Fudge - sweet, buttery and creamy - this basic fudge recipe is luxurious, not too sweet (is there such a thing?) and completely addictive. Many recipes use condensed or evaporated milk, but this one doesn't - nor does it add chocolate, nuts, berries or kale, it's just basic and delicious fudge.
There's nothing to prepare really, but make sure you have a glass of cold water handy for testing whether the fudge mixture is cooked enough. A digital or traditional jam (candy) thermometer is also useful.
Make the Fudge
Melt the butter in a large pan on low heat. Add the sugar, cream and syrup and turn up the heat to medium. Stir the mixture constantly until you can feel the sugar has all melted. Keep cooking until the thermometer reads 116°C (241°F). Turn off the heat. Take a spoonful of the mixture and drop it into the glass of cold water. After a few seconds, scrape the mixture out of the glass with your fingers and roll it between your finger and thumb. If it forms a ball that you can squeeze, the mixture is at the 'soft ball' stage and is ready. Otherwise put the pan back on the heat and cook it a little more then test it again. When you've reached soft ball stage, leave the fudge to cool down to less than 110°C (230°F).
Finish the Fudge
Line a small square roasting tin (mine is 19cm (7.5 inches) square) with greasproof paper - a few dabs of butter on the bottom of the tin will help stop the paper from moving about. Add sea salt and vanilla to the fudge. The amount of salt to add is entirely a matter of taste, anything between half a teaspoon and 2 teaspoons will do the job. Stir the mixture vigorously for a few minutes - it should feel a bit thicker and lose some of its shine. This final stirring is about breaking up clumps of sugar so the crystals aren't big - if they are big, the fudge will feel grainy.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and leave it to set for a few hours. Remove from the tin and cut into cubes.
BATTER • 500 grams sugar • 300 ml double (heavy) cream • 100 grams unsalted butter • 200 grams golden (or corn) syrup • vanilla essence or pod • sea salt PLUS The sugar you use is up to you - white granulated is fine, but you might want to try demerara or muscovado. Obviously the colour will be darker, and the flavour a little different.
Makes about 800 grams (1.7 pounds) Prep time: 5 minutes. cooling time: 1 hour. Cooking time: 15 minutes. Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes.