I just wanted to let you know about one of my favourite items of confectionary and how easy it is to make.
Homemade fudge really is an absolute doddle! Providing that you follow a few very simple rules, you’ll be enjoying this recipe for a long time.
The basic recipe that I use is: 900ml Whole Milk, 1050g Caster Sugar, 300g Butter, 2 tspns Vanilla Essence.
Take all of the ingredients apart from the Vanilla and put them in the biggest, deepest pan that you have. They’ll look lost in the bottom of the pan but it is essential that such a large pan is used to save from having to clean up a sticky, boiled over mess from your stove top! Bring all of the ingredients to a gentle boil, stirring often with a non-matallic spatula and keep it steadily bubbling until the mixture reaches the “soft ball” stage. Soft ball is when a small spoonful of the sugar mixture will form a soft ball if it is removed from the pan and dropped into a bowl of cold water. However, the easiest way to judge this is with a sugar thermometer. Sugar thermometers can be bought for around £15 and are very useful for many kinds of confectionary, sugar work and jam making. As soon as the the sugar thermometer reaches 115 degrees Celsius, which is the exact temperature for the soft ball stage, you need to take it off the heat. Working quickly, add the vanilla essence and beat the mixture as thoroughly as you can until the mixture firms up and takes on a fudgey consistency. I like to cheat by using an electric mixer with a paddle beater, this takes a lot of the arm ache out of the process! If you’re going to use an electric mixer, please be careful! It must be made from a material that will withstand the high temperatures of sugar boiling. I use a KitchenAid with a metal mixing bowl and a metal beater, with an all metal constuction it’s ideal. Also ensure that you start the mixing on a very low speed and rest a teatowel over the top to prevent yourself from being burned by splashes of the hot fudge mixture. As soon as the mixture has a smooth texture, carefully turn it out into a tin lined with cling film, smooth the surface and cover until it has cooled to room temperature.
When the slab of fudge is cold, turn it out onto a cutting board and carefully cut it into cubes, diamonds or whatever shape you prefer, arrange
your pieces of fudge on a platter and serve as petits fours after dinner, with coffee or anytime really. Or, as I do, use it as an energy source when exercising. Yesterday I rode my road bike on a sixty mile road route over the Horseshoe Pass and I can assure you that it really powered me up the climb to The Ponderosa Cafe at the top. I was first to get there! Tonight I’ll be at The Velodrome in Manchester where I’ll be using the same fuel!
It really is easy to make. The main tips I can give are to use a huge pan, watch for 115 deg.C like a hawk and use an electric mixer to beat the hot fudge.
What are you waiting for?!
Thanks for reading and happy eating!