Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I've always fancied making fudge but have never been quite brave enough as boiling sugar could be a risk to life and limb! But I decided to be brave and try it out after reading the lovely, and very reassuring chapter on sugar in Dan Lepard's book Short and Sweet. A basic vanilla fudge seemed the best place start, and also vanilla is possibly my favourite flavour, although chocolate gives it a run for its money! A brief description of making fudge- fudge is made by heating sugar , milk, cream (or evaporated milk) and butter to a specific temperature 116c or 240f sometimes called soft ball stage, then adding flavouring and nuts etc if you want, then allowing it to cool again, all the time stirring like a demon to stop the sugar burning on the bottom of the pan. Sounds easy! I took lots of pictures on my iPhone whilst stirring away, so this is a sort of photo story of my first attempt at fudge making.  The photos are not amazing as stirring with one hand and taking pictures with the other is not all that easy...

Fudge ingredients
All in the pan and ready to go.
Dissolving the sugar and butter into the evaporated milk and full cream milk.
All dissolved.
Starting to bubble and boil.
Boiling away nicely and expanding in volume.
All boiled and stirred and ready to put in a tin.
I lined the loaf tin with foil to make sure the fudge did not stick whilst cooling.
After cooling the fudge is ready to turn out.

Ready to be eaten, but should probably cut it into smaller pieces...
First cut it into fingers...
...then cubes.
Fudge pyramid!
Whilst making the fudge I found it amazing how much the sugar boils up as it gets to boiling point and beyond, so you do need a big pan or you'll end up with sugar all over the stove top... I used our stock pot and was very glad it was so big. It helps to have everything ready to just shove in as if you stop stirring for long the sugar catches really quickly and will burn before you rescue it. Having a sugar thermometer is also essential as until I have lots more experience in fudge making I cannot judge by sight when the fudge has reached the right temperature. You can drop a little bit of fudge into a glass of water and they should sink to the bottom and form lumps. Then if you dip your fingers into the water and squish the fudge it should be a 'definite ball of toffee', sounds fine in practice but I didn't have a clue so stuck with the sugar thermometer! Also resist the temptation to stick you finger on the sugar mixture... It's blooming hot and you will burn yourself badly...  Another fudge tip is that when you are finished don;t try and scrub the inevitable sugar deposits off the bottom and sides of the pan, but fill the pan with boiling water and replace it on the heat and give it a good boil.  This will dissolve all the sugar into the water and once you pour the water away (carefully!) you can wipe anything left off really easily! Much better than elbow grease and hard work :-) I was really pleased by how my fudge turned out.  It was really vanillary and smooth and soft with no lumps or grainyness.  It also got eaten very quickly, so I shall be trying more of this and more flavours soon.

Beware fudge stealing fingers....

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