It’s half term in the UK next week and I’m off to Amsterdam for a few days. Everyone I know has been to Amsterdam except, it seems, me. ‘Yeah Amsterdam, really cool, went when I was 18…’ they all say, their eyes glazing over with fond nostalgia, ‘…can’t actually remember a thing about it though.’ I can’t think why this would be, can you?
So I plan to be too busy enjoying myself (with nothing stronger than a vaasje of Oranjeboom, I’ll have you know) to cook or indeed write next week, so here’s a recipe for that fudge I mentioned last time. It really is a bit of a bugger to make and not something you would want to do with small children nibbling at your ankles, but if you have a spare hour and you can be bothered, you won’t regret it. (This is a lie. The risk of failure and third degree burns is massive, it’s a right bastard to clear up, and if it does work, it’s so moreish, in the way that only melted butter and sugar can be, you are guaranteed to gain a dress size and some tooth decay to boot).
You could, of course, make fudge with condensed milk rather than this full-on dairy version (there’s usually a recipe on the side of the tin) thereby doing away altogether with the need for boiling, a sugar thermometer or the risk of your mixture turning into a grainy inedible mass, but what would be the fun in that?
This is adapted from River Cottage Every Day by Hugh F-W. I use a mix of white and brown sugar, not just for flavour, but because I found that with white sugar only the mixture would often reach ‘soft-ball’ stage before it had actually caramelised so the end colour would be a bit insipid and off-putting. The brown sugar adds colour right from the start.
Good luck and have a great week.
- 150g caster sugar
- 150g light brown soft sugar
- 100g butter
- 100g double cream
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- Line the bottom of a tin measuring approx 25cm x 15cm with baking parchment.
- In a heavy based saucepan melt the butter, cream, syrup and sugars over a low heat, stirring gently (I use a spatula here) but constantly. (Make sure the pan is no more than a third full as the mixture bubbles up when it boils.)
- When the sugar has completely dissolved and no crystals are visible on the back of a spoon (this takes at least 20 minutes – yawn) stop stirring and bring the mixture to a rapid boil. Using a sugar thermometer, boil until the mixture reaches soft ball stage, 116°C.
- Take pan off the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Then add salt and vanilla and, using a handheld electric mixer, beat until the mixture becomes grainy, matt in appearance and starts to come away from the edge of the pan.
- Pour into prepared tin, smooth over and leave to set for a few hours. When set, remove the fudge from the tin and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Before whisking add any of the following to the fudge mixture:
- chopped nuts
- dried fruit
- chopped stem ginger
- different flavoured essences e.g. peppermint
- cocoa powder
- crumbled cannabis (just kidding)