My last entry in the Lets Make Christmas event is this wonderful fudge which is full on flavour with unique textures. I used cherries soaked in Kirsch and macadamia nuts which marry perfectly together with the richness of the dark chocolate fudge. As far as giving this as a homemade Christmas gift goes, it far out ways any old plain vanilla fudge! So if you plan on making fudge this year, give this combination a go.
The basic fudge recipe I started with was from BBC Good Food. I found an old pot of liquid glucose in my cupboard so managed to cook the first batch using this, but after that locating this pot of sugary stuff was pretty challenging. Waitrose didn't have it, neither my local chemists and I did not have time to get to Tescos, so my 2nd batch used golden syrup instead. I can't say I noticed a difference so my advice is to use whatever you have, which, let's face it, is more likely to be golden syrup.
I also really like this basic fudge recipe as it doesn't require so much effort like other methods where you must continuously stir for 20 minutes. I chucked everything in my good, solid based saucepan and let it heat up till it reached the soft ball stage, 116 degree c. I decided last week to invest in a sugar thermometer from Amazon and it was a fiver very well spent . It meant I could get on with other things without worrying too much about when the fudge was ready. You know how us mums are always trying to juggling a million things at the same time!
I also found that you don't need to melt the chocolate in advance as the fudge mixture is so blinkin hot (well it is 116 degree c!) that as soon as you stir the chocolate in it just melts immediately.
So although I started with BBC GoodFood, my recipe and method is here...
- 300g caster sugar
- 300ml double cream
- 40g liquid glucose or golden syrup
- 100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- 125g dark cherries soaked in Kirsch, drained and halved
- 100g macadamia nuts
In a heavy based saucepan add the sugar, syrup or glucose & cream. Stir on a medium heat to dissolve the sugar. Get the thermometer in place so it can adjust as the mixture heats up.
On medium to high heat, give the mix a good stir every couple of minutes. Meanwhile prepare your tin by lightly greasing and base lining with baking parchment.
Break the dark chocolate into pieces, drain the cherries and halve and halve the macademia nuts if not already halved. I also patted dry the cherries with kitchen towel so as not to make the fudge too 'wet'.
The fudge mixture should take 10 - 15 minutes to reach the right temperature. Turn the heat up if need be. If you do not have a sugar thermometer you can do the 'soft ball test'. Simply drop a tiny amount of mixture into a glass of iced water. The mix should form a soft ball immediately. It really is so much easier with a thermometer though!
Once ready, remove from the heat and quickly drop in the chocolate pieces and beat with a wooden spoon for a few minutes until the mixture is grainy and comes away from the sides. Quickly stir in the nuts and cherries and pour into the tin. Smooth out and allow to cool slightly. Score with a sharp knife and allow to cool completely transferring to a fridge when cool. Cut into squares and store in the fridge.
I'll be packaging these up in pretty cellophane bags tied with ribbon when they go into my homemade Christmas hampers this year and hoping they will go down a storm! (The trial batch were very popular at the mum's coffee morning anyway!)