Friday, 23 January 2015

Crumbly English Fudge Recipe

Say what you want about our (complete lack of) cuisine, but the Brits are damn good at sweet things. While fudge is technically an American invention, it's become a staple at British seaside resorts, especially down South in Devon and Cornwall. Few people are able to resist the buttery, crumbly deliciousness. It's perfect for presents, as well as just to have in the house to occasionally shovel into your face throughout the day.



This is genuinely some of the best fudge I've ever tasted. It's got that beautiful crumbly texture and just melts in the mouth. One batch makes a LOT, so I'd recommend enlisting help to eat it all. It's adapted a little from a Nigella recipe. I really recommend you have a sugar thermometer for this, as it's hard to guess when it's at the right temperature, especially if you haven't done it before. I use this one.



Ingredients

1 tin condensed milk (397 ml)
250g salted butter
800g golden caster sugar (the darker the sugar, the darker the fudge)
2 tbsp golden syrup
175ml milk
1.5 tsp vanilla extract, or 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
Optional: 200g chocolate/sea salt/raisins/other flavouring of your choice

Method

  1. Get a glass bowl or jug and fill with cold water; keep to hand. Put the milk, butter, sugar, syrup and condensed milk in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. I used a casserole pot - you want one with high sides. Put the sugar thermometer in, if you've got one. Stir constantly, and bring to the boil.
  2. Once boiling, keep stirring (this is important, as if the sugar catches on the bottom it can burn). BE CAREFUL - this gets REALLY hot! It will bubble and froth. NB. If you're making chocolate fudge, I'd recommend popping the chocolate on to melt while the fudge boils. 
  3. When the temperature on the thermometer reaches "soft ball" or 115-118 degrees, get a teaspoon and drop a blob of the mixture into the cold water. If it sinks to the bottom in a squidgy ball, it's ready. How long this will take can vary wildly so just keep an eye on it - from 10 to 20 mins. 
  4. Turn off the heat. Add the vanilla. If you are adding any extra flavour, do it now:
    • For chocolate fudge, pour the melted chocolate into the fudge mixture.
    • For salted fudge, sprinkle a generous amount of sea salt (not table salt) into the mixture. Nigella recommends sea salt flakes; I ground it from the salt grinder.
    • Other flavour suggestions: raisins, espresso, peanut butter.
  5. Whisk the fudge mixture using a handheld electric whisk. This is the bit that makes the fudge go all lovely and crumbly. If you don't have an electric whisk, you can get one cheaply from Tesco. If you try and do this by hand it will probably take you forever. Whisk until the mixture is stiff and no longer glossy - it should resemble a dull peanut butter. Be careful - it's still really hot and will release a lot of steam as you whisk it!
  6. Pour/coax the mixture into a lined brownie pan/flat tin. I lined mine with foil, which did leave imprints on the fudge, so you could just grease a pan. Spread the mixture as evenly as possible.
  7. Leave to cool for a few hours in a cool place (don't put it straight in the fridge as it'll be too warm).
  8. When it feels completely solid to the touch, turn the block of fudge out onto a chopping board and slice it into squares. This stuff is rich, so don't be afraid to cut it small! 
  9. If giving as presents, the best way to package it is in cellophane bags. It should keep well for a week or two, if you can go that long without eating it. 

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