Chocolate fudge with bourbon sugar recipe

by William Werner

It’s not just about cookies anymore. The coolest sweets of the season are brought to you by William Werner, the brains behind San Francisco’s ultramodern patisserie Craftsman and Wolves.

The exceptional texture and glossy sheen of this fudge result from the way you mix it. Make sure the chocolate and condensed milk are barely hot.

See more: The Holiday Desserts You Have to Make

Bourbon Sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

  • 1 cup demerara sugar

  • 2 tablespoons bourbon


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray

  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 72%), coarsely chopped

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

  • 10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Bourbon Sugar

Preheat oven to 150° or as low as yours will go. Scrape vanilla seeds into a small bowl; stir in demerara sugar and bourbon. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let dry out in oven overnight, leaving door slightly ajar. Mixture should feel like demerara sugar again in the morning.

Do Ahead: Store bourbon sugar airtight at room temperature up to 2 months.

See more: Bon Appétit's Holiday Headquarters


Line an 8x8” baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on 2 sides; lightly coat with nonstick spray. Heat chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let bowl touch water), stirring occasionally, until almost completely melted. Set aside.

Combine condensed milk, butter, bourbon, corn syrup, and kosher salt in a small saucepan; scrape in vanilla seeds and add pod. Heat over medium until barely hot (same as the chocolate).
Gently stir one quarter of milk mixture into chocolate with a rubber spatula. Add another quarter of milk mixture, stirring to incorporate (it might look broken and greasy; don’t worry, it will come back together).

Continue with remaining milk mixture in 2 additions, stirring vigorously until fudge is very shiny and almost elastic, about 5 minutes. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle with bourbon sugar and sea salt. Let cool, then cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Turn out fudge onto a cutting board and slice into 2x¾” rectangles, 2” squares, or triangles.

Do Ahead: Fudge can be made 1 week ahead. Wrap tightly and chill.

Photo: Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott

More from Bon Appétit:

16 Winter Pasta Recipes to Keep You Warm and Well-Fed

Meet the Australian Coffee Drink That’s Taking the U.S. by Storm

Winter Salad Ideas for Hardy Greens and More

Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Pantry Delights & Kitchen Toys

How to Throw a Holiday Party