I love this fudge, I truly do. This has been my go-to recipe for years and years ever since I found it in one of mother’s old magazines and I don’t know how I ever lived without it before. You see, I’ve always found store bought fudge too sweet to the point where my teeth felt like it wanted to explode through the roof of my mouth and impale my brain.
Which is why I’ve always preferred making it from scratch, even though fishing out my candy thermometer to caramelise the sugar properly was always a bit of a pain. Using condensed milk erases that tedium and you’ll always end up with a smooth fudge that’s not too sweet. In fact it’s very hard to bugger this fudge up I promise you, even if you’re the type who gets scared by cooking sugar (provided you follow the instructions of course). Just add the ingredients, stir until thickened and done!
You could change this fudge up in so many different ways so let your imagination run wild. Want some hints? Change up the dried fruit and nuts or omit it altogether. Dark chocolate, milk or white, flavoured chocolate… your choice! Add spices, citrus zest or ambrosial flavours such as rosewater or orange blossom water. And who could forget, BOOZE (but not too much otherwise the fudge will set too soft).
Here I went with a classic but a goody: chocolate, coffee, dried cranberries and flaked almonds. And for an extra touch and because I’m currently obsessed with using it in everything, vanilla salt.
- 1 x 395g tin of condensed milk
- 80g unsalted butter
- 200g light brown sugar
- 1.5 tsp vanilla salt (recipe below)
- 1 shot of espresso (or 1 Tbl of instant coffee granules)
- 2 Tbl golden syrup
- 180g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup of dried fruits / chopped nuts of your choice (I used 2/3 dried cranberries and 1/3 flaked almonds)
- 1 vanilla bean, halved, seeds scraped
- 1/2 cup of Maldon sea salt flakes
- Grease and line a 20 x 15cm square tin with baking paper (with enough to hang over the sides).
- Add condensed milk, butter, sugar, salt, coffee and golden syrup to a heavy-based saucepan. Stir continuously over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is glossy and the sugar has dissolved (but do not let it boil whatsoever).
- Increase the heat slightly and bring to a simmer (and don’t stop stirring. There’s gonna be a lot of that involved here so get out your best stirring spoon).
- Cook for about 6-8 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and it ‘comes away from the sides’. Fudge is ready when a teaspoon of mixture forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water.
- Remove from heat and working quickly, add in the finely chopped chocolate, cranberries and nuts, stir until chocolate has melted then spoon into the tin (work fast otherwise the mixture might seize. Not that it’s the end of the world because it’ll still be delicious).
- Smooth the top and let cool for 30 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge until firm. Use the baking paper to lift the fudge out of the tin then cut into your desired portions. Store fudge in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Place salt in a shallow dish and add the vanilla seeds. Using your fingers, rub the seeds into the sea salt flakes, making sure it’s evenly distribute.
- Inhale your fingers and linger in the delicious scent.
- Store salt in an airtight glass jar with the seeded vanilla pod. As you need it, top up with more fresh sea salt flakes and give the jar a good shake to infuse it with the vanilla pod.
- Use it in desserts in place of regular salt or sprinkle it over candies, chewy caramels (my fave), brownies, cakes, tarts – you get the picture!
Finally, just in case you’re not sure what the fudge looks like when it’s ready, check out this riveting video below (i.e. me trying to stir with one hand and trying not to drop my camera in the other). It’s 30 seconds of awesomeness.
And what the heck is playing on the tv in the background?