I love making sweets - it's baking plus science equals something that makes your teeth want to curl up (but in a nice way). I made some vanilla fudge for my students at the end of the semester and while good, it was very crunchy. I'd used a Nigella recipe featuring evaporated milk, which is the unsweetened version of condensed milk. Since then I've seen a lot of very enticing recipes for gooey soft fudge on other blogs, including Cupcake Project's fudge with balsamic, Rikki's ingenious cashew-nut fudge, and Heidi's Fantasy-ish Fudge which looks beautiful but contains an ingredient I'm pretty sure is native to the American market only (what is ricemallow cream anyway?). I consulted with my fudge-loving friend Sam (she of the biscuit-receiving RAF boyfriend) and she thought that condensed milk could be the way to a fudgier fudge. I bought some condensed milk to put her suggestion into action but hadn't quite got round to doing anything about it when our veg box turned up this week with a recipe for vanilla nut fudge using simply sugar, butter and milk. Everything else I've made according to the directions of the lovely people at Riverford has been a stunner so I set the condensed milk aside for another occasion (Johanna's grubs, perhaps?) and got stuck in.
I don't like nuts and I couldn't find my second choice of glace cherries (they turned up later, reclining behind a barricade of sugars), so at the last minute I grabbed some glace ginger, and partnered it with some ginger liqueur instead of vanilla essence. I'm happy to report that the fudge was delightfully gingery - not too strident but deliciously tangy. The fudge was definitely fudgier than my last attempt though still a little way from the gooeyness I was envisaging - more of a cruncher than a chewer. I was pleased enough with it to package it up for two particularly special friends though - one is yet to go off in the post so I won't spoil the surprise - and the other was hand-delivered to best-friend Tracy to share with her other half and my Birthday Buddy (Almost Birthday Buddy is probably a little young at 5 months - he can have his own next year). She liked it very much and it was lovely to catch up with her today :) It travelled well and I think it will make a good postable gift as well :)
Ginger fudge (adapted from a recipe leaflet from Riverford Organics)
400g sugar (I used golden caster sugar)
100g glace ginger
1/2 tsp ginger liqueur
1. Mix the sugar, milk and butter in the pan and heat gently until the sugar melts.
2. Turn up the heat to a boil and keep boiling and stirring until a sugar thermometer gets to 115C
3. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the ginger and ginger liqueur. Leave to cool for 2 minutes
4 . Quickly stir the mixture until it goes thick and creamy. Pour into a greased baking tin.
5. As the fudge begins to set, score the surface into squares. When it has set, cut into squares and store in an airtight container.