Getting ready for Christmas part 3 – Fudge!

So I’ve been promising this recipe for a while and have finally  found the notebook it’s scrawled into. This recipe is a little trickier than the truffles in as far as there’s more that can go wrong, but it’s super worth it. As usual, this will be a long winded recipe that will hopefully steer you clear of the pitfalls I have already come across.

Fudge

Ingredients

– 1 can condensed milk

– 115g butter

– 450g Soft brown sugar

– 150ml milk

– Few drops vanilla essence or other flavouring

Method

– Grease, and preferably baseline a tray to set the fudge in. I have a sheet of teflon which is ideal for the job.

– Melt the butter, and mix together the ingredients in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Try to mix as thoroughly as you can to avoid lumps. Take a short break to pick the condensed milk tin clean.

– Put the pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. As with the Turkish Delight, you will need to get this to softboil stage in order to have it set. This takes around 15 mins or so of fairly intense boiling the mixture, and the magic temperature is 115*. I personally think the most consistent way of achieving this is with a sugar thermometer but have made it without one before – just google ‘softboil sugar’ and there are plenty enough videos of how to test sugar temperatures.

The difficulty here is that stirring tends to lower the temperature, but this stuff will burn to the bottom of the pan if left unattended. We have a lovely double ring gas hob for really packing heat into something – if you don’t, then the best thing you can do is at least get it to reduce a fair bit – that 15 mins of heavy boiling should do the job.

– Once it has reached softboil temperature, take off the heat and tip into a fresh, cold saucepan. Although this will add to the washing up it’s very difficult to cool it without it. Put the original saucepan in to soak straight away. You also want to add your vanilla at this point.

– Your next task is to beat the fudge mixture until it sets. This takes time. Your arms may fall off. You’ve been warned. It needs to crystallise and cool – you’ll be able to tell when it’s done when the texture is grainy, and not glossy. You can double check by cooling a spoonful and seeing if it sets nicely.

– Once it has been set, spoon the fudge into the tray you prepared earlier (if you’re like me, you didn’t, but we can pretend you did. You should go prepare that tray now). Smooth it out, and wait for it to cool. Slice up, and eat. Nom nom nom.

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