Maple and white chocolate fudge
So, this was a request for one of my very good friends and I think I’ve just managed to sneak it in time for Christmas. Fudge is not something I’ve ever attempted to make before, probably because it’s such a wicked treat and I was afraid of the consequences of making a batch for personal use. When my friend was living in Ireland and me in England, we would get together and go to farmers’ markets with the aim of looking at the fresh produce but in the end usually would only buy the fudge. That sweet creamy fudge you buy fresh and which has a shelf life (unlike the stuff bought already packaged from supermarkets) is really delicious but difficult for the home cook to duplicate. I’m not quite sure how the method differs, but I think you would need to cool the fudge over a much longer period while working it to achieve farmers’ market results. Anyway, the homemade stuff is excellent too but has a slightly crumbly/grainy texture which melts away in your mouth.
600ml pouring cream
600g castor sugar
3 1/2 tbsp glucose syrup
3 tbsp maple syrup
150g white chocolate
Make 24 squares
- Line a brownie tin with baking paper, leaving 2cm overhang on all sides.
- Chop up the chocolate into large pieces – too small and they will disappear completely in the hot fudge.
- Place the cream, sugar and syrups in your largest saucepan, preferably one with high sides as the mix with bubble up and foam during cooking. My pan was 22cm in diameter and about 13cm tall and it was not big enough. I would say, if you do not have a large enough pan, do not attempt this recipe (hot sugar is extremely hazardous!). Okay, I think you are fairly warned and will avoid any kitchen disasters/third-degree burns.
- Gently heat the pan, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. To check this I just drip my index finger into the mix and rub the mix between my finger and thumb to see if I can still feel the grains of sugar.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring and turn up the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. It will need to boil for about 20–30 mins until it has reached soft ball stage (if you have a cooking thermometer, this is when it reaches 118°C). If you don’t have a thermometer, and I don’t, you can do a simple test to see whether the mixture has reached this stage. To do this, drop a small amount of the mixture into a bowl of cold water. If it is able to form a soft ball (I use my index finger and thumb to pinch the mixture and see if I can mould it or form it into a soft ball – hence the name), then it’s ready. You’ll find that before the mixture reaches this stage it will seem to dissolve in the water and you won’t be able to pinch it with your fingers.
- Once the mixture has reached soft ball stage, remove the pan from the heat and stir for about 5 mins or until it starts to thicken and become smooth.
- Pour the mixture to your lined baking dish and scatter over the white chocolate, pressing it into the fudge. You can use a butter knife to swirl the chocolate or just leave as it.
- Leave the fudge to set overnight – do not put in the fridge as the fudge will become gooey and will never set solid (never keep your fudge in the fridge either!).
- Take the fudge out of the tin and cut into small squares and store in an air-tight container or wrap up for gifts.
I’m guessing that the fudge will keep in an air-tight container for about 2–3 weeks, but who am I kidding, it’ll be long gone before then!