Yield: 36 servings

Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract



  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Butter foil (parchment doesn’t need any butter if using).
  2. Combine sugar, cocoa and salt in a heavy saucepan. Stir in half & half and corn syrup until incorporated. Add butter cubes and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any stray sugar crystals.
  3. Bring to a rolling boil and continue cooking, without stirring, until 234ºF (soft-ball stage) on a candy thermometer.
  4. Remove from heat and dip bottom of saucepan a pan of ice water to stop the cooking process. Let stand, without disturbing, until mixture cools to 130ºF.
  5. Add vanilla and beat mixture by hand or with a hand mixer until thickened and shine just barely begins to disappear. This can take quite a while so you may want an extra set of arms ready. When you feel like the mixture just barely begins to lose its shine (it is very subtle and often ambiguous as to when this actually occurs) quickly pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Let sit for a few hours at room temperature or refrigerate until set. Cut into squares to serve.







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