1. Butter an 8-by-8-inch pan. Combine cranberry ale, sugar, chocolate, salt and butter in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, uncovered and stirring with a plastic or silicone spoon, until chocolate and butter are melted and sugar is dissolved, 5 to 7 minutes.

  2. Bring to boil and cook, without stirring, until the mixture is 237 to 239 degrees on a candy thermometer; this will take 20 minutes or so. Remove from heat and let mixture cool, uncovered and undisturbed, to 110 degrees. This could take an hour or longer; check it occasionally.

  3. When thermometer reaches 110 degrees, beat mixture until it begins to lose its glossiness, 8 to 10 minutes (even longer if you want creamier fudge and bigger muscles). 

  4. Beat in the vanilla and chopped dried cranberries. 

  5. Spread fudge into pan. Smooth the top or “swirl” it; stud the surface in even rows with 24 or more whole dried cranberries…or just toss them on willy nilly. Cool completely. 

  6. To serve, cut the fudge into 24 pieces. Place them in an airtight container between layers of waxed paper. Keep refrigerated.

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Squares of chocolate cranberry fudge piled in a tower with three whole cranberries positioned in the foreground.