge it’.]
int. Stuff and nonsense! Bosh!
1766 GOLDSM. Vic. W. xi, The very impolite behaviour of Mr. Burchell, who..at the conclusion of every sentence would cry out Fudge!
c1818 PEEL in Croker Papers (1884) I. iv. 116 To all the latter part of your letter I answer..Fudge.
1842 BARHAM Ingol. Leg., Bloudie Jacke, But others cry ‘fudge’.
1876 F. E. TROLLOPE Charming Fellow I. xv. 200 Anything of consequence to say? Fudge! He is coming begging.
A soft-grained sweetmeat prepared by boiling together milk, sugar, butter, etc. orig. U.S.
1896 W. C. GORE in Inlander Jan. 147 Fudges, a kind of chocolate bonbons.
1902 Queen 3 May 763/1 The greatest ‘stunt’ among college students is to make Fudge. Ibid., Nut Fudges… Fruit Fudge.
1905 Buffalo Express 16 Jan. 2 The overturning of an alcohol lamp over which some girls were cooking fudge.
1960 Good Housek. Cookery Bk. (ed. 5) 431/1 The fudge is poured into an oiled tin or caramel bars and cut up as soon as it is firm.
1893, Vassarion (Vassar College yearbook)
Pg. 81 (part of a “Freshman Editorial” poem—ed):
And “Fudges” have a “shorter course,”
We took it at V. C.,
And that is why the Sophomores
Conferred on us A. B.
Pg. 104:
What is it that we love the best,
Of all the candies east or west,
Although to make them is a pest?
What perches us upon a chair
To stir a sauce-pan held in air,
Which, tipping, pours upon our hair—
What needs more stirring than oat-mush,
And more still when we’re in a rush,
But what’s e’en sweeter than a “crush”?
What subtle oder doth recall,
To artless minds that “long-owed call,”
On the sweet maiden up the hall?

What one sweet solace serves for all
The woes, that can a maid befall,
While she sojourns in classic hall?
One knowledge we’ll from V. C. take,
Although all other lore foresake,
Well ne’er give up till we can make
Pg. 130:
(Drawing of students making what looks like fudge—ed.)
Pg. 16 (ad section at back of yearbook—ed.):
Artless Freshie to Prexy.—Have you eaten fudges? They are delicious. We make them every afternoon, on our gas stove.
Prexy.—Ah, indeed. Excuse me a moment (makes a memorandum in his note book).
Artless Freshie (two days later).—Isn’t it horrid we don’t have the gas on in the daytime any more? We can’t make fudges at all. I wonder why they had it done.
Chronicling America
16 July 1893, Omaha (NE) Daily Bee, “Social Life at Vassar” by Julia A. Schwartz, part one, pg. 4, cols. 2-3:
After dinner comes….fudges. Fudges are distinctly a college product. Some one has described them as “caramels spoiled in the making.” They are made in a tin pan over a gas jet. They contain milk, sugar and chocolate. They are good. The girls used to make the confection at all hours, but, since the authorities have turned off the gas during daylight, they make it only after dark.
Feeding America
Google Books
Favorite Dishes:
A Columbian Autograph Souvenir Cookery Book

By Carrie V. Shuman
Chicago, IL: R. R. Donnelley & Sons Co.
Pg. 191:
From MRS. J. MONTGOMERY SMITH, of Wisconsin, Alternate Lady Manager.
Four cups granulated sugar; one cup cream, one cup water; one-half cake chocolate; one-half cup butter. Cook until it just holds together, then add two teaspoonfuls extract of vanilla and pour into pans, not buttered. When cool enough to bear finger in, stir it until it no longer runs. It should not grain, but be smooth. Cut into squares.
Google Books
The “Home Queen” World’s Fair Souvenir Cook Book:
Two Thousand Valuable Recipes on Cookery and Household Economy, Menus, Table Etiquette, Toilet, Etc. : Contributed by Over Two Hundred World’s Fair Lady Managers, Wives of Governors and Other Ladies of Position and Influence

Chicago, IL: George F. Cram Publishing Company
(A “fudge” recipe is in this book, also from Chicago’s 1893 Columbian Exposition World’s Fair. Although the book above is available on two websites, this book does not appear to be available on any website, even though it is no longer copyright protected—B.P.)
14 January 1894, New York (NY) Times, pg. 18:
“Fudge,” a chocolate sweetie that is across between a bonbon and a cakelet, are very dear to the soul of a Vassar girl.
1894, Vassarion (Vassar College yearbook)
Pg. 97:
“I could manage the cooking.  I can make good fudges you know.”
Pg. 109:
Mrs. Dane. (...) But I suppose college dining rooms are all alike. Then I thought her friends never would get through saying good-bye. They indulged in reminiscences of the entire year. I wonder who Fudges is that they said to be sure not to forget. What a nick-name!
Pg. 124:
I came in and got a fudge.—F. L. R.
25 February 1895, Boston (MA) Journal, “Vassar Girls and Fudges,” pg. 5:
“Nearly every night at college,” said the Vassar girl, “some girl may be found somewhere who is making ‘fudges’ or giving a fudge party.” Fudges are Vassar chocolates, and they are simply the most delicious edibles ever manufactured by a set of sweetmeat loving girls. Their origin is wrapped in mystery. We only know that their recipe is handed down from year to year by old students to new, and that they belong peculiarly to Vassar.
“To make them, take two cups of sugar, one cup of milk, a piece of butter one-half the size of an egg and a teaspoonful of vanilla extract. The mixture is cooked until it begins to get grimy. Then it is taken from the fire, stirred briskly and turned into buttered tins. Before it hardens it is cut in squares. You may eat the fudge either cold or hot; It is good either way. It never tastes so delicious, however, as when made at college over a spluttering gas lamp, in the seclusion of your own apartments. The various difficulties that this method entails but makes the fudge taste sweeter.”
12 May 1895, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “Bids Farewell to the Sweet Fudges: Sad Feature in the Last Year of College Life for the Fair ‘Co-Ed,’” pg. 5:
For the information of those who are not up on what may be called one of the practical phases of the college curriculum it may be stated that “fudge” is the popular name for chocolates as they are made at Vassar. The recipe, tradition says, emanated from that famous seat of learning. Its origin is one of the mysteries of confectionery science, but all who have ever tasted fudges acknowledge that they are the most delicious form of that most popular of all confections, the chocolate caramel. The knack of making them has been handed down at Vassar from year to year from old students to the new, and hence transmitted to various seats of learning for women throughout the country.
6 October 1895, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “Girl Life at Chicago University,” pg. 40:
“But what are fudges?”
“Well, the recipe for them was brought to the university by a Vassar girl, and they are a little like chocolate, and yet they aren’t; and a little like caramels, but not quite; and perhaps they are a little like nougat. I cook them over the gas; see, here is a little afait that fits over the gas jet and holds a tin saucepan, and by standing on a chair I can stir the fudges, and when they are cool we cut them unto squares and eat them.”
14 March 1896, The Wellesley Magazine, pg. 306:
Betty’s blue eyes danced. Her one culinary accomplishment was the manufacture of “fudge,” and she feared that would scarcely be of practical value of second street.
18 April 1896, The Wellesley Magazine, pg. 396:
This year we have been decidedly gay, with our receptions, open meetings, the Colonial Dance, and the Fudge Sale, besides the usual class socials.
1898, Legenda (Wellesley yearbook), pg. 14:
Prehistoric forms of Fudge were unknown to us as Freshman (sic) in ‘94…
Google Books
The Dewey Cook Book
Compiled by the Women of the Auxiliary to the Young Men’s Christian Association, Montpelier, Vermont
Montpelier, VT: Argus and Patriot Press
Pg. 126:
Smith College Fudge.
2 cups brown sugar.
1 tablespoonful butter.
1 cup milk.
1 cup walnut meats.
Melt the sugar, milk and butter together, then let the syrup boil half an hour, or until it “hairs.” Remove from the stove, add the walnut meats, stir violently until it begins to stiffen. Pour into shallow buttered pans, and mark in squares.
7 June 1899, Indiana State Journal (Indianapolis, IN), pg. 6:
Vassar girls are still devoted to fudge. A nice creamy fudge calls for two cupfuls of light brown sugar, two cupfuls of soft white sugar, one cupful of milk, quarter of a cake of chocolate, butter the size of an egg. Put on the gas, and after it starts to boil, boil fifteen minutes, stirring all the time. Take away from the gas and heat ten minutes, flavor with vanilla, pour into deep buttered plates and cut into small squares. By the time it is done the room will be filled with callers.
16 October 1900, Kansas Semi-Weekly Capital (Topeka, KS), pg. 7:
Two squares Baker’s chocolate.
Two cups white granulated sugar.
One-half cup sweet milk.
Butter size of an egg.
One teaspoonful vanilla.
Boil all together for five minutes. If nuts are desired add one cup English walnuts, and boil one minute longer. Remove from fire and stir thoroughly for five minutes. Pour into square tin and when cool cut into squares with a sharp knife. If you wish to enjoy this as do the college girls at their midnight fudge parties, you must serve to your guests as soon as it is cold.
Google Books
First Reformed Church Cook Book
By Ladies’ Aid Society (Schenectady, NY)
December 25, 1903
Pg. 127:
VASSAR FUDGE—One cup sugar, one-half cup milk, one square chocolate, pinch of salt, add walnut meats broken in pieces if liked. Boil twenty minutes; add butter size of English walnut, one-quarter teaspoonful vanilla. Beat until it begins to thicken.
SMITH COLLEGE FUDGE.—Melt one-quarter cup butter, mix together in separate dish one cup white sugar, one cup brown sugar, one-quarter cup molasses, one-half cup cream. Add this to the butter and after it has been brought to a boil continue boiling for two and one-half minutes, stirring rapidly. Add two squares Baker’s chocolate scraped fine. Boil this five minutes, stirring rapidly at first and then more slowly. After it has been taken from the fire add one and one-half teaspoonfuls Burnett’s flavoring extract of vanilla, then stir constantly until the mass thickens. Pour in buttered pans and set in a cool place.
18 April 1906, Fort Wayne (IL) Weekly Sentinel, “Chocolate Fudge Recipes for College Girls’ Spreads” (Emma Paddock Telford), pg. 9, cols. 2-3:
Smith College Fudge.
Put into a saucepan one cup white sugar, one cup brown sugar, quarter of a cup of molasses and half a cup of cream. Melt a quarter of a cup of butter and add. Bring to a boil and cook three minutes, stirring rapidly. Have ready two squares of chocolate scraped fine, add to the syrup and cook five minutes, stirring rapidly at first, then more slowly. Take from the fire, flavor with vanilla, using about a teaspoonful and a half, then beat until thick and creamy. Pour into buttered tins, set in a cool place and mark in squares. Chopped walnuts, pecans, figs or crystallized fruits may be added when you wish a change.
Double Fudge.
Cook in a granite saucepan, two cups granulated sugar, one-half cup cream, one tablespoonful of butter and two squares of chocolate shaved or grated. Cook seven minutes, then flavor with vanilla. Take from the fire and beat until thick. Spread in a buttered tin to cool. Put into the same saucepan two cups brown sugar, one-half cup cream, one level tablespoonful butter, one cup nutmeats chopped fine and cook ten minutes. Take from the fire, flavor lightly with vanilla, beat until creamy and pour on top of the fudge already in pan. WHen cool cut in squares.
Vassar Fudge.
Put into a saucepan two cupfuls of light brown sugar, one cupful of thick cream and one scant tablespoonful of butter. When this gets hot, add quarter of a cake of shaved chocolate and stir until it creams, when a little is poured in a saucer and beaten. Take from the fire, beat until quite cold and pour on buttered tins.
25 August 1907, Kansas City (MO) Star, pg. 17:
Wellesley Fudge Cake.
From the Boston Post.
One cup sugar, two-thirds of a cup of butter, three eggs, one cup of milk, one heaping teaspoonful baking powder, two and one-half cups of flour, one-quarter cup of cocoa and one-half cup of walnuts broken up coarsely. Cream butter and sugar together, add the milk; stir in lightly the flour, in which the baking powder has been sifted; add cocoa and nuts and lastly the eggs, which should be beaten, white and yolks separately. This is a loaf cake.
Fudge Frosting—One and one-half tablespoonfuls butter, one-half cup of unsweetened cocoa, one and one-quarter cups confectioner’s sugar, pinch of salt, one-quarter of a cup of milk, one-half cup chopped walnuts and one-half teaspoonful vanilla. Melt butter, add cocoa, sugar, salt and milk. Heat to boiling point. Boil about eight minutes. Remove from fire, add nuts and vanilla and beat until creamy. Pour over cake to depth of one-quarter of an inch.
20 December 1907, Kansas City (MO) Star, “For the Christmas Dinner” by Emma Paddock Telford, second section, pg. 14:
Christmas Fudges—“There are as many variations of fudge as there are girls’ colleges and some to grow on.” A box of fudge tied with the college or Christmas colors, wrapped neatly and sealed with one of the little holly stickers that come gummed like a postage stamp ready to stick on, is invariably an appreciated gift. To make the plain Vassar fudge add to two cups white granulated or soft brown sugar one cupful thick cream. Put this over the fire and when it gets hot add a quarter cake chocolate, grated or broken in fine pieces. Stir constantly and vigorously. WHen it reaches the boiling point add a tablespoonful of butter and keep stirring until a little poured on a saucer creams with beating. Take from the fire, beat until cool and pour in buttered tins.
Smith College Fudge—Melt a quarter cup butter. Mix together in a separate bowl one cup each white and brown sugar, a quarter cupful molasses and a half cup cream. Add to the melted butter and bring to a boil. Cook three minutes, stirring quickly. Add two squares chocolate, grated; cook five minutes, stirring very rapidly at first but decreasing toward the end. Take from the fire, add a teaspoonful and a half vanilla, then stir constantly until thickened. Pour in a buttered pan and set in a cold place.
Google Books
Home Made Candy Recipes
By Mrs. Janet McKenzie Hill
Compliments of Walter Baker & Co., Ltd.
Established 1780, Dorchester, Mass.
Pg. 81:
2 cups of white granulated sugar.
1 cup of cream.
1 tablespoonful of butter.
1/4 a cake of Baker’s Premium No. 1 CHocolate.
Put in the sugar nad cream, and when this becomes hot put in the chocolate, broken up into fine pieces. Stir vigorously and constantly. Put in butter when it begins to boil. Stir until it creams when beaten on a saucer. Then remove and beat until quite cool and pour into (Pg. 82—ed.) buttered tins. When cold cut in diamond-shaped pieces.
Melt one-quarter cup of butter. Mix together in a separate dish one cup of white sugar, one cup of brown sugar, one-quarter cup of molasses and one-half cup of cream. Add this to the butter, and after it has been brought to a boil continue boiling for two and one-half minutes, stirring rapidly. Then add two squares of Baker’s Premium No. 1 Chocolate, scraped fine. Boil this five minutes, stirring it first rpaidly, and then more slowly towards the end. After it has been taken from the fire, add one and one-half teaspoonfuls of vanilla. Then stir constantly until the mass thickens. Pour into buttered pan and set in a cool place.
Heat two cups of granulated sugar and one cup of rich milk (cream is better). Add two squares of Baker’s CHocolate, and boil until it hardens in cold water. Just before it is done add a small piece of butter, then begin to stir in marshmallows, crushingand beating them with a spoon. (Pg. 83—ed.) Continue to stir in marshmallows, after the fudge has been taken from the fire, until half a pound has been stirred into the fudge. Cool in sheets three-quarters of an inch thick, and cut in cubes.
Favorite Recipes of Wellesley Alumnae
Compiled by Wellesley-in-Westchester
for the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Fund
of Wellesley College, 1975-1950
Pg. 94:
The Original Recipe
2/3 cup butter
2-2/3 cups brown sugar, well packed
1 whole egg and 3 egg yolks, well beaten
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2-2/3 cups sifted pastry flour
2/3 cup thick sour milk
1 1/4 teaspoons soda. dissolved in milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream butter and sugar; add eggs.  Dissolve chocolate in boiling water; stir to consistency of thick paste and add. Add baking powder to flour; add alternately with milk (and soda). Add vanilla and salt. Bake in two 9-inch
square pans in moderate oven. Fill and frost with chocolate frosting and chopped nuts. (Serves 24.)
Alice G. Coombs, ‘93 (1893—ed.)

EDITOR’S NOTE: To many alumnae the recipe for the famous Fudge Cake served in the original Wellesley Tea Room will be the “sine qua non” of this book. Although recent alumnae may remember only Miss Snow’s Blue Dragon or Seiler’s, Alice Coombs and her sister, Grace, ‘94. ran “The Tea Room” for many years. Miss Coombs writes, “I found the recipe originally in a Boston newspaper and changed the measurements from cups to weights for greater accuracy. I have now tried to get it back to cups again, as I did not keep the original clipping. The brown sugar for the cake weighed 14 1/2 ounces and the flour weighed 10 ounces.”
BAKER’S AD (1982 General Foods Corporation copyright date is shown—ed.)
Baker’s Masterpiece Series
Wellesley Fudge Cake.
Circa 1898.
Only the Finest Real Baking Chocolate Would Do.

In 1898, two Wellesley graduates spotted an intriguing recipe for chocolate fudge cake in a Boston newspaper.  No doubt, they used Baker’s baking chocolate for its unique richness. Baker’s had already been making
fine chocolate for 135 years.
The graduates made the cake for the Wellesley Tea Room. And this simple, incredibly fudgy cake has been famous ever since. Taste it tonight.
Classic Fudge Frosting
Melt 4 squares BAKER’S Unsweetened Chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter or margarine over very low heat.  Combine 4 cups unsifted confectioners’ sugar, a dash of salt, 1/2 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla; add chocolate mixture, blanding well.
Let stand, if necessary, until spreading consistency, stirring occasionally. Spread quickly, adding a small amount of additional milk if frosting thickens.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
Wellesley Fudge Cake
4 squares BAKER’S unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup each  hot water and sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour*
1 teaspoon each baking soda and salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
*Or use 2 cups sifted SWANS DOWN Cake Flour
Heat chocolate with water over very low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth. Add 1/2 cup sugar; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Cool to lukewarm. Add vanilla.
Sift flour, soda and salt. Cream butter. Gradually beat in the sugar; continue beating until fluffy. Beat eggs in thoroughly, one at a time. Add flour and milk alternately, beating after each addition until smooth. Blend
in chocolate mixture. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch layer pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans and finish cooling on racks. Fill and frost with Classic Fudge Frosting. Garnish if desired.
For high altitude areas: In chocolate mixture, use 1/3 cup sugar; use 3/4 teaspoon baking soda. Add 2 tablespoons each flour and milk; bake at 375 degrees.
November 1955, Wellesley Alumnae Magazine, clipping file:
CHASE, MARY (Mrs. Harry Curtis Lockwood)
(...)  Her sister Alice writes, “Mary and Clara Shaw ‘97 established The Wellesley Tea Room in ‘97. In 1900 she and Carolyn Rogers Hill (1900) started The Wellesley Inn where the famous Wellesley Fudge Cake originated.
Wellesley Fudge Cake
1/2 cake Baker’s chocolate melted
2 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup sour milk (or buttermilk)
1/2 cup cold water
1 teasp. soda
2 cups flour
1 teasp. vanilla
Bake in two layers and put together with frosting and English walnuts
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup cream
2 squares chocolate
Butter size walnut
1 cup Eng. walnuts added after cooking
Cream butter, add sugar, then melted chocolate, eggs, milk and water, flour, etc.
When cooked, (stir until sugar and chocolate melt but not during cooking) let cool before stirring down. If frosting is of the right consistency it takes quite a lot of time to stir it down.
Kindly do not give this recipe away freely, as I obtained it on that condition!
(Josephine W. Pitman, Class of 1912)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, December 09, 2008 • Permalink

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