Make Your Own Fudge
Fudge is a classic sweet. It makes an indulgent treat at home or a great low-cost gift for friends and family. It can be slightly tricky to get the texture just right but it is definitely worth the effort.
The good thing about making fudge too is that it’s an economical recipe and only requires ingredients that you’re likely to have in your fridge and store cupboard anyway.
Classic vanilla fudgeIngredients
- 175ml condensed/evaporated milk
- 150ml semi-skimmed milk
- 300g caster sugar
- 100g butter
- a few drops of vanilla extract
- Grease such as butter or oil for the cake tin (unless using a non-stick silicon ‘tin’)
- A 20cm cake tin or silicon container
- A saucepan
- A wooden spoon
- A sugar thermometer
Instructions1: Grease the cake tin. These days you can also buy specialist silicon non-stick cake equipment which doesn’t require greasing.
2: Add the milk, sugar and butter to the pan over a low heat and gradually dissolve the sugar. Stir constantly during this process, until the butter has completely melted and the sugar dissolved. It is very important that all the sugar has dissolved or the sweet may be brittle or ‘grainy.
3: Bring the mixture to the boil still over a low heat.
4: Let the mixture boil for 20 minutes. During this time keep stirring the bubbling mixture every now and then to ensure that it is not burning or sticking to the pan.
5: At this stage you need to check the mixture using a sugar thermometer. When it gets to 115 degrees, take it off the heat and add in the drops of vanilla extract. This stage is called the ‘soft ball’ stage. You can check that the fudge mix is ready by dropping a little into cold water. You should be able to form a soft ball with it with your fingers.
6: Leave the mixture to cool for around five minutes.
7: Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon and it should begin to noticeably thicken.
8: Pour the fudge mixture into the cake tin and leave it to set (not in the fridge).
9: After the fudge has set, cut it into bite-sized pieces.
10: Store the fudge in an airtight container.
Fudge variationsOnce you have mastered basic fudge, there are a number of modifications that you can make for variation. Try these:
- Melt in some chocolate
- Add dried fruits such as cranberries or raisins (with a splash or two of rum!)
- Try crushing up sweets such as smarties or Crunchie bars. You could even stir in some jelly babies
- Add in a splash of whisky, brandy or Baileys – if the fudge is a present for an adult, this makes it a bit more indulgent
- Throw in some nuts such as walnuts or almonds (which go very well with glace cherries)