Merry Fudge-mas!

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This Christmas, I wanted to take on a new challenge to show the people I love how much they mean to me at this special time of year. Fudge, I decided, was something I had never done before AND something I could get experimental with when it came to choosing flavours!

After a little research and ensuring I had the correct equipment (mainly a food thermometer capable of exceeding temperatures of 150c) I finally managed to limit myself to the following 3 festive fudges:

Traditional Vanilla
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Chilli Chocolate
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Bailey’s Coffee
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before portioning them into bags and decorating to sit on Christmas Tree branches, or posting off to loved ones!

It was an intimidating quest, but once you get into it it’s not too hard… You should have a go!

So! Here’s how it’s done.

Traditional Vanilla

A safe and simple one to start of with!

Ingredients

  • 300ml of milk
  • 350g of caster sugar
  • 100g of unsalted butter
  • The seeds from one vanilla pod

Fudge #1

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1. Take a medium sized saucepan and place the milk, butter and sugar inside. You want it to come to halfway full, or just below. Place on a low heat and stir occasionally until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.

2. While that’s happening, prepare a baking tray/small roasting tin/bread tin/some kind of receptacle for your fudge. I went through a variety of shapes and sizes, as you will see later on. Line the tray with cling film, then pour a small amount of vegetable oil inside (just over one teaspoon). Use a piece of kitchen towel to smear this evenly around.

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3. Now that your sugar and butter have dissolved, you’re going to need to be 100% committed to this saucepan for the next 20 minutes or so. Increase the heat to medium in order to bring the fudge to the boil and stir constantly.

As you stir and the temperature increases, your mixture will start to rise (after about 15 minutes). Don’t panic! Just keep stirring! You may slop a little over the sides, no harm done, but do NOT get any on your skin! Not only will it burn, but stick too!! Nasty, nasty business.

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Now is the time to get your thermometer in the pan (WHILE CONTINUING TO STIR!!) and seek the optimum temperature of 115c. Not a jot over or under.

A further 5 minutes a greater increase in temperature will see the mixture start to move back down the pan but at a thicker consistency. You will be very close to the desired 115c temperature now, so keep a close eye and keep stirring.

4. Once your fudge reaches the ever important temperature of 115c, remove from the heat, stir in the seeds from your vanilla pod and leave for 5 minutes to rest.

5. After 5 minutes, return to your fudge and beat with a spoon for 2-3 minutes until thickened and the gloss lessens.

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6. Pour into your chosen receptacle and leave over night!

Mmmm….

NEXT!

Chilli Chocolate

I love Chilli Chocolate flavoured things, but isn’t it disappointing when you have something claiming to be this flavour but in lieu of a warming shake you get a bitter after taste? This recipe is gauranteed to please chilli chocolate fans worldwide! It’s by no means outrageous, it just gives you a spicy cuddle after a chocolately soothing satisfaction, however, if you do fancy something a touch milder, feel free to adjust accordingly!

Ingredients

  • 300ml of milk
  • 350g of caster sugar
  • 100g of unsalted butter
  • 100g of dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon of chilli flakes

Fudge #2

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1. Prepare you desired receptacle as before, but this time after smearing with vegetable oil also sprinkle with a little cocoa powder.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the dark chocolate, cocoa powder and chilli powder together on a medium/low heat until you’re left with a chocolatey lump, resembling something like a failed attempt at a large chocolate truffle

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3. Place the milk, butter, sugar and chilli flakes in a medium sized saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Now to re-emphasise…

4. Now that your sugar and butter have dissolved, you’re going to need to be 100% committed to this saucepan for the next 20 minutes or so. Increase the heat to medium in order to bring the fudge to the boil and stir constantly.

As you stir and the temperature increases, your mixture will start to rise (after about 15 minutes). Don’t panic! Just keep stirring! You may slop a little over the sides, no harm done, but do NOT get any on your skin! Not only will it burn, but stick too!! Nasty, nasty business.

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Now is the time to get your thermometer in the pan (WHILE CONTINUING TO STIR!!) and seek the optimum temperature of 115c. Not a jot over or under.

A further 5 minutes a greater increase in temperature will see the mixture start to move back down the pan but at a thicker consistency. You will be very close to the desired 115c temperature now, so keep a close eye and keep stirring.

5. Once your fudge reaches the ever important temperature of 115c, remove from the heat, stir in the spicy chocolate lump and leave for 5 minutes to rest.

6. After 5 minutes, return to your fudge and beat with a spoon for 2-3 minutes until thickened and the gloss lessens.

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7. Pour into your chosen receptacle, sprinkle with a few more chilli flakes (for good measure) and leave over night.

And for my last trick…

Bailey’s Coffee Fudge

This was actually a little trickier than the others and my first batch went horribly wrong, just remaining a runny tray of Bailey’s flavoured goop forever. But, Bailey’s Coffee really does taste like Christmas to me, and that afternoon my Mum had made me a particularly delicious one… I HAD to have it in the mix! With a little patience, the recipe prevailed and is going down as a favourite among all!

Ingredients

  • 250ml of milk
  • 350g of caster sugar
  • 100g of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of instant coffee granuals
  • 125ml of Baileys
  • 200g of white chocolate

Fudge #3

1. Prepare your chosen receptacle as before, but this time after smearing the clingfilm with vegetable oil, also sprinkle on a little of this:
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Precisely the flavours my lovely Bailey’s coffee had been sprinkled with earlier!

2. Take a medium sized saucepan and place the milk, butter, sugar and 50ml of the Bailey’s inside. You want it to come to halfway full, or just below. Place on a low heat and stir occasionally until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.

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3. While that’s melting gently, take a Pyrex jug and place your remaining Bailey’s, the white chocolate and coffee granuals inside. Microwave and stir at 30 second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted.

Once again…

4. Now that your sugar and butter have dissolved, you’re going to need to be 100% committed to this saucepan for the next 20 minutes or so. Increase the heat to medium in order to bring the fudge to the boil and stir constantly.

As you stir and the temperature increases, your mixture will start to rise (after about 15 minutes). Don’t panic! Just keep stirring! You may slop a little over the sides, no harm done, but do NOT get any on your skin! Not only will it burn, but stick too!! Nasty, nasty business.

Now is the time to get your thermometer in the pan (WHILE CONTINUING TO STIR!!) and seek the optimum temperature of 115c. Not a jot over or under.

A further 5 minutes a greater increase in temperature will see the mixture start to move back down the pan but at a thicker consistency. You will be very close to the desired 115c temperature now, so keep a close eye and keep stirring.

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5. Once your fudge reaches the ever important temperature of 115c, remove from the heat, stir in the chocolatey Bailey’s coffee and leave for 5 minutes to rest.

6. After 5 minutes, return to your fudge and beat with a spoon for 5-6 minutes (longer than the average fudge) until thickened and the gloss lessens.

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7. Pour into your chosen receptacle and leave over night

Now that all your fudge has set, the time has come to tip it out and dice it!

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After the fudge was cut, I left it over night once more to set firm again before sticking it in bags. Otherwise, they would have all stuck together! As I was doing this on the sly for a special surprise for everyone, this soon saw my room turn into a Fudge Factory!

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Much easier to hide when they were put into portions!

But, when you see how much your loved ones enjoy being on the receiving end of this special treat, you’ll believe me when I tell you it was worth every moment!

Plus, I’m not about to pretend for once second I didn’t enjoy waking up to the smell of fudge in the morning!

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

2 thoughts on “Merry Fudge-mas!

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