One Sunday afternoon I decided I wasn’t going to leave the house. I’d had some pretty hectic weekends – weddings, visiting relatives, birthdays – and it was the first time in a while I’d had a chance to sit down and watch all five back to back episodes of Come Dine With Me. So with Dave Lamb’s quips providing some background entertainment, I set about making some fudge for no other reason than I had never done it before.
A quick Google told me that fudge is actually a very cheap and easy thing to make as it only requires bog standard ingredients from your cupboards – sugar, milk, vanilla essence and evaporated milk. Providing you’re one of those people that keep evaporated milk in your cupboard. Turns out I am.
I used this recipe as a starting block, although without a thermometer and slightly confusing instructions (do you stir or not stir once the mixture is boiling? How thick is the fudge met to thicken to?), it kind of got disregarded towards the end and intuition had to take over.
It’s also worth pointing out that I swapped the granulated sugar for light brown sugar, because that’s what I had in my cupboard. I also changed to the milk for double cream because I read somewhere that milk makes a more crumbly fudge, whereas I prefer the gooey type. Someone in the comments section had gone for clotted cream. I salute that person. I bet it tasted amazing.
In terms of skill and difficulty, making fudge seems to be pretty simple. It was a case of pour ingredients into a pan, stir and heat. And if you actually own a thermometer, you don’t even need to work out whether the mixture is at the right temperature. There are a few responses under the recipe commenting on how their fudge didn’t set properly. However, I didn’t experience this. Sure, it took a little longer than stated. But after an overnight stint in the fridge, it was almost (almost!) like the stuff you find in a traditional sweet shop.
When I make this again, I think I will try a white suger, clotted cream and maybe even splash out on a vanilla pod to get that really amazing taste I remember fondly from holidays in Devon and Cornwall. Relatives beware, you may find yourself the recipient of a large hamper of fudge this Christmas. What? It’s cheap!