There are days when the smell of cooking fudge, in all it's vanilla-ey goodness, just makes the world a better place. I don't know if standing over a saucepan of boiling sugar is good for the complexion, but breathing in the clouds of butterscotch-scented steam is certainly good for the soul.
Making fudge is actually ridiculously easy, though you do need to be careful as boiling sugar is up there with napalm on the dangerous substances list.
I made this yesterday with a friend's eight-year-old, by which I mean she weighed out the ingredients and then I stirred for twenty minutes whilst she went and played a cooking game on the computer. Modern life eh?
If you don't have the time or inclination to make your own, you can buy delicious Fair Trade Fudge here http://www.devoncottagefudge.co.uk/fudgemade.php
- oil, for greasing (I used one of those Frylight sprays and it worked really well)
- 300ml milk (You can use semi-skimmed but if you're buying it specially go for the full fat)
- 350g caster sugar
- 100g unsalted butter (to be honest I always use salted butter and it's never been a problem)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or Camp coffee
1. Grease an 18cm square cake tin. Luckily my friend does a lot of tray bakes for school and had tin-foil cake tins so I didn't have to worry about ruining her bakeware.
2. Put the milk, sugar and butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Heat slowly, stirring all the time, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted.
3. Bring to the boil and boil for 15-20 minutes, stirring all the time.
4. When the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage * (115°C on a sugar thermometer), remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract or Camp. Leave to cool for 5 minutes. Use this time to eat some of the fudge mixture on chopped up bananas as a sauce.
5. Beat the mixture with a spoon for a few minutes until it starts to thicken and the gloss disappears.
6. Pour into the prepared tin and leave to set at room temperature (do not put it in the fridge).
7. Once set, cut the fudge into small squares and store in a sealed container eating any pieces that are irregular just to neaten it all up nicely.
* Soft ball- have a bowl of cold water next to the cooker and after about fifteen minutes drop a little of the mixture into it. If you can form it into a soft (and yummy) ball it is ready.