I’m a savoury kind of a girl. Feta favoured over fondant; crisps chosen over chocolate. However, there is one flavour combination that can alter my persuasion: rum and raisin. Especially when in fudge form.
I always thought making fudge was a painstaking, laborious task, with a 50/50 chance of success. Two things changes that. First, and most importantly, I got a jam thermometer. Mine cost £7. That’s all. Get one. Precision is the key to fudge and all such sugary treats, and precision can only be guaranteed by knowing the exact temperate of the mix. It also eliminates that panicky and uncertain ‘soft ball’ testing thing. Secondly, I worked out this recipe, which so far has proved fool-proof. And I would know.
I use evaporated milk (as opposed to double cream) as it stops any graininess creeping in (and negates the use of glucose). I don’t use butter as I like to keep the dish healthy (!) (actually, I just don’t feel it is required). There is no need to melt the chocolate – the sugar mix, at 116 degrees Celsius, is hot enough to do that job. And on that note, please be careful: this mix is hot as hell, and more likely to splash you in your kitchen. Use a deep pan and also the common sense you were born with.
450g caster sugar
125ml whole milk
125ml evaporated milk
0.5 tbsp cocoa
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids at least), broken into pieces
50ml dark rum
Line a suitable dish with baking parchment. I use the lid of a Pyrex dish, which is about 30cm by 20cm, and about 4cm deep.
Add the raisins to the rum and leave to one side to soak.
In your big, deep pan, heat together the sugar, milk, evaporated milk, and cocoa, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it boils.
Then lower the heat slightly and cook for around 10 minutes more, still stirring constantly until the temperature reaches 116 C (240 F).
Remove the pan from the heat, and leave to cool to 110 C (230 F), by which time the bubbles will have calmed.
Stir in the chocolate and the rum and raisins.
Then beat the mix savagely, with your wooden spoon, for 5 – 10 minutes, until the fudge is thick and creamy (though still pourable).
Tip the mix into your dish and leave it to set; once set, cut into 2.5cm cubes, and enjoy.
How I have enjoyed eating my fudge:
Whilst watching the Olympics, actively being as far as possible from an athlete.
Sitting in Russell Square, watching the pigeons bathe in the fountain.
Outside the British Museum having seen the ‘The Horse: from Arabia to Royal Ascot’.
Curled up, reading Lace by Shirley Conran
Whilst writing this blog post.
6. Whilst researching gym memberships, to work off my fudge-pudge.