Friday, August 27, 2010

Sugared Cinema: Summer Rental (and the winners!)

Get the hell out of here now!

You get out of here fella. I'm trying to watch the Smurfs.

You're trying to watch the Smurfs?  Did you see the one where Papa Smurf took a crutch and smashed the shit out of a guy with a red hat? Did you see that one? You want to see that one?

Looking back, Summer Rental may not have been John Candy's finest work but it was certainly one of the most memorable, at least for me.  I used to rent it all the time from Erols Video.  Plus, it starred Kerri Green.  I'm still mourning the loss of her career.

How was your summer?  Eventful?  Relaxing?  Mine didn't suck by any means, it just wasn't packed with as many summer-y events as I would've liked.  When I was a kid, my family used to take an annual trip to Ocean City, MD and we'd stay at the same hotel every year, Castle in the Sand.  We'd spend all morning on the beach then in the afternoon, my parents would take me and my sisters to Trimper's to play carnival games and ride Himalaya and the (now defunct) Toboggan.

And we would never, ever leave without a stop at Candy Kitchen.  I'd usually pick out some sort of novelty item (an absurdly long lollipop shaped like a unicorn horn) but my mom would always buy a box of fudge.  It's one of my fondest summer food memories.

In memory of a great comedic actor and of vacations past, today we're going to make some candy.

Salted Cinnamon-Chocolate Fudge
Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Here's what you'll need:

butter, for greasing the pan
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound 60% bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or chips)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
kosher or sea salt

Butter an 8 inch x 8 inch square baking pan.  Make sure to get the sides, too.  Line it with parchment paper and leave some to hang over the edges.

In a medium glass or stainless steel bowl, mix together the condensed milk, cinnamon and vanilla.

Stir in the chocolate and butter.

1 bag of Ghirardelli chocolate chips and 1 bar of Ghirardelli chocolate = roughly a pound.  

 No measuring, no weighing, you're welcome.

Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

By the time all of the chocolate has melted, the mixture will be thick, similar to brownie batter.  Scrape it into the baking pan and smooth out the surface with a spatula.  Sprinkle with salt and disregard my jacked cuticles. 

Pop it in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) until firm.

When you're ready to cut into this deliciousness, run a warm knife around the edges.  Using the edges of the parchment paper, pull up the fudge and move it over to a cutting board.  Cut into squares and share with your family, friends, coworkers or no one at all.

If you're iffy about the salt, don't be.  Just trust me on this.  No, trust Giada on this.

The salt and cinnamon do wonderful things to this fudge.

Last but not least, thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway but most of all, thank you for all of your supportive (and hilarious!) comments.  It was really cool to see some of you come out of the woodwork, too.

The winners of the Cookie Craft giveaway are:
Random Integer Set Generator
  • Set 1: 4, 9
Timestamp: 2010-08-27 12:21:30 EST

Congrats EKS and Amy!  Email me at with your full name and address.  Peak cookie season is approaching, better get a move on!

Happy end of August, friends.  Nap in a hammock, lay in the grass, run through the first sprinkler you see.


  1. I adore Summer Rental. They played it so much but still awesome. I agree with you on Ms. Green. Poor thing. At least Jenny Lewis is doing something.

    "You too, Archie?"

    Would the fudge work with dark chocolate?

    You summer trips sound awesome. I got to stay at Camp Grandma. Good memories but the heat, my God, the heat!

  2. WOW erols video! haven't heard that name is a looong time! i think my parents used to call and have them pull all the jaws movies off the shelf before we went because that's the only thing i ever wanted to watch! summer rental is a great flick; i also loved john candy in the great outdoors and uncle buck, too. fudge looks great! i like the addition of cinnamon-great idea. happy weekend!

  3. God, I haven't even heard of that movie. But I definitely remember Erol's and those *huge* red padded videocassette holders - those VHS tapes sure were delicate, huh?

    It's been ages since I've made fudge but I can definitely vouch for the salt touch. If you can make it a gourmet salt, all the better. Never tried cinnamon though, that sounds delicious.

    I have the same memories as you when it comes to the eastern shore, though I stayed a bit further north usually. When Amanda and I were just down there recently, we daydreamed about renting a big house for a week with a few friends and kids and starting the tradition back up in a couple years (you know, that would be after we have kids and all).

  4. Margie - Jenny Lewis! <3 I wish she and Pinsky would make more music. Dark chocolate and semisweet chocolate are the same thing (thank you wiki!) so you could use that instead.

    Taylor - Haha, it's funny how you tend to go for the same movies when you're a kid. My sisters and I were big on horror movies, too. I can't tell you how many times we rented Halloween.

    Liam - those videocassette boxes were huge. You could be stack them and create a makeshift tv tray. I definitely need to acquire some gourmet salt - do you think the Himalayan pink would work here? The cinnamon is wonderful. I want to try adding chili powder to give it some heat, too.

  5. OMG, I totally forgot about this movie - thanks for bringing back some great movie memories

  6. I stole a bite of fudge when I got home from work last night. It was worth the thievery. Corporation.

  7. I have never seen that movie. But I do like fudge. Yours looks wonderful!

  8. Funx yes - EROLS!

    The fudge looks pretty amazing. Going to have to try this and surprise my dad (fudge fiend)

  9. Jennifurla - John Candy movies = a good chunk of my childhood

    Mike - I knew you'd be down. Tempo.

    Alwayzbaking - thanks :)

    Maximus - you should try it. I think Jaimie would agree.

  10. Summer isn't complete without wonderful seaside fudge. I think I have seen this movie but I'm not sure. Vaguely remember it.

  11. Oh my that fudge looks soooo good.

    Until I was 10, my parents had a place on 36th street. It didn't have a pool, so we used to sneak into the pool at Castle in the Sand! We were pool crashers, mucking it up for you paying customers.

    Castle in the Sand's tiny arcade is where I played many a game of Ms Pacman and Tapper. I think they even had the super-fast version of Ms Pacman, which was way more fun than the regular kind.

    Castle in the Sand was way cool and so happy to see it's still there and hasn't changed from the outside at least.

    Anyway, enjoy the few remaining days of summer!

  12. My partner got the urge for fudge, so I scooted over to Tastespotting and found this. He's now on his way to the store for condensed milk and dark chocolate. I'll let you know how it comes out. :-)

  13. Kristen - late to the beach party but yes...Castle in the Sand had a special kind of charm to it. Kudos to you pool crashers - my dad used to sneak us into the Marriott to use their pool.

    Serene - oh please please please do. If I could live off of this fudge, I would. Thanks for visiting :D

  14. OMG!! I just made this and it is AMAZING!! I am always looking for a new flavor of fudge to make and this one hit the spot! The salt & cinnamon combo, for sure, do something special to the flavor. Thanks so much for sharing!!

    1. I'm so glad you're enjoying it as much as I do. Crazy easy to make, isn't it? This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Nothing is more yummy then fudge. Nothing.

  16. Great Post! Thanks for your sharing.
    For your Information, if you need Trusted AC Rental Service in Indonesia for any events or something else, you can contact us. We'll provide you.

    More about us you can click here :