fabulous fudge

Ever wonder why delicious fudge sold in foody markets is so blinking expensive? I have the answer: elbow grease. Having laid waste to my large confectionary-pan in my last salted-caramel excursion, I had to make two batches of fudge in my smaller pan. The first, I followed the recipe to a ‘t’… and utterly exhausted myself in doing so (my gym is the gym of life). Second time round, I thought I’d try and cheat as I’d come across another recipe espousing the possibility of using an electric hand whisk. It did work… just… but is a lot softer and less classic-fudge than I was going for.

This made a bunch of fudge (cut small ‘cos it’s so sweet), and hopefully its recipients will agree that it makes a lovely Christmas gift!

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(side-note: is there anything that gu-pud ramekins aren’t good for?)

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450g caster sugar
400g double cream
50g butter
1 tbsp glucose syrup
Handful chocolate chips (white for vanilla, or dark if you want chocolate fudge)
(Optional: 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste, or let your imagination run wild with all the fudgy possibilities!

Equipment: sugar thermometer (I used a digital one bought cheaply from eBay); silicone pan (20x20cm)

  1. Place sugar, cream, butter, and glucose syrup into a large pan. Heat until the butter is melted, stirring now and again.
  2. Put the thermometer in the pan and increase the heat until it is at a steady boil. Continue bubbling, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 116oC (soft ball stage)
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to sit, undisturbed, for 5 mins, until the temperature drops to 110oC. Stir in the chocolate chips, vanilla if using, and a good pinch of salt.
  4. Keep the sugar thermometer in the pan and begin beating the mixture with a wooden spoon, quite vigorously, until the temperature cools to about 60oC. By this time the fudge will be really thick and will have lost it glossy shine. Remove the thermometer and continue beating for a few mins more.  Your arms will most likely be killing you by this point, but think of it as calorie-banking in advance of all the fudge you are about to eat.
  5. Before it sets completely, pour the fudge into the silicone pan and smooth over the surface. Leave to cool at room temperature overnight – don’t put the fudge in the fridge as it will become sticky and won’t set properly. Cut into bite-sized pieces and pop in a box to give as a present. Will keep, in a sealed container, for up to 2 months.

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