It’s been a while since I made something with my favourite drink! And it’s also a first.. my first time delving into the world of fudge.
I adore fudge; I love how creamy it is and how many different flavours you can apply to it. My sweet tooth cannot get enough of the stuff when it’s around! So I decided it was time to not only learn how to make fudge but to devise my own fudge recipe to make it just the way I like it.
Equipment Needed to Make Fudge
You should have everything you need for fudge making already in your cupboard. No fancy or unusual equipment is needed.
- 1x 23cm square pan, lined and greased
- 1 medium pot that can handle a high heat: I recommend a deep pot for added safety.
- Wooden spoon. I recommend a nice long one because you’ll be stirring hot fudge for a long time and it can get, well… hot!
- Culinary thermometer (optional): This is not essential but it is helpful. The fudge must get up to 115c in order to set. If you do not have one the water method below is fine.
- Small glass of ice cold water: This is used to test if the fudge is ready. You simply drop a little spoon of fudge mixture into the glass and if it turns into a nice chewy ball then it’s ready. If not, it needs to boil a little longer.
For my very first attempt at making fudge, I followed the recipe on the side of the condensed milk can. In fairness there’s only so much you can get on a little tin, but it made me appreciate just how important it is when writing a recipe to explain why you should, or shouldn’t carry out a certain method. At least, it is for people like me who have a tendency to deviate from the instructions and wing it… which is fantastic for cooking but not so much for baking and candy making which is much more precise and temperamental.
The Rules of Fudge Making
Here’s where I hope I’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. These are the rules for successful fudge making, and the reasons behind each rule.
- You must continually stir the boiling fudge: this will stop the fudge from burning, which given the very high sugar content is very easy to do. Burnt fudge will not taste good!
- You must reach 115c: if the fudge does not reach this temperature if will not set.
- You must beat the fudge for 10 minutes once it has cooked. This is very important for a creamy fudgy texture. If you skip this process the sugar crystals will form and your fudge will be gritty. Bleh.
- Be careful! Please be safe guys, hot fudge is very dangerous so be sure to wear long sleeves, keep a firm hold of your pot as you stir and keep children and pets out of the kitchen whilst you boil.
Rum & Raisin Fudge Recipe
- 100g sultanas (yes I know, I’ll explain)
- 150ml dark rum
- 450g demarara sugar
- 130g whole milk
- 397ml (one can) of condensed milk
- 110g unsalted butter
Right, I know I’ve called this rum and raisin because y’know, it’s the classic. Plus alliteration is sexy. But the thing is I just massively prefer sultanas. They’re bigger and juicier. If you’re a die hard raisin fan then fine but if not trust me with the sultana switch!
To make your rum soaked raisins (sultanas!) add them to a shallow bowl and cover with the rum. Leave them to soak for at least 6 hours. Overnight is preferable! Cover them and leave at room temperature to do their thing. The pool of rum will slowly disappear and your dried fruit will get plumper and plumper. Once they’re done you must try one they’re delicious!
When they’re ready for the fudge making, drain off any small amounts of liquid that might not have soaked and allow them to dry a little on the outside.
In your pot add the butter, sugar, milk and condensed milk and heat on high. It will take a few minutes to melt down and come to a rolling boil. At this stage reduce the heat a tad. All you have to do now is stir continuously until the mixture reaches 115c. This will take 15-20 minutes… sorry it’s an arm work out!
You really must keep an eye on the mixture to make sure it doesn’t burn or boil over. Continuous stirring will prevent both of these things. Using your thermometer or the cold water technique (above in the Equipment section) you can test to see if your fudge is done. If it’s ready, remove it from the heat and begin to stir vigorously. After a few minutes once the fudge has cooled a little you can stir in your rum raisins. You need to stir for about 10 minutes until the fudge has cooled and is getting very thick. This is super important for smooth fudge!
Once very thick, spoon into your tray. Because the mixture will be so thick, I recommend using a plastic spatula to mould the fudge into corners and smooth out the top. Make sure to get the mix nice and evenly layered.
Good news; it’ll cool pretty quickly and should be ready to cut after about 15-20 minutes. Remove your fudge slab from the tray and using a very sharp knife cut into inch-wide squares.
If Your Fudge Fails
Like I say, candy making is extremely scientific and so there’s some margin for error. The good news is that fudge is easily saveable so if the texture isn’t quite right once it sets please do not throw it in the bin!
Break your fudge back up into a pot and quite simply begin the process once more of boiling it, bringing it to temperature and beating it. I had to do this myself on my first attempt! Once it had melted down and I had tried again I could not believe how the consistency had changed despite not changing the ingredients.
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