Penuche or panocha, is a brown sugar dessert candy or fudge that is popular in Mexico and many part of the US. Several varieties of the same penuche fudge recipe are prepared in the US by adding pumpkins, toasted pecans, almonds and cashews to change the basic taste of the dish. July 22 is celebrated as National Penuche in America.
History of Penuche
The penuche fudge recipe is a very simple fudge-like candy recipe and several versions are created in different cultures all over the world. Historically, the dish has been attributed to the New England area as well as some places in the Southern US but there are several variations of the dish in nearly every part of the world. Milk is usually boiled down to thick fudge and brown sugar is then added to it to create the distinctive butterscotch taste of the dish. The dish is very similar to Mexican Cajeta which is also a kind of sweetened thickened goat’s milk with the same dull brown color of penuche. There are also many Indian versions of the same dish using thickened milk called as peda or milk fudge burfi. The only difference between the different regional variations is the thickness of the eventual dish. Cajeta is liquidy and can be used a as a spread, while penuche is semi-soft like a fudge and pedas or milk burfis are stiffer, almost like cookies. But the basic ingredients, penuche fudge recipe and preparation process are the same. Dulde du leche is another very popular version where condensed milk is thickened with hours of cooking resulting in a thick viscous paste. Different versions of this dish are very popular all over Latin America and France even though they are given different names.
Ingredients Used and Popular Methods of Preparation of a Penuche
The basic ingredients consist of milk and sugar that are simmered for a long time and stirred almost constantly. Brown sugar is added to the penuche which causes its distinctive caramel color and taste. Traditionally, only vanilla is added to the penuche fudge recipe to add flavor but a few chefs use molasses to increase the taste. Toasted pecans are also added for texture but these are now called as pecan candies.
Serving and Eating
Penuche is usually served by itself as fudge or as dessert fudge. But chefs do create variations of the penuche fudge recipe like penuche drop cookies and also use it as boiled icing for cakes, or it is also eaten by itself with ice-cream.
The actual ingredients of the dish will determine the calorie count and nutritional value of the dish. It is recommended to check the nutritional label on the dish to ascertain the food value of each serving. Word count- 441 Penuche- 9 Penuche fudge recipe-5