My husband makes amazing fudge. I call him the Fudge Master, but he doesn’t much like that title. For years he’s been getting requests, especially at Christmas from family members, asking for him to make a ‘batch’. I took a sample into work years ago and it prompted one fudge fan to ask me coyly each time he saw me “So, uh, hey, Sarah – have you got anymore of that fudge?”
He first started with following the recipe to a T, found in the Edmond’s Cookery Book, then he tried a few variations, and this one has come up as the winner. It’s a temperamental beast though - you have to keep an eye on it and take it slowly, otherwise it’ll turn into a grainy, crumbly-concrete-like mess. If it’s done right it should be completely grainless, with a fine melt-in-the-mouth quality. It’s not like a russian fudge, creamy and sticky – it’s more like a candy-style fudge. quite firm, and when cut it’s a little flaky. Infact, that’s one way it’s been described – like a Flake chocolate bar.
I’ve never (successfully) made this fudge. I tried once and it was a complete disaster (see description above) , and since then I’ve left it to the Fudge Maste…Expert Darren has this fudge down to a fine art, and I show you all the steps he now takes.
2 cups caster sugar
2 heaped tablespoons cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
100g dark chocolate (about 70%)
Grease and line a large tin with butter
Pour sugar and cocoa into a saucepan.
mix to combine.
add milk and cream and stir to combine – leaving for 5 – 10 minutes to help start dissolving the sugars
and butter and the candy thermometer
Heat RIDICULOUSLY slowly on the stove top, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved and butter melted. (this could take 20 minutes – you want it to have NO grains of sugar whatsoever before it starts to boil) Wet the sides with a pastry brush to get all the crystals.(This gives you an indication to how many times Darren has made this recipe – the souls of a thousand batches of fudge mark these pages. )
Bring to the boil. DO NOT STIR! Watch it carefully.
To ensure there are no crystals of sugar forming on the edge (sugar crystals are your enemy) dampen a pastry brush and wipe the sides gently.
Ask your wife to chop the dark chocolate into fine shards (It’s the only part of the process I’m game to help with!!)
Let mixture boil until the soft ball stage. Darren now uses a candy thermometer – and this is definitely the way to go. It has a ’soft ball’ marking on it.I wish it set just like this…. mmmmm
Have a folded teatowel on the bench ready, then remove saucepan from heat, place on teatowel and wait a moment or two
carefully pour in the vanilla and add the chopped dark chocolate.
whip it with an electric beater on a fast setting in the saucepan until the fudge becomes thick. If you don’t whip it long enough, it won’t set firmly, too much and it will stay put in the saucepan!
Quickly pour the fudge into the prepared tin.
Score the top and let it cool on the bench, then in the fridge.