It all started with the Velveeta Fudge.
“Hey, Sue, how about this? Velveeta Fudge.”
King Arthur’s test kitchen director, Sue Gray, is a woman with an exquisitely refined palate. Not to say she doesn't enjoy the odd slaw dog or Ring Ding along with the rest of the world, but she can also sniff out the extra 1/16 teaspoon of cloves in a batch of spice cookies, or the smidgen of baking soda that made those cookies fall on the wrong side of the line, texture-wise.
“Velveeta…. Fudge.” Sue’s lips pursed; her nose wrinkled daintily. Her face wore that “I think the cat missed the litterbox again” look. “Well… I suppose it MIGHT be interesting,” she allowed.
“Susan: Velveeta Fudge.”
But then she put on what she calls her “mad scientist hat,” and backtracked a bit with “Well, it MIGHT be interesting if you…”
That’s life in the King Arthur Flour test kitchen. Most of the time we work on straightforward projects: developing new flavors for our line of mixes, as Sue is doing now. Working on “Guaranteed Classics,” a new section of our online recipe archive that Susan and I are both currently devoting long hours to. (Look for its launch in late July, if we can figure out the perfect versions of those 30 “guaranteed classic” recipes by then!)
But sometimes we wander down culinary paths untrod by the masses. Personally, I’m a fool for quirky little cooking newsletters. Maybe that’s because “The Baking Sheet,” which I used to put together years ago, was at one time itself a quirky little newsletter. Example: I once mailed our subscribers 9 issues one year, instead of 8, because I lost track of time. Oh well…
I get lots of QLNs in my mailbox. Trust me, there’s no online version of any of these. They’re more likely to arrive photocopied and hand-addressed. But they do contain some hidden gems, recipe-wise. Stuff like… Velveeta Fudge. And Ritz cracker squares, from the current issue of my very favorite QLN, Cook & Tell. If you can’t read the contact information in the picture below, visit cookandtell.com. And tell Karyl I sent you.
So, after all that you thought you were going to see a recipe for Velveeta Fudge, right? Sorry. I haven’t tried it yet. I still have to make the crucial choice between Classic Velveeta, or Pepper Jack Velveeta, for fudge with that certain je ne sais quoi. But I had this other recipe I'd been meaning to try, something from a QLN put out by a couple of restaurant guys (Mike and Dave, maybe? Sorry, fellas, I don't have a current copy...) I grabbed my recipe and headed out to the test kitchen to make...
Oh sure, the concept—the name—got the usual “EWWWWWW” reaction around here. But once I put slices of this moist, spicy loaf cake out in the testing area, it disappeared quickly. “What was in that cake? It was DELICIOUS!” Hmmmm, was it the beans or the pork that made it so tasty…? Frankly, it was our favorite secret ingredient: King Arthur Flour. Which, Merlin-like, can turn even a can of pork and beans...
P.S. I also have to write about Soy Sauce Chocolate Syrup here. The author of this recipe notes, “The soy sauce with its salty brewed flavor depresses the extra sweetness typical of chocolate syrups and enhances the richness of cocoa powder. It also helps blend dairy notes and enhances the fruit top notes of the cocoa. The result: a deep, nutty, roasted chocolate flavor with a rich color.” How could I possibly resist that come-on?
I made it. I sampled it. I left it on Susan's desk for her opinion. We agreed.
“Bosco,” said Susan.
“With soy sauce,” I added.
Don’t go there.
Do you have a favorite EWWWWWWW recipe? Leave your story in “post a comment” (below).
March 20, 2008: So, since I posted this blog, there's been a veritable flood of requests for the Velveeta Fudge recipe. Well, maybe more a trickle than a flood, but still... Kyle, I promised you I'd try this, so here it is:
And there you have it, in all its cheesy glory. Our taste testers (i.e., the customer service folks) didn't know it was made from Velveeta, and gave it good marks for its flavor. Several didn't like its soft texture, preferring a more traditional “hard” fudge. But other than that—it's a go!