Smooth and rich, dotted with sweet candied cherries, this decadent fudge is always a showstopper. Follow the next slides for step-by-step instructions for getting it right.
To make it easy to remove and slice the fudge, line the mini loaf pan with foil. Turn the pan upside down and shape the foil over the bottom of the pan. Next, fit the foil down into the pan, extending the edges over the sides and pressing into the corners. Butter the foil and set aside.
Before adding ingredients to the saucepan, brush sides of the saucepan with softened butter. This will keep the fudge mixture from boiling over as it cooks.
Add the ingredients to the saucepan as directed. Cook and stir to dissolve the sugar, then clip the candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Continue cooking and stirring, adjusting heat to maintain a steady boil, until the thermometer registers 236°F (soft ball stage).
Once the fudge mixture has reached 236°F, add butter and vanilla but do not stir. Cool without stirring until the temperature drops to 170°F. This will take about 20 minutes.
Remove thermometer from the pan and beat the mixture vigorously for 5 minutes. Add candied cherries and beat 1 minute more.
Pour fudge into the foil-lined pan, spreading evenly with a spatula. Let it stand at room temperature until firm. Use foil edges to lift the fudge from the pan. Invert onto a plate and pull the foil away. Sprinkle fudge with additional candied cherries and cut into thick slices to serve.