Penuche, which is a derivation of the Mexican word meaning brown sugar or raw sugar, is said to be the original flavor of traditional fudge. It is very popular in various regions of the United States, specifically, the South and New England, and surprisingly, Hawaii, where it is known as “Panuche” or “Panocha.” In the South, it is most often called “brown sugar fudge.” In New England, maple syrup is often added to the candy.
A cake frosting known as “Penuche Icing,” is also commonly made from the brown sugar mixture. There are several variations of the basic recipe: Some do not call for vanilla, while others may include powdered sugar. The warm icing is spread onto the cooled cake and is then allowed to cool completely to set properly.