Thursday, 3 March 2016

Traditional Vanilla Fudge

Made using the traditional boiling method with store cupboard ingredients, this vanilla fudge recipe would make a great gift.

Traditional Vanilla Fudge

Confectionary always makes a great gift, whether it's Chocolate Truffles, Turkish Delight or Fudge, most people would be happy to receive a handcrafted box of sugary, calorie laden treat!   This vanilla fudge would make a lovely gift this forthcoming Mothering Sunday, though it would equally be great for a Christmas gift or as a "Thankyou" to somebody.
Being a keen home baker, I've been wanting to create my own delicious homemade fudge for sometime.  I've had several, unfortunately failed, attempts over the past few months.  Overly soft fudge!  A burnt pan!  What was once good food having to be put into the bin because it couldn't be salvaged!  It really become a bit of a nemesis for me.   Now, although I successfully made a Cheat's Chocolate Orange Fudge just before Christmas, with the aid of a microwave, I knew I wouldn't be happy just using that method.   Don't get me wrong, the microwave method is good but the need to succeed at the traditional method was like a bee in my bonnet; forever telling me that I couldn't make a straightforward vanilla fudge. 

Traditional Vanilla Fudge

Well, that bee in my bonnet has now gone!  I finally succeeded!  After doing a bit more reading and acquiring a good quality digital sugar thermometer (thank you Laura),  I have finally made a delicious batch of homemade traditional vanilla fudge.  It's certainly not going to be my last either!  I can feel some more fudge recipes coming this way!

How to make homemade fudge

So how did I finally succeed in making our homemade vanilla fudge (tips from BBC Good Food):
  • The mixture was constantly stirred, as also recommended by professional chefs James Martin & Phil Vickery.
  • The mixture was cooked until it reached 116C / 241F, also known as 'soft ball stage'
  • The bubbly, molten hot fudge was allowed to cool, undisturbed, to 110C / 230F
  • Flavouring was then added before being thoroughly beaten as it continued to cool.  This beating allows very small sugar crystal to form.  If the mixture is beaten too soon then larger crystal will form instead.     
Cleary sugar work requires accuracy in temperature and for that reason I would recommend, to those unfamiliar with making fudge (like me), purchasing a good quality digital thermometer.   Until recently, the one I'd been using constantly slipped deeper into the pan despite using the 'grip'.  As it was touching the base of the pan I was getting false temperature readings, meaning I was taking the temperature of the pan and not of the fudge.  My fudge simply wasn't hot enough and therefore failed to set properly.  Just after the recipe I have linked (affiliate link) to the two sugar thermometers I am now using with great success.  Fudge can be made without a sugar thermometer, requiring small amounts of the moulten sugar to be dropped into a glass of water.  If it's ready it will ball together and when handled will feel like a 'soft ball'.  This process is used by those who regularly make sugar confectionary, though it doesn't provide the same assurance as a thermometer does for those of us who are less practiced.

How to make homemade fudge

And the verdict?  Ooh boy, it was good!   Just as it should be; firm, yet soft, slightly granular, rich, moreish and lets not forget delicious!  Not wanting to buy a new wardrobe, we shared this with neighbours and work colleagues who soon devoured the goods on offer.


So, here's how to make a Traditional Vanilla Fudge!





print recipe

Traditional Vanilla Fudge
Made using the traditional method with store cupboard ingredients, this vanilla fudge recipe would make a great gift.
Details
Hand on time: Yield: about 50 pieces

 Specific Equipment
   Large heavy based pan, which holds a volume of at least 3L 
   Digital Sugar Thermometer
   20cm x 20cm Brownie Tray (or similar)
Ingredients
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 100ml Milk
  • 100g Butter, unsalted
  • 300g White Caster Sugar
  • 150g Soft Brown Sugar
  • pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Method
1. Prepare the tin. Lightly grease and fully line the brownie tin. Ensure that greaseproof paper goes beyond the rim of the pan, this will help to remove the fudge once it has firmed up.2. Melt the ingredients. Place the double cream, milk, butter and sugars into a heavy based pan. Place over a low heat to allow the ingredients to melt. Constantly stir using a wooden spoon. Ensure all of the ingredients have completely melted before moving onto the next stage - you should no longer hear or feel the granulation of the sugar. 3. Affix the sugar thermometer. Set the digital thermometer to 116C /241F (soft ball stage) and attach it to the side of the pan. Ensure that the thermometer is secure and not touching the base of the pan.4. Boil. Increase the heat under the pan slightly to allow it to gradually come to the boil whilst stirring all of the time. Simmer the mixture, whilst continuing to stir, until it reaches 116C / 241F (soft ball stage). 5. Leave alone. Once the required temperature has been reached, remove the pan from the heat and leave it undisturbed to cool down to 110C / 230F. This will only take a couple of minutes.6. Add the flavour. Add the vanilla and pinch of salt to the mixture and mix. 7. Beat. Beat the mixture with the wooden spoon vigorously until the fudge has thickened further and has lost its shine. 8. Cool. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Smooth it into the corners. Set aside to cool at room temperature for two or three hours.9. Slice in cubes. Once fully cold and firm use the excess greaseproof paper as handles to remove the fudge from the tin. Use a sharp knife to slice the fudge into bite sized pieces. 
Notes: a) Remember, this is incredibly hot. Do stir the syrup carefully so as to avoid splashing yourself.  You may find it worthwhile to wear an ovenglove whilst stirring . b) When boiling the mixture it will feel as though the temperature is stuck at around 104C / 220F for a few minutes. Be patient, it will eventually move and will then increase comparatively rapidly. c) Allow the fudge to firm up at room temperature rather then placing it in the fridge. d) Increase the ingredient quantities if you prefer your fudge to be deeper and more generous in size. the vast majority of the fudge I make now contains 400ml double cream, 135ml milk, 135g unsalted butter, and a total of 600g of sugar (for this vanilla fudge use 400g white sugar & 200g soft brown sugar). Do ensure your pan holds AT LEAST 3L before starting to make the fudge as it climbs up the sides of the pan during the boiling stage. e) Once portioned, store the fudge in an airtight container. It will be good for 1-2 weeks at room temperature but will last for up to 3 weeks if stored in the fridge.







 

 

 

Sugar Thermometers useful when making traditional homemade fudge.

 


Please note, this is an Affiliate link.  If you were to purchase one of these items I will receive a small commission as payment, though do rest assured that you won't be paying a penny more!  Thank you for supporting Only Crumbs Remain.




 Stay up to date with Only Crumbs Remain by subscribing!


If you do subscribe, thank you so much, and you can rest assured that I will only issue e-mails to yourself when a new post is published.  This is ordinarily about once or twice a week.

Simply enter your email address to get all of my latest recipes and blog posts direct to your inbox.




Rest assured that I will only use your email address to notify you of new posts on
Only Crumbs Remain.
You can opt out any time.

Delivered by FeedBurner




This post has been shared with

Life Loving Linky hosted by Sally at Life Loving

Link up your recipe of the week The Mummy Toolbox Charlotte's Lively Kitchen - Food Year Linkup Monkey and Mouse












34 comments:

  1. Yum! Looks lovely and I love all your tips. Rather reminds me of being a little girl and going to the Fudge Kitchen - a shop that specialised in making fudge (I don't think it exists any more or at least I haven't seen one for a long time). You could go and actually watch them make the fudge and the demonstration included all those steps that you outline (though on a bigger scale). I used to love it and begged my parents to let me watch it (even though it was quite a lengthy process) - I do remember how fab that fudge was. Nothing like the normal shop bought fudge - I bet your homemade version tastes even better! Well done for finally cracking it! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never heard of the Fudge Kitchen - the smell in there must have been amazing - I'd have loved to have watched the process too! I must admit that some tips I've come across contradicted this process - they said not to stir under any circumstance. When I tried that the pan well and truly got burnt! I'm definitely sticking to this process and keeping my new super improved sugar thermometer under lock and key ;-)
      Thanks for your kind comments Eb,
      Angela x

      Delete
  2. Love fudge. Your right about needing a good thermometer and i think digital ones are best too. Im going to try this recipe it looks supper smooth fudge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :-) I think must have been where I was going wrong in most of my previous efforts. Do let me know how you get on with it Jacqui,
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  3. Hi-5 for making proper fudge! I've just started delving into the scary world of sugar work (bought a confectionery thermometer a few weeks ago) and so far I've only used it to make Italian meringue buttercream. I think I need to give fudge a go!
    Hannah :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-) Sugar work certainly does seem a bit daunting, but I think the key seems to be having a good thermometer. Do give fudge a go Hannah, it's certainly worth the effort now that you have a the thermometer.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  4. ooh how very lovely! I've never made proper fudge before - just a shortcut recipe once so it is on my to-cook list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh you definitely have to give it a go when you get chance, it's certainly worth it :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Rebecca,
      Angela x

      Delete
  5. Fudge is one of my hubby's favourites although I have never tried to make it before! you're right though they make fab gifts! I get fudge for the family when we come back from our holiday's :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really does make a fab gift doesn't it Charlotte.
      Thanks for popping by and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  6. This look absolutely perfect Angela and I'm sure any mum would be more than happy to get a batch of this on Sunday (I certainly would).

    I need a new digital thermometer as mine tends to slip too - it's terrible for making caramel as when it slips it causes the sugar to crystallise around it and I have to start again. Which one do you have?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Charlotte :-)
      We were bought a CDN digital thermometer (model DTC450) from a well known on-line shopping site that carries the same name as a South American river ;-) My only issue with is that it seems to only display the temperature values in Farenheiht so I had to do a little conversion from Celsius. It gripped the side of the pan really well though and resulted in a great fudge.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Charlotte,
      Angela x

      Delete
  7. Looks delicious - I'd be delighted to receive this for mothers day x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you Sarah, we were really pleased with how good they tasted and of course with the fact that I finally succeeded! ;-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Sarah,
      Angela x

      Delete
  8. This looks GORGEOUS! Thanks for sharing the recipe! #howtosunday

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love fudge. We always pick up handmade fudge when we visit Dorset (it's the best!) your recipe looks equally as good. I think I'll have to show this to my other half. He keeps on talking about getting more hands on in the kitchen. Shall I let him have a go?

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely Sally :-) If you love fudge, you're going to love making your own :-)
      Thanks for popping by and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  10. I absolutely love fudge, one of my favourite things. Well done for making it, I have made it once but its a bit fiddly. Will have to try this recipe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's amazing stuff isn't it Alison. I found it was pretty straightforward to make once I'd got a decent sugar thermometer - it was certainly worth all of that stirring :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  11. This sounds great, I have been looking for a good fudge recipe! I have a basic thermometer, but will check into a digital one, I can imagine that would make all the difference. Thank you for sharing at the Link-Up :-) Have a Great Week!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was really delicious Angela. I would try to make sure that the clip on the thermometer is tight too as you really don't want it slipping and touching the base of the pan as you will then get a false reading.
      Hope you have a great week too Angela,
      Angela x

      Delete
  12. This sounds so good, I really want to try this! Thanks for sharing. Sarah #HowtoSunday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh you definitely should when you get chance Sarah, I was that pleased with it that I'm planning on making some more this week!
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  13. Love this stuff - it's the first thing on my list to make as soon as I buy my sugar thermometer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh if you're anything like me you certainly won't regret the purchase, delicious homemade fudge is always as winner :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  14. I need to try making fudge again, I find it so hard to make, mainly because I don't have a thermometer and try the drop the mixture in the water method. These look delicious, I must try another attempt! Thanks so much for linking up to #Howtosunday :) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd definitely recommend a digital sugar thermometer with a secure gripper Jenny - it really does make it a lot easier. I too have tried dropping bits of it in glasses of water in the past but I just ended up with murky water probably because I'd not got the sugar hot enough.
      Angela x

      Delete
  15. This vanilla fudge looks amazing! I bet it tastes super delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you Ilka, it really was yummy :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  16. I love fudge and yours looks perfect! I made three recipes last year for vanilla fudge but none of them was perfect (although they were not far I have to say). I'll definitely be trying your recipe! #FoodYearLinkUp

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you:-) My early batches of fudge really weren't great, but since I've been able to use a good digital thermometer which has a firm grip I've had far more success. I can't recommend using one enough to be honest.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

      Delete
  17. Hi Just a few quick question. What size was the brownie tin? And you say a good thermometer what classes as a good one.

    Thank you

    Will be trying this recipe soon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, the brownie tin we used measures 20cm square. It'll be fine if your tin is a little bit larger/smaller. As for the sugar thermometer, I now use this one which I got from Lakeland http://www.lakeland.co.uk/16004/Thermospatula-Silicone-Spatula-and-Thermometer, but if you prefer one which attaches to the pan aim for another digital one which locks in place securely and doesn't slide down into the pan which will give you a false reading. The other thing I'd mention would be the size of the pan (I'll update this in the recipe), it needs to hold at least 3L as the sugar mixture will climb up the sided of the pan during the boiling stage.
      Hope this helps,
      Angela

      Delete

Thank you for spending your time to read my recipe posts. Feel free to leave a comment, I enjoy receiving your feedback. However, due to spam I have activated comment moderation, which simply means that each comment will be read by myself before it is visable on Only Crumbs Remain. I shall publish and respond to your valuable comments as soon as I can. So please don't panic when your comment disappears when you hit the publish button :-)

Flick through our recipes!