Happy December! Can someone tell me how we got here so quickly? I blinked and November happened. I haven't even started on my Christmas baking. I feel like October was one of those perfect months, blogging-wise, and now I'm back to wondering how on earth I managed to fit it in with everything else going on!
I've been doing a lot of baking recently, but mostly recipe-testing for my cousin who is writing her first cookbook! It's all very exciting, and I can't wait to share the details soon. Just know that every weekend I've been surrounded by the most delicious brownies, vanilla biscuits and other treats, and that soon you will be able to make them, too!
In the meantime, let's talk fudge. Definitely make sure you have people around to help you eat this, because it is so addictive. I balked at the amount of sugar that went into it (not to mention an entire slab of butter), but the result is so delicious. I added the salt flakes as I found the finished product to be too sweet on its own, and the contrast between salt and sweet is just perfect. It doesn't take long to whip up, either - just be careful not to burn yourself as boiling hot fudge is, well, hot! Luckily I emerged unscathed having followed Nigella's instructions to the letter. She advises that you make the experience a phone/distraction-free zone - something I completely agree with. Spend some quality time with yourself and your fudge. Maybe hum some Christmas songs to yourself. Get unreasonably excited that it's only three weeks and one day until Christmas!!!
In fact, this would make for a perfect gift for Christmas, packed up into little bags - a legitimate reason to pour a ridiculous amount of sugar into a pan alongside more sugar and two different types of milk. We all know someone who loves fudge... Make them some fudge from scratch and surprise them with it on Christmas Day. I guarantee it'll leave you both feeling jolly!
SALT-FLAKED VANILLA FUDGE
250g unsalted butter
800g golden caster sugar
1 x 397g can of condensed milk
2 tablespoons golden syrup
175ml whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
a few pinches of salt flakes (I use Maldon)
I used three 12x8cm (7x4.5in) foil tins (these ones), but you could also use a 30x20cm (12x8in) foil tin, or a 25cm (10in) square foil tin. Whichever you're using, grease with a little butter before you begin, and set to one side.
You'll also need to set a jug of ice water to the side of your hob (to drop fudge into to test if it's ready!) - unless you're using a sugar thermometer, in which case don't worry.
- Place all of the ingredients, apart from the vanilla, in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
- Boil for 12-20 minutes, continuing to stir constantly. The mixture will turn golden. If using a thermometer, wait until you reach the 'soft ball' stage. Drop a little bit of the mixture into the jug and if it turns solid (but still squidgy) then it's done!
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- If you prefer a more solid, toffee-like consistency, simply pour into your waiting trays and leave to set. If you like it softer (more like the traditional Scottish fudge), whisk (preferably with an electric whisk) for five minutes or so, then pour into the waiting trays. Once they've cooled slightly, sprinkle them with salt and place them in the fridge to chill for an hour or two - any longer than that and they risk setting too hard.
Adapted from Nigella.
(I am incapable of cutting anything in a straight line. See: fudge, above.)