Ever since I joined Instagram in 2012 it seems that each Christmas I’ve posted a picture of my homemade fudge. You could almost call it a ‘tradition’.
I’ve been making fudge on an off for over 30 years. As a teenager I would make large elaborate selections of sweets for aunts and uncles and family friends. In recent years the range of sweets I make has slimmed down a bit, the coconut ice has gone for example, but there remain 2 things that a good handful of family and friends like – Candied Peel and Fudge, so those have remained traditional Christmas makes for me.
I posted my Candied Peel recipe back in 2015 and today I’m posting up my fudge recipe.
The recipe has been much requested and one thing I’ve found from having the Candied peel recipe here on the blog is that I effectively have it with me wherever I have my phone and a signal. No hunting for the recipe, but also no excuses If I’m away from home and someone requests a batch!
So here goes with the recipe:
1 pint of milk (570ml)
8oz butter (225g)
2 lbs sugar (900g)
Vanilla essence or other flavourings/additions as you like. 1/2-1 teaspoon of flavouring should be sufficient depending on how intense the flavour is. Flavourings are so variable it can be difficult to specify.
When I make ginger fudge I use approx 5 ‘balls’ of stem ginger chopped finely, with some of the syrup from the jar – remember you want to leave the remaining ginger in the jar covered in syrup, but any excess can go into the fudge.
Alternatively 4 ounces / 100g of chopped cherries or raisins will work. Just be aware than if you add fruit it will make the cut shapes a little less regular.
- Put milk and butter in a large heavy based saucepan and heat until the butter is melted.
- Add the sugar and maintain heat so the sugar dissolves, but don’t let it boil until the sugar has fully dissolved.
- Bring to the boil and keep it at a rolling boil, stirring regularly at first then continuously as the heat rises, until it reaches 235 degrees on a sugar thermometer, or it reaches *soft ball stage, or, my preferred test, when you stir the sides of the pan with the wooden spoon you feel that the mixture is just turning grainy. By this point it will also have darkened in colour and reduced in bulk.
- Beat the mixture and mix in the flavouring or fruit etc.
- Pour into a greased tin approx 9 x 9 inches (23cm x 23cm) or equivalent.
- While still warm, cut into squares.
- Leave until it has completely cooled before taking the squares out of the tin.
*Soft ball stage is when you drop a very small amount of the mixture into a glass of cold water it forms a little ball that is soft when you roll it between thumb and fingers. Up until this point the drop will just dissolve in the water.
If you try and cut the squares while the fudge is too hot it will just run back together. This is fine, just leave it a little while and then do it again. If you leave it until it is too cold the squares may fracture or break irregularly.
If you give it go, I’d love to hear how you get on, either here or on Instagram (@tessyoungdesignsandmakes).
Do remember though, do be careful; you’re working with sugar at high temperatures and it can easily stick and burn on the pan (keep stirring) or on you, so please, take care.
I hope you’re able to enjoy the holiday season and spending time with those who are special to you and remembering those who are absent.
All the best, Tess