Thursday, November 17, 2011

Brown sugar fudge

This weekend I brought a kitchen thermometer and made what was not only my first batch of Christmas treats for the year but was also the first successful fudge that I have ever made. I haven't actually tried to make fudge since I was a kid, but it turns out to not be difficult at all, but a little time consuming and if it were to splash or boil over you'd have an awful mess. So the reason for making fudge is because the next blog cooking challenge I am doing is to find a great fudge recipe. This one was good, but not amazing. I decided that I wanted to make something with the same flavour as Goldrush ice-cream, something that I intend to have plenty of when I'm back in NZ. It is honeycomb flavour and full of pieces of chocolate-covered honeycomb. So it's sort of like a Cadbury crunchie bar. What you see below is brown sugar fudge, also called penuche fudge, and honeycomb is made with golden syrup, which is like brown sugar, so I figured it might be similar, or perhaps like caramel or toffee. It turned out very strong and sweet, with a soft, moist texture.

Goldrush Brown Sugar Fudge

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) light brown sugar
3/4 cup (150 grams) evaporated milk
150 grams butter
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 Cadbury Crunchie bars (also called violet crumble)

In a heavy-bottomed, medium sized saucepan place the butter, brown sugar and milk. Turn the heat to medium-low and stir the mixture until all is melted and combined. Keep it on medium-low until the mixture starts to bubble, then keep it simmering for about half an hour.

While the mixture is simmering you first of all need to keep a close eye on it and keep stirring it every now and then, so that it doesn't boil over. If you have a candy-thermometer you can know exactly when the fudge is ready - the mixture should be at 113 degrees celsius (236 degrees fahrenheit).

It is quite slow, and if you don't have a thermometer it may be even more difficult to be patient. You can test if the mixture is ready by dipping a spoon in and letting a small drop fall into a glass of cold water. It should form a small ball as it falls through the water. However, I found that the mixture formed a ball before it reached the right temperature, so it is best to be patient and give it 30 minutes.

While it is simmering line a tin (about 11 cm square) with clingfilm. Then take your chocolate bars, if you are using them, and break them into small pieces. When the mixture is finally ready, it is time to pour it into a large mixing bowl and beat it until it is thick. This will take about 4 minutes with an electric beater and you will see that it is thick and beginning to set. Mix in the broken candy and pour it into the prepared tin.

Chill the fudge for at least a couple of hours and then slice into squares - small squares because it is incredibly strong and sweet!

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